What is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis) is the result of a fungal infection in the skin of the foot. Athlete’s Foot is by far the most common fungal skin infection and can be acute or chronic. Athlete’s Foot is usually caused by dermatophytes and the recurrent form is often associated with fungal-infected toenails. The acute form usually presents with a moist scaling between small blisters and/or fissures. When a blister breaks, the infection spreads, sometimes involving large areas of the foot. The burning and itching that accompanies the blisters may be relieved by draining the blisters or applying cool water compresses. Athlete’s Foot has also been known to occur in circular isolated lesions on the bottom or top of the foot. The skin breakdown from the fungal infection sometimes causes a secondary bacterial infection to take hold.
How is Athlete’s Foot Diagnosed?
Athlete’s Foot is usually diagnosed with a clinical presentation. To obtain a definitive diagnosis, your Dallas podiatrist may take a skin scraping and culture it. Culturing can take up to three weeks and may present a false negative because of an inadequate skin scraping. A KOA prep is also sometimes preformed. The culture is examined under a microscope for elements that can confirm the diagnosis.
How Do You Treat Athlete’s Foot?
Oral antibiotics are utilized to control the fungal infection and any secondary bacterial infections. Soaking your feet in Epsom salts and warm water is a recommended addition. Wear sandals to reduce moister accumulation and the build-up of heat generated by close-toed shoes. Contact Dermatitis and Pustular Psoriasis are sometimes mistaken for Athlete’s Foot.
Chronic Athlete’s Foot is characterized by a dull redness and pronounced scaling. Sometimes the entire bottom of the foot is affected, giving it a “moccasin” appearance. Blisters and itch generally are not present with chronic Athlete’s Foot, but is normally associated with a fungal infection of the toenails. Topical and oral medications are available to treat this form of the condition. However, it is important not to confuse other causes of dry scaling skin with Athlete’s Foot.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, request an appointment with us.
Metroplex Foot and Ankle is a progressive group of physicians and surgeons who are committed to helping our patients to achieve their full wellness potential. Contact our Dallas Podiatrist, Garland Podiatrist, or Richardson Podiatrist offices to schedule an appointment today.