Patient Education

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a common foot fungus that spreads easily in public places such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers, as these are moist conditions where people usually walk barefoot. The symptoms of athlete’s foot are itchy, burning feet with scaling and redness between the toes. Eventually, the inflammation can become painful, and blisters may develop. The fungus can also develop along the soles, arches, and sides of the feet. The condition can be chronic.

There are many different types of fungi that cause athlete’s foot, so the type of medicine used to successfully treat athlete’s foot depends on properly identifying the fungus responsible for the outbreak. A doctor should be seen to properly diagnose athlete’s foot. There are several over-the-counter creams, sprays, and powders available to treat athlete’s foot. Medications of any kind should not be used without first consulting a healthcare professional or doctor. A doctor can also prescribe topical or oral medications to treat severe cases.

Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot can be prevented by the following suggestions:

  • Wash and dry feet thoroughly, taking extra care to dry between the toes.
  • Use powder to keep the feet dry.
  • Keep socks and footwear clean and dry; socks can be changed several times daily.
  • Wear footwear made of breathable materials that allow air to circulate around the feet; constricting footwear, stockings, and socks can trap moisture and perspiration on the feet.
  • Never share socks or footwear.
  • Do not walk barefoot in public areas such as showers, pools, and locker rooms; instead, wear plastic flip-flops, slides, or shower shoes.