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Athlete's Foot

Glossary of Podiatric Terms

Achilles Tendonitis

Arch Pain / Arch Strain

Arthritis

Athlete's Foot

Definition

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that causes red, dry, flaking skin, sometimes accompanied by pain or itching. The condition usually occurs between the toes or on the soles or sides of the feet. In its acute stage, the infected foot exhibits blisters that itch or weep. Athlete's Foot can spread to the toenails, causing chronic fungal infections. Often when a patient thinks the feet are only dry and cracking, Athlete's Foot is responsible for the problem.

Cause

Fungal infections like Athlete's Foot are often contracted in showers, gyms, dressing rooms, swimming pool lockers, or other warm, damp areas where fungus can thrive. The name of the condition comes from the fact that athletes spend the most time in these environments and therefore are at a higher risk of fungal infection.

Once fungal spores are present on the feet, they can enter fissures or sores and remain there to spread, unless the feet are carefully washed and thoroughly dried after exposure.

Athlete's Foot can spread from the toes to the toenails. If the patient touches or scratches the infection and then touches other parts of the body, the fungus can spread to fingernails or other parts of the body, including the groin or underarms.

Like any foot condition, Athlete's Foot is of special concern to people with diabetes and compromised immune systems who are more susceptible to developing infections that can lead to serious medical problems.

Treatment and Prevention

Vigilant foot hygiene can prevent Athlete's Foot. Daily washing of the feet with soap and water followed by thorough drying, especially between the toes, is important. Wearing dry, airy shoes and socks, not borrowing footwear from others, avoiding tight hosiery and using foot powder all help to keep the feet dry and infection-free. When using public showers or pool areas it is a good idea to wear protective shoes.

Once an infection has occurred, it is important to see a doctor, have the problem diagnosed correctly, and treat it promptly. Fungal infections can be stubborn and difficult to treat, and can become chronic. Treatment plans include prescription antifungal medications, either topical or oral, and continued attention to keeping the feet clean and dry.

Continue to consult with your foot doctor until the problem is eradicated.

This information is for educational purposes ONLY. Only a qualified Doctor can make a medical recommendation for treatment or diagnosis. We do not claim that our products cure any medical condition. The foot has very complex anatomy so there can be many different reasons to explain what is causing your feet to hurt, and some problems can cause more to arise. For this reason, you should always consult a doctor for a correct diagnosis or recommendation for insoles, especially if your pain is severe, worsens, or persists, even with the aid of insoles.

Bunions (Bunionettes)

Calluses

Claw Toes

Corns

The Diabetic Foot

Hammer Toes

Heel Fissures (Cracked Heels)

Heel Pain

Heel Spurs

Ingrown Toenails

Mallet Toes

Metatarsalgia

Mortons Neuroma

Mortons Toe

Neuropathy

Overlapping Toes

Over Pronation (Flat Feet)

Plantar Fasciitis

Post-Tib Tendonitis

Pregnancy & Feet

Sesamoiditis

Shin Splints

Toenail Fungus