Athlete’s Foot

Definition: dermatophyte infection of the soles of the feet and the interdigital spaces

Medical terminology: Tinea pedis

 

What is Athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the feet. Fungus and/or bacteria grow in the shoes and on the feet producing an unpleasant odour. Many people who have Athlete’s foot also have sweaty feet. Athlete’s foot may last for short or long period of time and may come back after treatment.

Risk factors for contracting Athlete’s Foot:

  • Feet are in a moist/wet environment for long periods of time
  • Do not wash feet or change socks regularly
  • Wear closed, non-breathable shoes

What are the symptoms of Athlete’s foot?

  • Red and itchy skin
  • Sweaty feet
  • Cracked, flaking or peeling skin between the toes or side of the foot
  • Unpleasant odour, smelly feet

The fungal infection can spread to other places of the body such as the nails (fungal nails) or the groin (jock itch).

 

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What is the treatment for Athlete’s foot?

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal powders or creams
  • Anti-fungal medication prescribed by your foot-specialist
  • Keep your feet clean and dry, especially between the toes
  • Wear clean socks daily or change your socks as necessary to keep feet dry

Foot hygiene is a huge part of the treatment for Athlete’s foot. Without proper foot hygiene the fungal infection may last for long periods of time.

How can I prevent Athlete’s foot?

  • Dry feet thoroughly after getting wet, especially between the toes
  • Do not go barefoot in change rooms or swimming pools
  • Wear clean socks daily or change your socks as necessary to keep feet
  • Use over-the-counter antifungal powders to prevent a fungal infection
  • Wear shoes and socks that are made of breathable material