Despite its moniker, athlete’s foot isn’t a problem confined to athletes. In fact, athlete’s foot isn’t even the official term for this fungal infection. According to the US National Library of Medicine, Tinea pedis is the official name for a fungal infection on your feet.
Athlete's foot is more than just a nuisance. Left untreated, this pesky infection can intensify or even spread to other family members in your house. Thankfully, athlete’s foot can be treated. Here at All Care Foot & Ankle Center, Dr. Michael V. Tran is experienced in diagnosing and treating athlete’s foot.
Curious how non-athletes can contract this fungal infection? Keep reading to learn how the infection is spread and what you can do to prevent athlete’s foot.
How do you get athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that thrives in warm, moist places. It’s highly contagious and can spread easily. This is why athletes can easily pick it up in locker rooms, communal showers, or by wearing sweaty socks or shoes.
But even if you don't frequent the locker room at your local gym, there are still plenty of ways for this fungus to thrive. You can get an infection:
- By standing barefoot in your shower (if someone else in your home is infected)
- By not thoroughly drying your feet after showering
- By applying lotion between your toes
- By sharing linens, socks, or shoes with an infected person
You can also get athlete’s foot by wearing wet socks or shoes. If your shoes are sweaty, allow them to thoroughly dry before putting them away. You may even want to change your socks throughout the day if your feet are sweaty. Keeping your feet clean and dry is key to avoiding athlete’s foot.
Do you have tinea pedis?
Are your feet itchy? Athlete’s foot is known to cause intense and even agonizing itching. If your itching feet are caused by athlete’s foot, you’ll probably notice a red rash that develops between your toes. The rash and itching may be accompanied by blisters and inflamed skin.
Left untreated, the fungal infection can spread to other areas of your body -- not just your feet.
Can you prevent athlete's foot?
The best way to reduce your chance of getting athlete’s foot is to keep your feet clean, dry, and cool. You can do that by:
- Wearing clean socks daily (you can even change throughout the day, if needed)
- Avoid walking barefoot in public spaces
- Avoid walking barefoot at home (if someone in your house is infected)
- Keep your toenails trimmed and clean
- Dry your feet thoroughly after showering
- Avoid putting lotion between your toes
If you have diabetes, it’s even more important to take preventive steps to avoid athlete’s foot. Diabetes can make even seemingly minor infections serious, according to experts. If you have diabetes and spot the signs of fungal infections, skip the OTC options, and give us a call. Swift treatment can help prevent unwanted complications.
Getting the relief you need
Despite your best efforts, it’s still possible to develop a fungal infection on your feet. There are several over-the-counter creams for athlete’s foot. However, stubborn or severe cases may not respond to OTC creams. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, though. Dr. Tran can treat athlete’s foot with prescription medications (oral or topical) as well as anti-itch powders.
If you spot the signs of athlete’s foot, call 817-276-4600 to request an appointment at our Arlington or Dallas, Texas office. You can also book an appointment online.