Athlete's Foot (Tinea pedis)

Athlete's foot or tinea pedis is a fungal infection that affects the sole of the foot and between the toes (toe webs).

Symptoms of Athete's Foot

The symptoms of athlete's foot include:

  • Scaling, flaking and cracking of skin between the toes, especially between the fourth and the pinky toes.
  • Scaling and redness on the sole and side of feet
  • Itching and burning sensation

Causes of Athlete's Foot?

Athlete's foot is caused by the fungi Trichophyton rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, and Epidermophyton floccosum. These fungi grows in warm, moist environments, such as a public and home shower, gym floor, and locker rooms.

Who Gets It?

This condition is most commonly found in adolescent and young adult males. It is estimated that approximately 80% of men have athlete's foot at one point in their lives.

Can It Be Prevented?

Yes - to avoid getting athlete's foot:

  • Use antibacterial soap to wash your feet
  • Dry feet thoroughly after showering and swimming
  • Disinfect showers and bathtubs regularly with bleach every week
  • Do not wear wet socks
  • Avoid sharing towels, shoes, or sandals

Treatment for Athlete's Foot?

Athlete's foot treatment include:

  • Over-the-counter creams, foot powder, and sprays containing antifungal clotrimazole or miconazole

  • Topical and oral prescription antifungals

Athlete's foot should clear up within 2 to 4 weeks - if not, it may be actually be other skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.

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