Even Non-Athletes Get Athlete’s Foot

Even if your involvement in sports is limited to sitting in the stands cheering for your favorite team, you can still wind up with athlete’s foot.

This bothersome rash, also called tinea pedis, is the most common of fungal foot infections. You can pick it up by touching the feet of someone who is infected or by walking barefoot on surfaces that have been contaminated by others, as in locker rooms or around swimming pools. Once on your foot, the athlete’s foot fungus flourishes in the warm, moist, dark confines of your socks and shoes.

What Are the Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot?

Symptoms of athlete’s foot typically include itching, burning, and cracked, scaly skin between your toes or on the soles of your feet. More advanced cases can include inflammation, blistering, and, eventually, thickening or crumbling of toenails.

However, not every skin-related problem on the foot is a result of athlete’s foot. Conditions such as psoriasis or eczema can sometimes look like athlete’s foot. Your health care provider can help determine whether you have athlete’s foot or something else and prescribe an appropriate course of treatment. 

Once on your foot, the athlete’s foot fungus flourishes in the warm, moist, dark confines of your socks and shoes.

Treatment And Prevention Of Athlete’s Foot

Mild cases of athlete’s foot can often be treated successfully with over-the-counter antifungal creams. More severe infections can be brought under control by prescription medicines, including topical creams and oral antifungal drugs. 

P-W-WMN02961-Athletes-Foot-smThe best way to deal with athlete’s foot is to practice good foot hygiene that can help keep you from contracting the fungus in the first place. Doctors recommend the following precautions:

  • Avoid walking barefoot in damp areas (showers, pools, locker rooms) where athlete’s foot fungus thrives. Wear flip-flops, even in showers.
  • Keep your feet cool, clean, and dry, as much as possible. If your feet are sweaty, change your socks in the middle of the day. Talcum powder may help reduce the sweating.
  • Wash your feet every day and dry them completely before putting on a fresh pair of socks (preferably socks made of natural fiber or synthetic fabric that wicks moisture away from your feet).
  • Trim and clean your toenails regularly.
  • Alternate the shoes you wear each day to help make sure you’ll always have a nice, dry pair to put on. 
Small Steps: Talk to Your Doctor
Before you stop taking a prescription medicine, tell you doctor why you want to stop taking it and discuss the pros and cons.