Athlete’s foot – Symptoms And How to Treat It

The athlete’s foot, likewise known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection that is common in an athlete. It usually begins between the toes and causes consistent itching, stinging, and burning. 

Athlete’s foot is caused by different types of dermatophyte fungus that are found in damp(moist) warm places such as swimming pool, public showers, locker room floors, gyms, shoes, socks, damp towels, nail salons and every other wet environment that require you to be barefooted.

Risk Factors Of Athlete’s Foot include: 

  • Being an athlete
  • Being a man
  • Warm environment/summer
  • Wearing tight close toe shoes
  • Sweaty foot
  • Keeping sweaty socks on
  • Sharing socks with others
  • Use of public pools
  • Use of community showers
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immunity
  • Having direct contact with an already infected person
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Psoriasis

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?

Here are signs and symptoms of Athlete’s foot:

  • Consistent Scaly red itchy rash
  • Blisters on toes
  • Fissures (tear) of the toe webs
  • Peeling in between the toes
  • Irritability
  • Cracking of feet
  • Raw, soft-looking skin in the affected foot
  • Sores (foot ulcer)
  • Deformed toenails (thick, discolored, or toenail that separates from the nailbed).

Can athlete’s foot spread?

The fungus that causes athlete’s foot is very contagious and can spread to various part of the body from the toes—areas such as toenails, groin, and hands

How can we prevent athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot can be prevented by:

  • Keeping feet and toes dry
  • Wearing slip-on shower shoes in public showers
  • Not sharing towels or socks with others
  • Use cotton socks
  • Wear breathable shoes that are your size
  • Wash feet with soap and water and keep it dry

How do you diagnose athlete’s foot?

The athlete’s foot is easy to diagnose. Complaints and microscopic visualization of the fungus in skin scrapings collected from the affected areas of the foot are enough to make the diagnosis.

How do you get rid of athlete’s foot fast?

The treatment options and tips for managing Athlete’s foot include:

  • Does vinegar kill Athlete’s foot? Yes, it can help fight off the fungal infections. Soak feet in 1 part white vinegar and four parts water for 10 minutes once or twice a day.
  • Using antifungal creams such as Clotrimazole, Miconazole, Terbinafine (Lamisil AT), Butenafine (Lotrimin ultra), and Tolnaftate (Tinactin).
  • Pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the affected skin. Do this twice every day until the infection is gone.
  • Keep feet clean, dry, and friction-free: Keeping feet dry is extremely important for healing of feet because the fungus thrives in wet surfaces, and by keeping feet dry, feet heal faster and prevent reinfection.
  • Antiperspirants such as 20% aluminum chloride can be used for excessive sweating.
  • Powders: can be put on feet to keep it dry.
  • Do not use topical steroids because it worsens the fungal infection.
  • Taking oral antifungal medication: Itraconazole, Fluconazole, Ketoconazole and Terbinafine.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol directly to the affected feet or soak the feet in a 70% rubbing alcohol and 30% water for like 30 minutes.