Attacking Athletes Foot

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With school back in session, many of our children will be taking part in several sports. With sports comes the possibility of contracting something called athletes foot or tinea pedis. Athletes foot is caused by a fungus which can and usually is contagious. Athletes foot can also be caused by a bacterial infection, intertrigo or a rash of the skin and psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease.

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Symptoms of athlete’s foot include:

 

  • Itching and burning – usually found between the toes
  • Flaky, dry skin – a common symptom
  • Blisters – can become infected if not treated
  • Discolored, thick toenails – can be confused with other issues
  • Raw skin – red and sore
  • Toenails that pull away from the nail bed

 

Risk factors for athlete’s foot include:

 

  • Using public restrooms, showers, locker rooms or pools – walking barefoot on infected floors
  • Sharing towels, footwear or socks – if infected will spread
  • Not drying your feet after showering – make sure you dry your feet with a clean towel
  • Wet socks – helps nurture the bacteria
  • Sweaty feet – also helps nurture the bacteria

 

To avoid athlete’s foot, you need to get into good habits. Make sure to dry your feet after showering, wear dry socks, apply anti-bacterial powder regularly, use sandals or clogs if you use a public shower or pool and do not share towels. Using good common sense and being aware of the contagiousness of the disease is key to avoiding the illness. Athlete’s foot can also spread to the groin and hands so washing with an anti-bacterial soap can help too.

The best way to treat athlete’s foot is to see your podiatrist who will diagnose and determine which treatment will be the most effective for your condition.  

 

Treatments include: 

 

  • At home – soak your feet in warm water diluted with vinegar to treat blisters
  • Oral antifungal medicines
  • Topical steroids – reduce pain and inflammation
  • Oral antibiotics – used for infections

Treatments are usually effective, but some fungal infections may take longer to eliminate.

If you believe you have or are developing athlete’s foot or have any other concerns about your feet, make an appointment with Dr. Melissa Robitaille or Dr. Todd Newsom at Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialists, 114 Canal St, Suite 703, Pooler, GA, 31322. Call us at (912) 988-3323. They will diagnose your condition and treat appropriately.

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Guest Saturday, 15 August 2020

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