Tinea Pedis, or Athlete’s Foot, is the most common fungal skin infection. While this infection most often develops in the moist area between the toes, different forms can develop on different parts of the foot. Regardless of the location of the affected area, Athlete’s Foot frequently causing itching, burning, and stinging.
Athlete’s Foot grows on the outermost layer of skin. This makes it easy to spread, but fortunately also makes it fairly easy to treat. The fungus is frequently picked up by people walking barefoot in infected areas near swimming pools or in locker rooms, warm moist areas where fungi grow with ease. Some people are more susceptible to contracting Athlete’s Foot, but doctors are uncertain as to why this is. However, it is apparent that once somebody has contracted Athlete’s Foot, he or she is more likely to contract it again.
Numerous symptoms may accompany Athlete’s Foot, though most of the affected will not experience all of them. These symptoms may include itching/burning/stinging between the toes or on the soles of the feet; itchy blisters; excessive dryness on the soles of the feet; cracked or peeling skin; or disease spreading to the toenails, which may result in the toenails becoming thick, crumbly, or discolored, or even the toenails pulling away from the nail bed. Athlete’s Foot can also contribute to Onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the nail.
Most cases of Athlete’s Foot can be treated at home, but if you believe you are experiencing Athlete’s Foot for the first time, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure of the cause of your symptoms. Over-the-counter treatments come in the form of creams, lotions, and sprays, many of which can be found at local pharmacies, like Walgreens. Symptoms may also be abated by keeping your feet clean and dry. Wearing sandals or at least shoes that provide room for airflow will help keep your feet dry. You may also use talcum powder to keep your feet dry. Not being barefoot in locker rooms, pool areas, or public showers will also help prevent fungal growth. See your doctor if symptoms do not improve following over-the-counter remedies, or immediately if you notice excessive redness, swelling, or drainage, or if you develop a fever.