Known medically as tinea pedis, this common skin infection of the feet caused by fungus. Athletes foot may infect any part of the foot but because this fungus grows best in warm wet places, it most commonly found between the toes. Damp socks and shoes encourage the growth of this fungus.
Signs and symptoms of Athletes foot usually includes a scaly red rash that causes itching, stinging, and burning. Athletes foot spreads easily. You can get it by sharing mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes or shoes with someone who has a fungal infection or from walking barefoot in areas where the infection can be spread such as locker rooms, saunas, pools, communal baths and showers.
Prevention is the best treatment
Protect your feet: Wear flip flops or shower shoes around public pools and showers.
Keep your feet dry: Be sure to dry well between your toes after a bath or shower. Keep your socks dry – if your feet are sweaty or wet from being outside change your socks.
Consider your shoes: Alternate your shoes, don’t wear the same pair every day. By switching between pairs of shoes you will allow them to dry out between wearings. Damp shoes can encourage the growth of fungi. If you are being treated for athletes foot be sure to treat your shoes as well to prevent reinfection. Never share shoes!
Treating Athletes foot
Most cases of Athletes foot can be treated at home with over the counter lotion, powder, cream or spray. If you have the symptoms, ask your pharmacist for their recommendation. Be sure to keep your feet clean and dry. If the symptoms do not clear up after treatment you may need to consult your doctor.