Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a fungal infection and one of the most common skin infections. If the skin between your toes has become red, sore, or tender, the cause may be athlete’s foot, and the podiatrists at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. can help. The team, led by Pragnesh Patel, DPM, and Jyotsna Thapar, DPM, is experienced in diagnosing and treating athlete’s foot. For your convenience, there are five New Jersey offices, in Middlesex, Woodbridge, South Plainfield, Hillsborough, and East Brunswick. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices or use the online booking tool.
Athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis, is caused by a fungus that thrives in dark, humid environments, and the infection is highly contagious.
Athlete’s foot easily spreads from person to person. You can also catch athlete’s foot by walking barefoot in a contaminated area, like a locker room or swimming pool, or during a visit to a nail salon. It’s also possible to contract athlete’s foot when you share socks, shoes, or clothing with someone who’s been infected.
You’re more likely to develop athlete’s foot if you regularly wear damp socks or shoes. Often, this happens if you sweat a lot while exercising, and your footwear becomes the perfect environment for the fungus to grow.
The first sign of athlete’s foot is usually some minor burning or itching between your toes, accompanied by a scaly red rash. Blisters or ulcers may also develop.
Athlete’s foot can affect one or both feet. It typically starts by affecting the skin between your toes and then spreads to other parts of your feet, including the soles and sides, as well as your toenails.
In addition to spreading from person to person, athlete’s foot can also infect other parts of your body, including your hands. This is more likely to happen if you pick or scratch at the infected skin.
You may not realize you have athlete’s foot. It’s common for people with athlete’s foot to think they have eczema or that the skin on their feet is merely dry. A proper diagnosis is necessary to treat the condition successfully, so schedule an appointment at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. if you notice any changes instead of trying to treat it on your own.
The first line of treatment may be over-the-counter topical antifungal cream. In many cases, applying the medication over a period of about four weeks is enough to alleviate symptoms. Anti-itch powders or sprays can help you manage the symptoms as well.
If your athlete’s foot doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medication, your podiatrist can prescribe a stronger antifungal medication. This prescription medication may be topical or oral.
To prevent athlete’s foot from returning, your podiatrist talks with you about good foot hygiene. This includes washing your feet every day, making sure you always wear clean shoes and socks, and allowing your feet to breathe.
Schedule an appointment at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. online or over the phone.