Taking Care of Your Toes and Feet

Three Tips for Dealing with Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that generally occurs on the soles of the feet and also between the toes. Athlete's foot is common in people whose feet stay moist and confined in shoes which have little breathing room. Its medical name is tinea pedis. One of the earliest symptoms of athlete's foot is a scaly rash, and it is typically accompanied by burning and stinging pain. This is a contagious medical condition because it is caused by fungus. You can get athlete's foot by coming into contact with towels, socks and even floors and upholstery like carpets. Podiatrists are specialist foot doctors who deal with athlete's foot and other fungal infections that affect the toes. Here are some top tips podiatrists give about dealing with athlete's foot.

Understand the Causes

Athlete's foot is caused by the same fungus that causes ringworm. Conditions that encourage the growth of the fungus include damp and warm socks, dirty shoes and generally poor foot hygiene. Also, coming into contact with someone that has the condition increases your risk of getting the condition. You are at high risk of getting athlete's foot if you walk barefoot in public rooms such as locker rooms where there is a lot of foot traffic, and if your foot hygiene is poor. 

Possible Complications

Athlete's foot may seem like the type of embarrassing foot condition which will eventually go away on its own. However, in some cases, it does morph into something else. If you use your hands to scratch the itchy parts of the feet that are infected, you will end up getting the infection on your hands. The fungus can also spread to the fingernails and toenails, and sometimes, it becomes tough to treat. In rare cases, the infection can even spread to the groin, leading to jock itch.


It is essential to see a podiatrist when you suspect that you could be developing athlete's foot. The first sign will be a scaly rash, which is very painful and sore. Typically, the rash also gets very itchy, and scratching could even break the skin and cause bleeding. However, it is not advisable to self-diagnose or try to treat the condition with over-the-counter medication. 

If you suspect that you could be dealing with athlete's foot, it is advisable to visit a podiatrist for a complete diagnosis. They will recommend a suitable treatment regimen, which depends on your symptoms. They will also advise you on measures you can take to ensure your feet stay clean and dry at all times.