Unlike the name might imply, athlete’s foot is a condition that can affect anyone, not just athletes. Also known as tinea pedis, the fungal infection is common and primarily affects the skin on your feet.
It can occur between your toes and on the soles and sides of the feet. The condition is named “athlete’s foot” because it’s typically seen in athletes.
At the Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery in Burbank, Santa Clarita, and Northridge, California, our team of podiatry surgeons has seen firsthand how this condition can recur, causing pain and frustration.
Read on to learn more about what causes this condition, treatment options, and how to avoid it from recurring.
Symptoms and causes of athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot causes a range of symptoms from mild discomfort to severe pain. The symptoms typically start with an itching, stinging, or burning sensation, particularly between your toes. The affected area may also become dry and scaly, causing further irritation.
As the infection progresses, you may experience inflammation and redness, and sometimes, painful blisters may form, triggering complications if left untreated.
Understanding the causes of athlete’s foot is crucial for prevention. Wet environments like public showers, pools, and locker rooms are common breeding grounds for the fungus responsible for athlete’s foot. Wearing non-breathable, tight shoes can also create a moist environment inviting fungus.
Sharing items like towels or shoes with an infected person can cause the infection to spread. People with weakened immune systems may also be more prone to conditions like athlete’s foot.
Three steps to take to combat athlete’s foot
Proper foot hygiene
Keeping your feet clean and dry is the first step to preventing athlete’s foot. It is essential to wash them daily with soap and water and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Using antifungal powder may also prevent the infection from recurring.
Wear suitable shoes
Your choice of shoes plays a significant role in preventing the infection. Shoes that fit well and allow your feet to breathe reduce the risk of creating a moist environment conducive to fungal growth. Changing your socks daily and allowing your shoes to dry between wears is also crucial.
Seek professional help
Sometimes, home remedies and over-the-counter treatments are not enough. At LA Institute of Foot and Ankle, we offer customized treatment plans that eliminate the infection and prevent it from happening again.
Prevention and long-term care
To prevent recurrent athlete’s foot, you need to be diligent. Regularly inspect your feet for signs of infection, maintain good foot hygiene, and avoid risky behaviors like sharing your shoes or walking barefoot in communal showers.
When using shared showers, wear flip-flops, and remember to change your socks regularly to prevent an infection. Additionally, regular appointments with our expert podiatrists can guarantee early detection and treatment, ensuring that the condition doesn’t become a recurring problem.
Recurrent athlete’s foot doesn’t need to be a lifetime struggle. At the LA Institute of Foot and Ankle, our experienced, trained team of podiatrists helps you overcome this frustrating condition and remain free from it in the future.
Book an appointment online today or call 818-848-5588.