Called athlete’s foot because it is a common ailment of athlete’s, this condition usually starts as an itchy, scaly rash. While it is more common for men to have athlete’s foot, women can also get it.
Because athlete’s foot is a fungal infection, damp shoes and socks, as well as humid conditions can cause an outbreak. It is contagious and can spread to both feet and hands.
Once you have athlete’s foot, you can easily pass it to others by simply sharing the same towel, floor, or shoes.
How can I reduce my risk for athlete’s foot?:
- Avoid being barefoot in public places such as public showers and locker rooms. Have a pair of shower shoes or flip flops to wear in such places.
- Avoid sharing towels or clothing.
- Avoid long periods with wet feet.
- Wash your feet daily with water and mild soap. Dry them well.
- If you are going to be in conditions where you might be exposed to athlete’s foot, then you might want to spray your shoes with an antifungal foot spray or powder.
Begin by treating your athlete’s foot with over-the-counter medications that include such ingredients as miconazole, terbinafine, clotrimazole, butenafine, or tolnaftate
If these don’t clear up the symptoms, a visit to your dermatologist may be the next step. Your doctor may prescribe prescription strength topical creams, steroid medication, antifungal medication, or even oral antibiotics
Left untreated, athlete’s foot can worsen and you can have more severe complications if a secondary bacterial infection develops. When this happens your foot might be swollen, painful, and hot. You should contact your dermatologist for treatment.
Additionally, if you have diabetes or other conditions that lower your immunity, you should see your dermatologist if you have athlete’s foot symptoms.