Attacking Athlete’s Foot
There are certain foot conditions that can benefit from home care, but it is still important to know when it is time to seek professional assistance at A Step Up Podiatry, LLC. A prime example of this is athlete’s foot. This common fungal infection causes irritating symptoms, but there is good news in the fact that athlete’s foot treatment is often effective and the infection can be prevented in the first place.
Athlete’s Foot Causes and Symptoms
We’ve already noted that this condition is a fungal infection, so it makes sense that it is caused by a type of fungus. In this case, the fungus is easily transferred to a human foot through contact with either an infected individual or a contaminated surface. The offensive microorganisms can often be found in warm, humid environments—human feet, locker room floors, indoor pool decks, and communal showering areas—or residing on materials that had touched them. Socks, shoes, and towels are often contaminated by someone who has the fungal infection.
Although there are others, the main athlete’s foot symptom is the itching, burning sensation it causes. Most case are accompanied by a scaly, red rash, and the symptoms usually begin between the toes before spreading across the foot. Some of the other symptoms include blisters, chronic dryness, and even ulcers, all of which are more typical for severe infections.
Because it has similar symptoms, this infection can be mistaken for dry skin or eczema. If you are unsure what is affecting your feet, schedule an appointment with our Manalapan, NJ podiatrist office and we can diagnose it for you.
This is a common fungal infection caused by a highly-contagious fungus, so anyone with feet has a potential risk of contracting it, but the condition is more often seen in men. Besides gender, some of the other risk factors include:
- Frequent wearing of tight-fitting shoes—particularly models that do not allow the feet to breathe—and damp socks.
- A weakened immune system that has an impaired ability to fight the infection.
- Walking in gym locker rooms, showering areas, and on indoor pool decks without adequate protection.
- Exposure to items—rugs, mats, towels, socks, shoes, and even bed linens—contaminated by an infected individual.
Treating Cases of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot can be irritating and even cause pain in some cases, but at least it is often treated effectively with over-the-counter antifungal products (powders, sprays, ointments). When you use one of these products, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Symptoms may clear up before the infection is completely treated.
While mild cases that are caught early typically benefit from home treatment for athlete’s foot, severe infections or ones that do not respond to over-the-counter products will likely need professional care. We can prescribe oral and/or topical medications that are stronger and will work.
Athlete’s Foot Prevention
Some of the top methods for preventing athlete’s foot are to:
- Keep your feet dry. Make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on your socks after a shower or bath. Give special attention to the areas between your toes. Unless you have diabetes, walk barefoot at home now and then to let the feet breathe, and change socks that become wet.
- Choose the right footwear. Socks with moisture-wicking properties and shoes constructed from materials that allow feet to breathe help promote dryness and deprive fungus of the moisture it needs to survive.
- Use antifungal products. These are great for treatment, but antifungal spray or powder can also be used daily in footwear and on feet to lower the risk of an infection.
- Protect your feet. While in the gym locker room or on a pool deck, wear shower shoes or sandals to keep your feet safe.
Professional Athlete’s Foot Treatment in Manalapan, NJ
Most cases of athlete’s foot can be treated on your own, but severe, stubborn infections may require professional treatment. When this is the case, contact A Step Up Podiatry, LLC and we can provide the care you need. For additional information, give our Manalapan, NJ podiatrist office a call at (732) 446-7136 or schedule your appointment online today.