Treating Athletes Foot

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With fall comes school and with school usually comes sports. One of the issues our children need to be aware of is contacting something called athletes foot. What is athlete’s foot? It is a condition also known as tinea pedis that is caused by a fungus.

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include:

  • Red rash – Usually between your toes

  • Itchiness – Especially noticed when you take off your shoes or socks

  • Dry, peeling skin – Part of the itchiness

  • Discolored toenails – A sign of a fungal infection

Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be acquired by:

  • Walking barefoot in public showers, pools or locker rooms – Wear sandals

  • Sharing towels, socks or shoes – Easily spread

  • Having wet, moist socks – Nurtures fungus

  • Not drying your feet after a shower or bath – Take your time and care for your feet

Preventing athlete’s foot is really just taking care of your feet and being aware of your surroundings, suggestions include:

  • Wash and dry your feet  - Especially after all athletic or sports activities

  • Wear sandals – Especially in public pools, locker rooms, saunas or showers

  • Wear dry socks – Change socks if needed

  • Use anti-fungal foot powder – Apply after showering or bathing

  • Wear light, well ventilated footwear – Be careful with leather footwear which tends to make feet sweat

  • Alternate shoes – Allows shoes to dry

While some cases of athlete’s foot can be treated with over the counter medicine, the best thing to do is see your podiatrist who will diagnose and treat accordingly. Your podiatrist may need to prescribe topical or oral anti-fungal medicine. Oral antibiotics for infections or a type of steroid to treat inflammation. In any case, treatment is very important as the athlete’s foot fungus can spread to your hands, fingernails and groin.

Laurel Podiatry has many ways to keep your feet healthy and treatments for all types of conditions including shockwave and MLS laser therapy, stem cell therapy, surgery, neuropathic pain management, in house x-rays and auto-immunizations among others are all available. If you have any questions about the above or concerns about your feet contact us at one of our 4 offices in Greensburg, Somerset, Mount Pleasant or Shadyside, PA and make an appointment with Dr. Shawn P. Echard, DPM at 724-832-7880 for the latest in podiatric treatment.