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Conditions Treated

Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Athlete’s Foot – Podiatrist in NYC

What is it?

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is caused by several types of fungal organisms. People often have an itching sensation and cracking, peeling or scaly skin. Athlete’s foot commonly presents in the space between the toes but can be more widespread and even cause blistering.

Cause

Athlete’s foot is caused by fungi.  These organisms thrive in a moist and warm environment including certain parts of the body as well as the shoes and socks.

Potential Risk Factors for Athlete’s Foot:

  • Males are more likely to develop an athlete’s foot.
  • Frequently wear damp socks or tight-fitting shoes.
  • Sharing mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes, or shoes with someone who has a fungal infection.
  • Walking barefoot in public areas where the infection can spread, such as locker rooms, saunas, swimming pools, communal baths, and showers.
  • Having a minor skin or nail injury on your foot. 

Methods of Prevention for Athlete’s Foot:

  • Keeping your feet dry.
  • Wearing clean socks.
  • Wearing light shoes.
  • Changing your shoes regularly.
  • Covering your feet in public places. 
  • Not sharing your shoes with other people.

Common Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot:

  • Itching or burning on the soles of your feet or in between toes.
  • Blisters that itch.
  • Peeling skin on your soles or between toes.
  • Dry skin on your soles or sides of your feet. 
  • Raw skin on your feet. 
  • Discolored, thick, or crumbly toenails. 
  • Toenails that pull away from the nail bed.

Treatment

Diagnosis is typically made based on history, symptoms and visual exam.  Scrapings of the involved area may need to be obtained for pathology analysis. Prescription antifungal medications are the most effective way to treat tinea pedis. Often, topical medications are only needed but severe cases require oral medications. The treatment of Athlete’s foot depends on reducing skin moisture. Shoes should be rotated, and socks should be changed frequently. Feet should be thoroughly dried. Sprays and powders can be helpful.  Chronic Athlete’s foot can also result in Dermatitis, requiring additional treatment.

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