Athlete’s foot is a skin infection caused by fungus. A fungal infection can occur on any part of the body. Athlete’s Foot or Tinea Pedis is the name given to a fungal infection of the foot. It is common in the feet, because shoes provide a moist environment, which is a breeding ground for fungus.
Florida’s warm weather makes people’s feet tend to sweat more, thereby making it a more conducive environment to grow fungus. Fungus thrives in damp areas such as swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms. Athletes commonly have sweaty feet and use the facilities where fungus is commonly found, thus the term “athlete’s foot.”
Athlete’s foot typically produces dry, flaky, itchy, scaling skin, commonly seen on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. In some more advanced cases,cracks, blisters and inflammation may form. If the skin barrier is compromised, an infection caused by bacteria can also result. Fungus is contagious and can spread to other areas of the body, including toenails.
Avoidance of barefoot walking, combined with good foot hygiene can help reduce the occurrence and spread of fungus. Patients should wash their feet daily, with soap and water. It is also important to dry your feet thoroughly, including in between the toes. Feet should be kept as dry as possible. If your feet sweat a lot, changing your socks during the day can help. Anti-fungal powders, sprays, and/or creams are often utilized to treat athlete’s foot. In more advanced cases, prescription-strength medications may be necessary. If you are concerned that you have Athlete’s foot, contact The Foot and Ankle Center of Cape Coral to schedule an appointment.