Athlete’s foot or Tinea is a fungal infection of the skin that predominately occurs in between toes but can occur anywhere on the foot.
Commonly the skin involved may be red, swollen and may contain sticky fluid. Tinea can occur between the toes in the arch of the foot or all over the bottom surface of the foot. Symptoms include dry and itchy lesions. Patients often report a burning or stinging sensation. A common associated condition with Tinea is a fungal nail infection.
Many people have the fungus present on their skin but are unaffected by the microscopic organism. Conditions such as cracks or cuts in the skin allow entry for the fungus.
Fungi thrive on moist, warm environments. Which is why this condition usually occurs in between toes due to an accumulation of moisture.
It may also spread between individuals. Commonly tinea can be found in moist environments such as in bathrooms, showers, swimming pools and changing rooms. Not changing your socks on a regular basis can also encourage the build up of fungi in between the toes. People with excessively sweaty feet are more prone to this condition.
Your podiatrist will diagnosis athlete’s foot after conducting a physical examination of your feet.
Usually an anti-fungal cream or ointment applied to the affected area for 2 weeks will resolve the problem. Depending on the severity of the case, the medication will be available by prescription or over-the-counter. In certain cases, oral medications will be prescribed.
If left untreated the condition can spread to other parts of the foot, hands and can even affect the face. Although uncommon, athlete’s foot can lead to cellulitis, a more serious bacterial skin infection of the foot that can spread up the leg.