A chronic, contagious infection caused by various types of fungi known as dermatophytes, athlete's foot, or tinea pedis, does not affect only athletes. Athlete's foot usually starts between the toes or on the arches, but it can spread to the bottoms and sides of your feet. It can move to other parts of the body, making early diagnosis and treatment all the more important. Fungi can also affect toenails. More information on fungal nails and treatments available at New Orleans Podiatry Associates is on our Fungal Nails page. You may also learn more about the only PinPointe Laser Clinic in New Orleans--only at NOPA. This laser quickly eradicates fungi.
Causes of Athlete's Foot
- Direct contact with an infected person's feet
- Walking barefoot in places such as gyms, public showers, and swimming pools, warm and damp locations where fungi thrive
- Wearing contaminated shoes and socks
Symptoms of Athlete's Foot
- Itchy feet
- Mild scaling
- Painful inflammation, bleeding, and blisters, although these are symptoms are rare and indicative of severe cases
Because these symptoms overlap with those seen in non-fungal rashes caused by allergic reactions, psoriasis, yeast infections, or other conditions, it is important for you to visit a podiatrist. The doctor can run a simple test known as a potassium hydroxide preparation to determine for sure whether or not you have athlete's foot.
Treatments for Athlete's Foot
- For non-serious cases, over-the-counter powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat itching, scaling, and inflammation (Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication.)
- Foot soaks may help dry excessive perspiration, but you should contact our office first.
- Stronger, prescribed medication may be necessary to resolve serious cases.
Prevention of Athlete's Foot
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas such as pools and gyms. Make sure you wear socks to the airport so you're not barefoot when you have to take off your shoes.
- Bring your own implements (nail files, nail clippers) when you go to your nail salon unless you're completely confident the salon sterilizes its equipment or uses disposables.
- Keep your feet clean and dry. Wearing socks made of synthetic material and shoes that allow for proper ventilation will help.
- Periodically sprinkle anti-fungal powder in your shoes.
For more information on athlete's foot treatment, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates in New Orleans, LA, at (504) 897-3627. For the Metairie, LA, location, call (504) 457-2300.