Athlete’s Foot – Not Just a Body Part

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No, we are not actually talking about a specific athlete’s foot. Actually, we are talking about the disease called Athlete’s Foot. Because of the name, you might think that it only applies to athletes, right? Well, let’s see how it might affect other people.

Actually, while the name of the disease does come from that explanation, it can affect just about anyone. The fungal disease (tinea pedis – the same strain that causes fungal toenails), is highly contagious. So while someone might not be an athlete, they can get it from a family member who IS one.

You see, it’s associated with athletes because they are usually the ones that spread it from person to person most easily. Many of them go barefoot in communal showers and locker rooms, which are the perfect breeding grounds for the fungus. All the fungus needs is a small break in the skin to infect the foot.

How will it affect me?

If your feet come in contact with someone who has a fungal infection, you are at risk of becoming infected. It can also transfer indirectly – by sharing a towel or shoes. In many cases, when caught early enough, you can treat it with simple topical medications and be done with the skin problem. However, when left untreated, it can infect the skin on the entire feet, covering them in a red, itchy, scaly rash.

Doesn’t sound like fun. How can I avoid it?

●       Good hygiene is key to preventing an infection. Wash your feet daily with soap and warm water. Treat and protect any wounds promptly.

●       Don’t share bath towels, socks, or shoes with a family member or roommate that has athlete’s foot.

●       Wear flip-flops or waterproof sandals whenever the floor might be damp – especially in places like community swimming pools or showers.

I think I have Athlete’s Foot. What now?

●       If it’s mild and just starting out, maybe in between the toes, use over-the-counter anti-fungal creams.

●       If the anti-fungal creams seem to be ineffective, come in to see us for possible oral medication or other more effective treatment options!

Tried the creams, but need more help? Make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Dr. Mark E. Reiner and the team of podiatrists will perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office to treat your feet and keep them fungus free! Call 800-737-3668 for questions, concerns or to schedule an appointment today!