Warm, moist shoes along with shower surfaces and pool decks are common sites for the athlete's foot fungus to live. Simple, preventative measures provide the best treatment.
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the foot that causes buring and itching, and may create cracks and blisters around the toes.
It thrives in warm, moist environments such as the inside of a shoe or locker room floor. A contagious condition, athlete's foot requires treatment to alleviate the symptoms and remove the fungus from the foot.
Cracking and peeling skin between the toes or around the sides of the foot is the most common symptom of athlete's foot. Other common symptoms may include the following:
- Burning, stinging sensations
- Itchy, red skin
- Oozing blisters
Visit your doctor to discuss the treatment options that are most appropriate for your condition. Over-the-counter creams to eliminate the fungus are common initial treatments. Prevention and care for your feet will also provide relief. Actions include:
- Clean socks. Natural cotton or moisture-wicking type socks will help keep sweat and moisture away from the foot. Frequently changing your socks will also help keep your feet dry.
- Foot wash. Carefully clean your feet on a daily basis, scrubbing from heel to toe. Pay careful attention to cleaning between the toes as well. Soap with tea tree oil (a naturally occuring anti-fungal) will enhance this.
- Shoe treatments. Using a shoe sanitizer, whether a spray or ultraviolet light, will eliminate fungus and bacteria living inside the shoes, along with eliminating odors.
Prevention is the best medicine for athlete's foot. However, if you develop athlete's foot, a foot and ankle expert can identify your best treatment options.