Athlete’s foot is a common fungus. But what does that mean? Let’s check out the technicalities.
Athlete’s foot is also known as tinea pedis. It’s similar to ringworm and jock itch. It is contagious, but can be treated with over-the-counter medications. It is caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. They always are living on your skin, but they don’t grow as long as your skin stays dry and clean. When your skin becomes a damp, closed environment, that’s when the problems begin.
These dermatophytes love tight shoes that squish the toes together to create warm, moist areas between them, damp socks and humid conditions. They are partial to plastic shoes. Athlete’s foot is also more common in men.
Anyone can pick up athlete’s foot. It is as easy as coming in contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces like floors (locker rooms, saunas, pools and showers), clothes, shoes or bed linens.
If you think you have athlete’s foot, you may have the following symptoms:
- Burning, stinging and itching between your toes
- Burning, stinging and itching on the soles of your feet
- Blisters that itch
- Peeling and cracking skin between your toes and the soles of your feet
- Vast amounts of dry skin on the bottoms or sides of your feet
- Thick, crumbly, ragged, discolored toenails
Or if your foot looks like this, you may have athlete’s foot.
If you have been treating athlete’s foot with over-the-counter medications and the symptoms do not improve or worsen, go see your medical dermatologist.
You can make an appointment at Water’s Edge Dermatology with one of our clinics.