Tinea Pedis — aka athlete’s foot — is a very common fungal infection that can affect anyone. Although it’s named after more active folks — athletes — as they are often more likely to contract the fungus, anyone who frequents public places, such as locker rooms, gyms, swimming pools and shared showers, can find themselves with the fungus.
Athlete’s foot can also be caused by sweaty feet, wearing wet shoes or socks for long periods of time, wearing tight, closed toe shoes, or sharing towels or socks with an infected person.
If you have itching, stinging or burning anywhere on your feet, particularly in between your toes or on the bottoms of your feet, you might have athlete’s foot. Other symptoms that might indicate you have the fungus include dry, cracked or peeling skin; discoloured toenails or toenails that pull away easily from the nail bed; or itchy blisters or rasa skin on the feet. At our Toronto podiatry clinic, we can help fix toenails that are particularly damaged by athlete’s foot.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your podiatrist for a confirmed diagnosis. Although athlete’s foot isn’t serious, you might need a prescription medication such as an anti fungal to get rid of the fungus entirely.
In the meantime, if you do suspect you have athlete’s foot, avoid sharing towels, socks and nail clippers and if you live with family members, reduce the spread of the fungus by using your own shower mat and cleaning the shower stall or bathtub after each use.
To prevent further cases of athlete’s foot, our downtown Toronto foot clinic recommends the following:
- Wash and dry your feet thoroughly after bathing
- Use an antifungal powder on your feet if you’re prone to athlete’s foot
- Wear sandals or flip flops at public pools, locker rooms and public showers
- Wear breathable socks, made from cotton or wicking material, and change your socks if you have sweaty feet
- Alternate between two pairs of shoes so that you’re not wearing the same shoes everyday, giving your footwear a chance to breathe and dry out
- Never share towels, socks, toenail clippers or pedicure tools
If you’d like more information about what you can do to treat or prevent athlete’s foot, contact our podiatry clinic today.