As kids return to school it’s not unusual for dermatologists to see an increase in athlete’s foot-and it not just athletes who get it. People of all ages are at risk of this common infection. The experts at Affiliated Dermatology can discuss what athlete’s foot is, how it spreads and how to treat it.

What is athlete’s foot?

  • A common fungal infection caused by fungi that thrive in warm, moist environments.
  • Symptoms depend on the type of infection you have (there are four types of athlete’s foot) and can include burning, itching feet; flaky skin; and red, blistery rashes.

How does athlete’s foot spread?

  • Through direct contact with the infection and by skin particles left on floors, towels and shoes.
  • Most people get athlete’s foot by walking barefoot in places like locker rooms and public swimming pools or by sharing towels or socks with someone who has it.

How is athlete’s foot treated?

  • Over-the-counter antifungal products like powder, creams and sprays can be effective if used early.
  • Thoroughly wash and dry feet every morning and evening.
  • Change socks and shoes daily.
  • If symptoms don’t improve or get worse, you may need to see a dermatologist who can prescribe an antibiotic. 

How can you prevent athlete’s foot?

  • Avoid going barefoot at public pools, gyms, locker rooms and hotel rooms. Wear flip-flops when showering.
  • Keep your feet dry.
  • Wash your feet daily and thoroughly dry them.
  • Wear socks made of natural fabrics or fabrics that wick moisture away.
  • Alternate your shoes each day.
  • Take off shoes and socks when you get home.
  • Never share towels, socks or shoes.

Still Not Sure? Call Your Dermatologist

In conclusion, athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that can worsen if not properly treated. If you can not successfully control the condition, then it’s time to visit the dermatology office. Contact Affiliated Dermatology today!

Originally published by Charlotte Shaff for My Local News – Arizona. “Athlete’s Foot: Not Just For Athletes – Why It’s Important to ‘Air Out’ Your Feet.” September 9, 2018.