A red, scaly rash that begins between your toes may be a common condition called athlete’s foot. Board-certified Bruni Leka, DPM, diagnoses and treats athlete’s foot in patients of all ages at her practice, Foot and Ankle Excellence, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Athlete’s foot is contagious and may be difficult to cure on your own. Call or book an appointment online to treat athlete’s foot today.
Also called tinea pedis, athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that affects the skin on your feet, usually starting between the toes. This type of fungal infection most often attacks the feet because fungi thrive in moist, warm, and dark places like the inside of sweaty shoes.
Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
Athlete’s foot may spread to other parts of the feet. When the infection spreads to the toenails, it’s called toenail fungus.
Different types of fungi, including molds and yeasts, can cause athlete’s foot. Warm and damp areas like locker rooms, swimming pool decks, and showers are ideal breeding grounds for fungi. Though you don’t have to be an athlete to get athlete’s foot, this condition is very common among people who frequent these places.
Athlete’s foot is contagious. You can get athlete’s foot from direct contact with an infected person or through contaminated surfaces, including floors, shoes, and towels. Certain factors may increase your risk of getting athlete’s foot, including wearing damp socks and shoes that are too tight.
Scratching or picking at athlete’s foot and then touching yourself elsewhere can cause the infection to spread. Fungal infections may spread to the soles of your feet, toenails, or other parts of your body.
First, Dr. Leka thoroughly reviews your symptoms and medical history and examines your foot. She may take a skin test to confirm you have a fungal infection. This involves taking a small sample of skin from the infected area and either examining it under a microscope or sending it to a lab for testing.
Then, Dr. Leka recommends the best treatment for your condition. Treatment for athlete’s foot often includes a prescription topical or oral antifungal medication. Dr. Leka also advises you on how to care for your feet at home, including keeping them clean and dry and using foot powder in your shoes and socks.
If you have an unusual rash that may be athlete’s foot, call Foot and Ankle Excellence or book an appointment online today.