East Coast Podiatry
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Last Updated: 13 Sep 2021

Athletes Foot

Athletes Foot

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is the most common type of fungal skin infection and usually presents as a rash on the skin of the foot. There are three main types of athlete’s foot:

Toe web infection
  • Occurs between the fourth and fifth toes
  • Presents as skin that is red, scaly, and cracked
  • Burning sensation between toes
  • Presence of odour or discharge release
  • Individuals with secondary bacterial infections will experience further skin breakdown
Moccasin infection
  • Occurs across the sole
  • Starts as sore or dry skin on the foot before thickening and cracking
  • May spread to the toenails
Vesicular infection
  • Can occur anywhere on the foot but most commonly between the toes or on the sole
  • Usually starts with an itchy or painful outbreak of blisters
  • Popped blisters are susceptible to bacterial infections

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is caused by an overgrowth of tinea, a contagious fungal infection. Fungi grow best in warm, wet places on the body and often thrive in Singapore due to the moist and humid environment.

It is important to note that fungal infections are transmissible between individuals. Factors that can lead to a tinea pedis infection include:

  • walking barefoot on moist wet surfaces such as those near swimming pools or in locker rooms
  • coming into contact with an infected person
  • coming into contact with a contaminated surface

If your immune system is weakened due to autoimmune diseases, diabetes or medical treatments such as chemotherapy, please seek prompt treatment if you notice any signs of athlete’s foot. Left untreated, there is a high risk that the fungus will spread to other parts of your body, weakening you further and making you more susceptible to other infections.

How Do You Treat Athlete’s Foot?

Home remedies such as talcum powder or vinegar foot soaks may be used to treat mild cases of athlete’s foot. However, If the administration of such home remedies does not yield effective results, or if the problem seems to be worsening, speak to a podiatrist for specialised advice and treatment.

Podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat lower limb conditions, including fungal infections like athlete’s foot. A thorough examination will be conducted before suitable treatment in the form of topical, oral medication, and antimicrobial therapy is prescribed. Your podiatrist will also provide appropriate advice to speed up the healing process and prevent your infection from worsening.

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