What is an Athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a type of fungal infection that commonly affects the skin of the feet and usually presents as a rash.

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Overview

Athlete's foot is contagious and often spreads in warm and moist environments, such as locker rooms, public showers, and swimming pools. The infection typically presents as itchy, red, and cracked skin, especially between the toes. In some cases, blisters or ulcers may develop, and the infection can spread to other parts of the body.

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. These fungi thrive in warm and moist environment, making the feet, especially between the toes, a breeding ground.

It is important to note that fungal infections are transmissible between individuals. Some common causes of athlete's foot include:

  • Walking barefoot on moist and wet surfaces
  • Sharing personal items like towels, socks or shoes
  • Contaminated surfaces such as shower floors, locker rooms and swimming pool areas

Risk Factors

If you have a weakened immune system due to autoimmune diseases, diabetes or undergoing long-term procedures like chemotherapy, it is crucial to promptly seek podiatric care if you observe any signs of athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that, if left unaddressed, can spread to other parts of the body. This can further weaken your immune system and increasing susceptibility to other infections.

How To Manage Athlete’s Foot?

While home remedies like talcum powder or vinegar foot soaks may be effective in managing mild cases of athlete’s foot, it is crucial to consult with a foot specialist or podiatrist if these remedies are ineffective or if the infection worsens.

Podiatrists specialises in diagnosing and managing various lower limb conditions, including fungal infections like athlete’s foot. They conduct a thorough examination of the affected area to confirm the diagnosis, before prescribing the most suitable solution. This may include topical and oral medication, or antimicrobial therapy. Podiatrists can also offer guidance on accelerating the recovery process and preventing the infection from progressing.

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Common Symptoms

Scaly, peeling or cracked skin between the toes
Itchiness
Inflammation
Burning and tingling sensations
Blistering

How It Looks Like

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FAQs

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We visited East Coast podiatry Kembangan branch to consult for my son’s foot pain. Ms Ari Tria helped & recommended insoles for him which he was wearing for last one and half year. His foot pain is nearly gone & I recommend Ms Ari Tria for any podiatry related consultation & management.

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An ankle specialist, such as a podiatrist, will be able to perform a thorough foot assessment using diagnostic tools, such as a musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound to determine the source of your ankle pain. If surgery is required, your podiatrist will refer you to a trusted foot and ankle doctor for surgical solutions.

A thorough examination of the affected area

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