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Athlete’s foot is a common dermatological infection of the feet caused by a variety of fungi. The most common symptoms are cracked, flaking, peeling skin between the toes along with redness and itching. You may feel burning or stinging, and there may be blisters, oozing, or crusting. In addition to the toes, the symptoms may also occur on the heels, palms, and between the fingers.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a contagious fungus that thrives in warm and moist areas such as locker room floors, showers, or swimming pools. It gets its informal name because it occurs frequently when feet are sweaty feet in tight-fitting shoes, such as athletes’ feet. Once infected, the fungus typically begins spreading from between the toes.

How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot

Because the fungus thrives in warm moist environments, it’s best to keep your feet from these situations. This means keeping your feet dry, clean, and cool. Change your socks if they are sweaty, wear breathable athletic sneakers, and let shoes dry before wearing them again. You should also avoid walking barefoot in locker rooms or public showers since the condition is infectious.

Athlete’s Foot Treatment

Athlete’s foot is usually managed through the application of over-the-counter antifungal powders or creams. Severe, ongoing infections that don’t respond after two to four weeks of self-care, and frequently recurring athlete’s foot, may require further treatment.

A Dermatologist can prescribe stronger prescription antifungal medications if needed. Antibiotics may also be necessary to treat secondary bacterial infections that occur in addition to the fungus (for example, from scratching). After examining your particular condition, our Board-Certified Dermatologists will suggest a method of athlete’s foot treatment best suited for your symptoms.

Please contact Alaska Center for Dermatology to assist with athlete’s foot treatment.