By Dr. Ken Lefkowitz
#Athletesfoot is a rash that develops on the skin of the foot due to a fungal infection in the top layer of skin. Most people recognize it as dry, peeling skin on the underside of the feet and around the toes, but there are actually three different types of fungus that can occur in different regions and cause different symptoms. Dry and cracking skin (especially in warm, wet places such as in between the toes), blisters, and thickening of the skin and toenails are all recognized symptoms of some form of athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot is easily spread, especially in places such as a karate dojo or locker room where you are likely to be walking barefoot. You can even contract athlete’s foot by briefly touching your foot to the foot of someone who has it. The fungi can then begin to grow in your shoes, especially if they are tight and air cannot move around inside. If your feet touch something with athlete’s foot fungi on it but you do not become infected, you can still spread it to other people. For reasons unknown, some people are more prone to infection than others, and those who have already had athlete’s foot are more likely to develop it upon contact with the fungus.
Most of the time, athlete’s foot can be treated by a combination of over-the-counter anti-fungal creams and sprays and good hygiene. Wearing sandals and shoes with a lot of ventilation can speed up the disappearance of the fungus, which can take several weeks. In more severe cases, the attention of a podiatrist may be necessary. To learn more ways to prevent athlete’s foot or to begin a treatment routine, visit Quality Foot Care located in Doylestown. Call 215-230-9707 to set up an appointment this spring.