Athletes foot, also known as Tinea Pedis, is a common fungal skin infection of the feet.
Symptoms of Athletes Foot:
• Most often found between the toes due to higher levels of moisture which can occur in this area, but can infect any part of the foot.
• Symptoms often include redness, scaling or cracking of skin, and itching. Blistering of the skin is less common.
• Athletes Foot can also spread to toenails and cause Fungal Nail infections.
How to treat Athletes Foot:
Athletes Foot will often respond well to over the counter medication, which will normally contain antifungal medication such as Terbinafine or Clotrimazole, and comes in spray, cream or powder forms.
These medications are not always suitable for everyone, some may only be used in adults and not children, and some will not be recommended for people with certain medical conditions, or on certain medication, so always check with the pharmacist as to whether the product is suitable.
It is normally recommended that treatment is carried out for about 4 – 6 weeks depending on the product chosen. The inside of footwear should also be sprayed with an antifungal spray otherwise the spores may remain in the material and re infect the foot.
You should consider seeing your GP if:
• Over the counter medication does not work.
• Your foot has become red, hot, swollen or painful – as this could be a sign of a more serious infection.
• You have diabetes – due to an increased risk of foot problems developing.
• You have a weakened immune system or are on immunosuppressant medication.
• You are in a lot of discomfort.
Your GP can take a small skin scraping and prescribe other medication to use alongside antifungal medication. They can also refer you to a dermatologist for more tests and treatment if needed.
Things to do to prevent Athletes Foot:
• Good foot hygiene is key to preventing Athletes Foot, including daily foot washing.
• Always dry feet after washing, particularly between the toes, you should dab them dry rather than rubbing.
• Always use a separate towel for feet and wash it regularly, and do not share with other members of your household.
• Try to reduce the amount of moisture between the toes and the feet generally, by wearing socks made of either cotton or a moisture wicking material and change them daily.
• Avoid tight fitting footwear that makes the feet hot and encourages more sweating.
• Do not walk around barefoot, especially in places like changing rooms and showers, it is sensible to wear a pair of flip flops.
When to consult a Podiatrist:
If you need help or advice regarding treatment for Athletes Foot, you should consult a Podiatrist who is registered with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) which is the national regulating body, or your GP. The HCPC online register is available at https://www.hcpc-uk.org
We here at Body Consultancy are available for no charge during Coronavirus Epidemic period for free of charge telephone consultations, please call us up on the numbers provided on this site. Please see our Covid19 reception opening times and the email address for out of hours working.
Sam Moore Podiatrist