What is Athlete’s Foot and How Do I Avoid It?


Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the foot that can lead to severe itching, dry or blistering skin, and redness.  The two most common types of athlete’s foot are moccasin distribution and interdigital.  Moccasin distribution demonstrates as a dry, flaking, red skin on the bottom and sides of the foot.  Interdigital athlete’s foot develops between the toes and can lead to wet/macerated and itching between the toes.  The athlete’s foot between the toes creates more of problem for the patient because this type can lead to a more serious bacterial infection (especially in the diabetic population.

mocassin tinea

interdigital tinea

Athlete’s foot infection between the toes

Feet are predisposed to this type of infection because fungus thrives in warm, dark, moist environments such as the shoe.  Athlete’s foot is also commonly transmitted in bathrooms, pool, changing rooms, airports, or anywhere where you walk barefoot.  If athlete’s foot is not treated in a timely fashion, it can spread to the toenails and cause infection in the nail.

Fortunately athlete’s foot, unlike nail fungus, is very responsive to the topical medications that we have available.  Based on the location of your skin infection, we will recommend the best treatment option for you.  Managing athlete’s foot between the toes requires a different treatment plan than on the bottom of the foot.  Contact one of our physicians for more information if you think you have athlete’s foot.

Let’s discuss some of the ways for you to help prevent athlete’s foot:

  1. Alternate your shoes each day.
  2. Don’t’ walk barefoot in public areas such as locker rooms, pool decks, or public showers (you may not have an option at the airport security line)
  3. Change your socks daily
  4. Inspect your feet daily for these signs or symptoms!


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