Athlete’s Foot and Fungal Infections

Who gets athlete’s foot and how do you get it?
Athlete’s foot, or Tinea Pedis, is a common fungal infection of the skin. Athlete’s foot can also be passed on from person to person. For example, this may occur in communal showers used by athletes or swimmers.

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?
The skin between the toes (usually the little toes) tends to be affected at first. A rash develops that becomes itchy and scaly. The skin may become cracked and sore. Tiny flakes of infected skin may fall off. The rash may spread gradually along the toes if left untreated. In some cases it spreads to the soles of the feet.

Is athlete’s foot serious?
Usually not. Most people treat their itchy toes before it spreads. Sometimes the infection spreads to the skin on other parts of the body. These are usually the moist and airless parts of the skin such as the groin. Fungi do not usually go deeper than the skin into the body. However, other germs (bacteria) may enter through the cracked skin of untreated athlete’s foot. This can occasionally cause more serious infections of the foot or leg (such as cellulitis of the leg). It is best to treat athlete’s foot as soon as symptoms start.

What is the treatment for athlete’s foot?
You can buy OTC antifungal creams from your local pharmacy. We can also prescribe medication based on your needs and the specific infection. Modern creams are good at clearing the fungus and as such, antifungal tablet are rarely used for tinea pedis.