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Athletes foot (Tinea Pedis)

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What is Athletes foot?

Athlete’s foot is a very common fungal infection that affects people’s feet, and not just athletes. We all have fungus on our skin, but an infection is when it gets out of control in a certain area.

Most commonly on the feet, it occurs between the toes as a soft area of skin that is often smelly and itchy. It may also present as dry, red or white skin or as pustules which are small blisters and it can occur anywhere on the feet.

How can I help myself?

The fungus thrives in moist, dark and warm conditions which are the same conditions found in a shoe or sock. These fungi are excellent at living on humans as they live off the keratin protein in our skin cells.

If you are suffering, then the first thing to address is proper hygiene, washing and especially drying the feet and between the toes properly. Changing socks and if possible footwear several times a day, and alternating footwear to allow it to dry properly is also key.

Washing your socks above 40 degrees may help, and spraying your footwear with an athlete’s foot spray. There is also a large range of anti-fungal treatments available for you to buy at any pharmacist. These include powders, sprays and creams, some designed for the skin others for footwear or socks.

When to see a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist will be able to assess and diagnose this skin condition. It is worth booking an appointment if the problem is not resolving with simple home treatments, if you are in pain or if the skin is split or bleeding.

A Podiatrist will also be able to discuss other treatment options if needed as well as manage other conditions that can be associated, such as a corn between the toes (known as a soft corn).

Athletes foot
Athletes foot