Fungal foot infections can leave your feet feeling itchy, sore and uncomfortable. It can also cause breaks in the skin that make you vulnerable to infection.
Athlete’s foot, otherwise known as tinea pedis, is a common fungal foot infection affecting the outer layer of the skin, often around the bottom of the foot and between the toes. It presents as uncomfortable or itchy patches of skin that can look like small peeling bubbles, scales or like your skin is very dry. Your feet may appear red or develop an unpleasant odour, and the skin may break down, which can cause pain or stinging.
Despite the term Athlete’s foot, anyone can develop this infection if they come into contact with the fungus that causes it, which often spreads in warm and wet environments like showers, changing rooms and public pools.
Unlike fungal nail infections that penetrate deep into the nail and beneath the nail plate which can make the fungus difficult to reach, Athlete’s foot fungal infections stay on the outer skin layer and so can be treated using topical products.
We offer tineaderm as one of our solutions for treating Athlete’s foot. This is an antifungal powder applied to the feet and inside the shoes. We pair this with taking precautions to remove the feet from the warm and moist situations that fungus thrives in by keeping them well dried, aired and clean. Examples include:
As your feet spend so much time in shoes, this is a key place that can harbour fungus. This is why we also complete UV light sanitisation for footwear at our clinic during your appointment. During this time, we’ll also confirm your diagnosis, ensuring that your symptoms are due to a fungal foot infection and not something else.
Yes, Athlete’s foot is contagious and can spread to other members of your household without treatment.
Your Athlete’s foot infection won’t ‘come back’ per se, but you can catch it again, either from someone in your family or from another source. To help prevent re-infection, make sure to treat everyone in your household who has Athlete’s foot at the same time, and protect your feet by wearing thongs in public showers, changing areas, pool areas, and the like.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t. If nothing changes, your Athlete’s foot infection will likely continue to have everything it needs to keep spreading and persisting as it feeds on the keratin in your skin.
Both infections are caused by a type of fungus called a dermatophyte. The two conditions have very different treatments, however, and powders won’t work for fungal nail infections. To read about how we treat fungal nail infections, click here.