Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the foot. Fungi love dark, moist places such as inside shoes or between the toes. Athlete’s foot is more common in people whose feet are sweaty or who do not change socks or shoes regularly. More people complain of this problem during the summer, when the temperature favors fungi to grow. Some individuals are also more susceptible to contracting it than others based on their immune system.
Athlete’s foot causes the skin to be moist and crack between the toes. There can also be redness and itching, even on other areas of the foot. Athlete’s foot can also make the feet dry and scaly. Sometimes a bacterial infection on the foot or in between the toes can result if the condition is not treated. Since there are many different fungi that cause athlete’s foot, blisters or weeping sores can also be the result of this condition. A fungal culture is a good way to determine what organism is causing the problem.
Often people will put moisturizing cream or Vaseline on their feet thinking that the scaling and cracking is due to dry skin. When the dryness and cracking does not go away, they think that nothing can be done.
The first piece of advice I give my patients is to alternate shoes from day to day and fumigate infected shoes with antifungal spray like our in-office Refresher Spray. Changing socks twice a day to decrease foot moisture also works very well. If I have a patient with sweaty feet, I would recommend they buy our drying spray to decrease the chance of athlete’s foot coming back down the road. There are many antifungal creams and ointments that can be bought in stores, in our office, or given by prescription. If all else fails, there are oral antifungal medications that can be prescribed by our office.