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Athlete’s Foot

The Condition

Tinea pedis, also commonly referred to as athlete’s foot, is a fungal infection that occurs in the skin of the feet. Fungus grows well in dark, warm and moist locations. Unfortunately our shoes are the perfect host environment for these types of infections to flourish. Our feet are subject to repeated contamination and exposure to these organisms, resulting in skin infections of varying severity.

The Treatment

The fungal infection can be cured with a topical or oral medication prescription from your foot and ankle specialist. Many over-the-counter treatments exist, but typically a prescription medication works best. The location and severity of the infection dictate the treatment used. Prevention of the infection is possible if proper steps are taken. One method of prevention involves using the SteriShoe ultraviolet shoe sanitizer. This is the only clinically proven product that safely and effectively sanitizes the inside of shoes by using germicidal ultraviolet (UVC) light. The SteriShoe sanitizer safely and effectively kills microorganisms in your shoes, so your feet have a clean place to enjoy the day. JCMG Podiatry has this product available for our patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fungal infections occur with greater frequency in warmer weather environments and can be associated with use of pools, public showers and even locker rooms. It is caused by a microscopic organism that infects the skin and causes the associated symptoms.
Most commonly athlete’s foot presents as scaly skin to the plantar aspect (bottom) of the foot. The infection can also occur between the toes and causes the skin to look very wet and macerated. In more severe cases small blisters may develop on the bottom of the feet. Athlete’s foot is often mistaken by patients as dry skin.
Yes, it is contagious. The fungal infection can spread to other parts of your body including your toenails.
Proper foot hygiene is essential. Avoid barefooted walking in public places where the infection can be contracted. Wash and dry your feet well daily. Make sure to thoroughly clean between your toes with soap and water. Change your socks and, if possible, change your shoes during the day to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
It is possible that cracking and peeling of the skin may occur with this fungal infection. Therefore, if the fungal infection goes untreated, a bacterial infection can occur simultaneously and cause even more severe problems. It is best to seek treatment and eradicate the infection as soon as possible.