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About Athlete’s Foot 

Athlete’s foot develops when the skin is moist, warm, and irritated — so it’s most common in people whose feet become sweaty because of tight-fitting footwear. Athlete’s foot can be uncomfortable, but it’s easily treatable for most patients. 

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What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

Trichophyton is the fungus responsible for athlete’s foot. This fungus exists naturally on the skin and it does not cause any harm as long as the skin is dry and clean. However, when the conditions become damp and warm, the fungus can rapidly multiply and cause irritation. 

Why Trichophyton Turns Into Athlete’s Foot 

Tight, thick shoes are the most common cause of athlete’s foot because they tend to make the feet warm and sweaty. This is the ideal environment for the trichophyton fungus. In addition, walking barefoot in public areas like locker rooms, swimming pools, and communal showers greatly increases the risk of becoming infected with athlete’s foot. Making contact with towels, shoes, and other items that are contaminated with the fungus can lead to infection as well. Our foot fungus treatment in Newport Beach can help handle athletes foot quickly and easily. 

Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot so that you can recognize it right away. It usually looks like a red, scaly rash and typically develops between the toes, although it can spread to the rest of the feet as well. The affected skin is dry, flaky, and sometimes cracked. Most people experience itching, stinging, and burning feelings around the infected skin. With some forms of athlete’s foot, the infection can cause the skin to swell or ooze, and blisters or ulcers may also form. Some varieties of athlete’s foot can cause dryness and scaling on the sole and side of the foot, which may be mistaken for eczema.

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What Complications Can Occur?

  • Infected toenails: Athlete’s foot may spread and cause serious complications if it goes untreated. Severe cases of athlete’s foot can affect the toenails, making them thick and discolored. The nails may even crumble or pull away from the nail bed. 
  • Infected hands: Athlete’s foot may spread to the hands if the hands are not washed immediately after touching infected feet.
  • Bacterial infection: Athlete’s foot can increase the risk of a bacterial infection. If the infected skin cracks or blisters, bacteria can enter the foot and cause pain, swelling, and other issues. 
  • Cellulitis: If the bacteria that enters the infected skin reaches deeply enough, it can cause cellulitis, which can result in bone infections or blood poisoning. This is very rare, but it requires immediate treatment with antibiotics. 
  • Infected lymph system: If the untreated fungal infection spreads to the lymph system, it can cause lymphangitis (an infection of the lymph vessels) or lymphadenitis (an infection of the lymph nodes).
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Foot Fungus Treatment for Athlete’s Foot

Mild cases of athlete’s foot can usually be treated with over-the-counter medications (clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, and miconazole) to fight off the infection and ease the symptoms. More severe cases of athlete’s foot may require prescription anti-fungal medication.

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Tips for Home Care

There are home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help treat and prevent athlete’s foot:

  • Wash your feet frequently with soap and warm water.
  • If you have blisters, soak your feet in a saltwater solution to help them heal.
  • Make sure your feet are dry at all times. After washing, dry them thoroughly with a towel, paying close attention to the area between your toes.
  • Wear clean cotton socks and change them frequently.
  • Avoid sharing towels with others.
  • Wash towels regularly to remove any fungus or bacteria.
  • Whenever possible, wear loose-fitting shoes to prevent your feet from sweating. Leather and canvas are usually the best footwear options for preventing or treating athlete’s foot.
  • Once the infection clears up, continue following these steps to avoid another infection.
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FAQ

Does athlete’s foot only affect athletes?

Is athlete’s foot contagious?

Does athlete’s foot only affect athletes?

Despite the name, not only athletes get athlete’s foot. Anyone can develop the infection, especially those who frequently wear tight-fitting shoes or wear damp socks.

Is athlete’s foot contagious?

Athlete’s foot is mildly contagious, and it is possible to catch the infection from someone else.

Foot & Ankle Specialty Group

for Athlete’s Foot Treatment

If you’re seeking foot fungus treatment in Rancho Santa Margarita and Newport Beach Area, our team at Foot & Ankle Specialty Group has you covered. In business for 20 years, we are a modern, family-friendly podiatry office, proudly serving families, individuals, and athletes of all ages. Founded by Dr. Salma Aziz, D.P.M, M.S. and including Dr. Petrina Yokay and Dr. Jessica Arneson, our practice is about getting people back to activity. We are a nurturing female doctor group that will provide excellent treatment and follow up with care.

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