Do’s and Don’ts for Dealing with Athlete’s Foot

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Athlete’s foot—also known as Tinea Pedia—is a skin disease that is very itchy and irritating. AT NY Foot Health, we believe that knowing more about athlete’s foot can help patients prevent it, or at least get relief from it fairly quickly. Below are some do’s and don’ts regarding this common podiatric ailment:

Do: learn to recognize the symptoms of athlete’s foot. An intensely itchy red rash that usually starts between the toes is the most recognizable symptom. Others include:

  • Dry looking skin

  • Scaling or peeling

  • Burning sensation

  • Blisters

  • Inflammation and/or swelling

Do: visit your podiatrist if you have symptoms of athlete’s foot. (If you need to find a podiatrist in your area, consult our online directory.) There are other conditions such as psoriasis and eczema whose symptoms can mimic athlete’s foot. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis because different conditions will require different treatments.

Don’t: delay seeking treatment. Athlete’s foot can spread to other parts of your foot, your toenails and even to other parts of your body if you scratch it and then touch somewhere else on your body. In addition, if the rash is severe, a secondary bacterial infection can develop as well.

Don’t: go barefoot in public places. Athlete’s foot is spread by direct contact and it thrives in warm, moist places such as gyms, community pools and public showers.

Do: change your socks as soon as you notice your feet are damp. Sweaty feet trapped in socks and closed shoes are the perfect breeding ground for athlete’s foot.

Do: practice good foot hygiene. Wash your feet daily and dry them completely—paying particular attention to the spaces between the toes. Apply a foot talcum powder daily before putting on your socks.

Do: wear synthetic blend socks that wick moisture away from the skin and shoes that allow your feet to breathe.

Don’t: stop taking any medication prescribed by the foot doctor for athlete’s foot before you’ve completed the full course. This can result in the infection returning.

To learn more about athlete’s foot and other foot conditions, contact us and subscribe to our free e-newsletter.