Itchy, dry, scaly feet, along with itching and burning between the toes, are the earmarks of the fungal infection commonly called Athlete’s Foot. The medical term for Athlete’s Foot is Tinea Pedis. Athlete’s Foot is extraordinarily common, with up to 70% of people developing this fungal infection at some point.
Fungi flourish in warm, dark, moist environments, such as the spaces between the toes. People who tend to have sweaty feet (such as athletes) are particularly susceptible to developing this fungal infection. However, it is also more prevalent in patients who are obese, diabetic, or suffer from a weakened immune system.
There are several types of Athlete’s Foot. Infections between the toes (AKA toe web infection) generally look white and may begin peeling. A second type of Athlete’s Foot is known as a “moccasin” type infection. Symptoms include thickening and cracking skin on the bottom of the foot. A vesicular fungal infection of the feet may cause water blisters to form on the bottom of the feet.
Although biopsies may be used to confirm the specific type of fungus on the skin, in most cases, a visual inspection is all most podiatrists need to diagnose and begin treatment for Athlete’s Foot.
Athlete’s Foot is not likely to go away without treatment. Fortunately, topical medications (creams, sprays, and powders) can resolve Athlete’s Foot for most patients. However, antifungal prescription medications may be necessary to treat stubborn cases of Athlete’s Foot.
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