If the skin between your toes is itchy, irritated, or flaky, it’s likely due to athlete’s foot. Though athlete’s foot is common, if you have diabetes or another condition that negatively affects your circulation, it may increase your risk of infection or other serious complications. At Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic, with two convenient locations in Normal and Pontiac, Illinois, Craig Cortese, DPM, FACFAS, Steve Yeschek, DPM, and Carl Cortese, BS, DPM, FACFAS, diagnose and treat athlete’s foot in people of all ages. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that usually occurs between your toes. It can affect anyone, but it’s especially common in active individuals who experience sweaty feet. Most of the time, athlete’s foot responds to over-the-counter antifungal creams and ointments. The infection commonly recurs, though, so in certain cases, professional intervention is necessary.
The most common symptom of athlete’s foot is a scaly, red rash that occurs on the top of the feet and on the skin between the toes. If you have athlete’s foot, you might notice that your toes and feet feel incredibly itchy right after you take your shoes or socks off.
As athlete’s foot progresses, you might also experience ulcers or small blisters. Usually, athlete’s foot occurs on one foot. If you scratch one foot and then the other without washing your hands, it can quickly spread.
Athlete’s foot affects people of all ages and races, but several factors may increase your risk, including:
Sharing socks, shoes, or other clothes with someone who has athlete’s foot You’re also more likely to experience athlete’s foot if you walk around barefoot in public areas where infection can spread, such as locker rooms, swimming pools, or communal showers.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent athlete’s foot entirely, but you can take steps to significantly lower your risk. Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic recommends:
You can also lower your risk of athlete’s foot by not sharing shoes, socks, or towels with others.
To diagnose athlete’s foot, the Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic team asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, reviews your medical history, and physically examines your feet and toes. Usually, athlete’s foot is visible to the naked eye, so it’s easy to make a quick diagnosis.
If your provider suspects another problem, like psoriasis or eczema, they might carefully scrape a sample of skin from your foot and send it to a laboratory for further testing.
Mild cases of athlete’s foot usually respond to over-the-counter ointments, creams, powders, or sprays. If your athlete’s foot persists or spreads, you might need a prescription-strength medication to apply to your feet or oral antifungal pills.
To learn more about treatment for athlete’s foot, schedule an appointment at Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic. Call the office or book a consultation online today.