If you take your foot health for granted, one condition quickly can call your attention to it. It's athlete's foot, or Tinea pedis, as podiatrists call it. In their Needham, MA, office, Dr. Michael Mitry and Dr. Christopher Karter treat this fungal infection, eliminating its many uncomfortable symptoms. If your feet are hot, itchy, red, and blistering, you may have athlete's foot and need the great treatment provided by Advanced Podiatry of Needham.
Symptoms of athlete's foot
The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that athlete's foot troubles up to 15 percent of Americans--from children to senior adults, both men and women (although men seem more prone to it) and athletes and non-athletes alike.
However, other factors contribute to Tinea pedis symptoms. They include:
- Allergies, including eczema
- Compromised peripheral circulation
- Participation in athletics
Commonly, people who develop athlete's foot exhibit many similar symptoms, including:
- Sore and red skin, particularly between the toes
- Itching and burning
- Blistering, cracking, and peeling
Left untreated, the infection may become chronic. Plus, people who are immunosuppressed may develop secondary infections and foot ulcers. The infection may spread to other areas of the body such as the groin (jock itch) and hands.
Avoiding athlete's foot
Being proactive about athlete's foot really helps. Your Needham podiatrists remind their patients that the fungus spreads by direct contact with other people and by sharing bathroom and locker room areas, towels and nail clippers.
In short, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as Benjamin Franklin once said. Dr. Mitry and Dr. Karter recommend these preventive strategies to keep athlete's foot at bay:
- Have clean feet. Wash them daily using soap and water and a clean towel to dry them completely, particularly between the toes.
- Wear clean socks daily, and put on a fresh pair whenever they feel sweaty.
- Change your shoes when they are sweaty because the Tinea pedis fungus loves darkness and dampness.
- Use anti-fungal foot powder or spray before you develop symptoms, particularly if you run or workout a lot.
- Trim your toenails with clean clippers only.
- Wear flip-flops in public swim areas, showers, and locker rooms.
- Wear well-ventilated shoes at all times when outdoors.
- Use anti-fungal laundry soap or chlorine bleach (on white socks) in the wash. If possible, hang your socks outside to dry because sunshine sanitizes.
Treating athlete's foot
If you have symptoms which last beyond two weeks, if your symptoms are severe, or you are diabetic or have compromised peripheral circulation, see Dr. Mitry or Dr. Karter as soon as possible. Simple visual examination of the feet suffices for diagnosis, but sometimes, a small skin scraping helps rule out other problems. Besides the above preventive measures, your podiatrist may prescribe an anti-fungal cream, ointment, or oral medication.
Get them back to normal with help from Advanced Podiatry of Needham in Needham, MA. We have convenient office hours Monday through Friday. Don't suffer from prolonged athlete's foot. Call today: (781) 444-4044.