Peeling, itchy, or cracked skin on your feet? Burning sensation? It’s difficult to disregard athlete’s foot when symptoms flare up. Luckily, with a precise diagnosis and professional care, they can be a thing of the past. In this post, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, and Cassandra Stache, DPM of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center, share what you need to do when your athlete’s foot flares up.
Studies show up to 70% of Americans will experience athlete’s foot at some point. And that’s because this condition is highly contagious due to a fungal infection. It can develop anywhere on the feet but most often grows between the toes. This warm, moist environment is ideal for fungi to thrive, making it a challenge to treat.
While athlete’s foot may not be life-threatening, flare-ups can cause severe discomfort, including these symptoms:
- Stinging or burning
- Peeling, itchy, or red skin
- Crusty or oozing blisters.
Athlete’s foot is a form of ringworm that can also thrive in other areas of the body, including your skin and nails. It can spread from person to person quickly, either through indirect or direct contact, such as skin-to-skin contact, walking barefoot on a contaminated surface, or from infected socks or shoes.
Getting professional care can help you obtain an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. This is even more critical if you have a medical condition that puts your feet at risk, such as diabetes.
So, what can you do about Athlete’s Foot?
In many cases, athlete’s foot responds to OTC creams and powders that contain antifungal medications. For the best results, use these treatments for up to two weeks after your symptoms are gone.
In addition to medicated foot treatments, you can also take these steps:
- Thoroughly cleanse your feet at least twice daily
- Keep your feet dry, particularly between your toes
- Wear clean cotton socks and change them often
- Put lamb’s wool (available online and at drugstores) between your toes
- Wear breathable shoes
- Wear sandals, and shower shoes at spas, public showers, and pools.
If you have a skin condition on the feet and need expert diagnosis and treatment, contact Greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center. You can click here to locate contact information for the office nearest you to book your appointment.