What is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s Foot (aka Tinea Pedis) is a common fungal infection of the skin. It is most prevalent in the active population who are more likely to have sweaty feet due to their exercise! Although it is usually seen in the “athletic” population (hence the nickname), we also quite often see this condition in everyone ranging from children to adults of all ages and sizes.

What are the common signs and symptoms of Tinea Pedis?

  • Peeling and scaly skin in-between toes 
  • Itchiness – usually taking off shoes and socks
  • Dry, scaly skin at the bottom of the foot
  • May result in a rash or small blisters 
  • Redness/inflamed skin 
  • Commonly found in areas of the foot that are non-weight bearing such as the arches of the foot.

What causes it?

Tinea Pedis is caused by a fungus (Trichophyton rubrum). Which thrives in moist and warm environments such as warm, sweaty feet/shoes/socks. Tinea Pedis is contagious, and is very easily spread from person to person due to contact with communal surfaces. Common places where you are likely to acquire Tinea Pedis include; communal showers, pools, change rooms and saunas.

Walking in these types of places barefoot after someone who is infected, is commonly where people get the condition in the first place! 

How can I prevent Tinea Pedis?

  • Allowing shoes to air-dry prior to using them again as well as your feet at the end of the day
  • If you are a heavy sweater, consider changing socks throughout the day to minimise excess moisture in socks 
  • Wearing natural fibre socks (cotton or bamboo) allows for better breathability for the feet compared to synthetic materials.
  • Wearing sandals or thongs in communal places such as changing rooms, saunas and communal showers can reduce the risk of you acquiring the infection.
  • Conducting regular foot checks to monitor the health of your feet and skin, allowing you to act on any changes promptly.

Treatments for Tinea Pedis:

Tinea Pedis can be treated using over the counter topical antifungal medications, which can be self applied at home. These antifungal medications often come in the form of creams and sprays. It is also recommended when treating Tinea Pedis, that you also wash your socks, bath mats and towels on a hot wash cycle as well as regularly disinfect your bathroom surfaces. As Athlete’s Foot thrives in these environments.

When should you see a podiatrist for Tinea Pedis?

  • If you have any of the symptoms or signs listed above 
  • If you believe you have Tinea Pedis and have tried to treat it yourself unsuccessfully or non-settling skin irritation
  • If you are concerned you may have Tinea Pedis.

What do Podiatrists do for Tinea Pedis?

If you are concerned that you may have Tinea Pedis, we are able to help you and confirm if you do indeed have the condition or not! 

Podiatrists can also advise which products are best to use for the treatment of Tinea Pedis. 

If you have any queries please feel free to contact the clinic to make an appointment with one of our podiatrists to help you get your feeling fresh. 

Book now at TFC Podiatry Yarraville or Point Cook!