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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kicking Athlete's Foot

What is it?
Tinea pedis, better known as athlete’s foot, is a common skin infection. While it can affect everyone, it is most common in adult men. It is caused by fungi called dermatophytes, which are commonly found in warm, damp areas like gym shower rooms, locker rooms or public pool restrooms where many people walk with bare feet.

Athlete’s foot takes many forms, but it is most easily recognized by an intense itching sensation on the feet, cracked or peeling skin (especially in between the toes) or a red rash and scaling on the soles. The infection normally causes a noticeable odor and often spreads to one or more toenails, causing them to appear yellow and thick.   

Keep floor surfaces clean. Any area where you may be walking barefoot is important, but it’s especially important for bathtubs, showers and bathroom floors. Since athlete’s foot is most commonly contracted in public areas that you are not capable of monitoring or sanitizing, wear sandals or shower shoes while showering and walking in those places. Also, wash your feet with soap and water and completely dry them afterward at least once daily, and always avoid re-wearing dirty socks.

Powdering your feet before putting on your socks and shoes can also help prevent athlete’s foot. The powder will help control the moisture, which will keep your feet from creating their own warm, damp area as a result of friction and sweat.

There are many options available for treating athlete’s foot. Most mild to moderate cases can be cleared up in two to three weeks with the use of over-the-counter anti-fungal cream, powder or spray. Ingredients you’ll want to look for in over-the-counter medications include terbinafine, miconazole, clotrimazole and tolnaftate. If your infection does not clear up after two weeks of consistent use and application of these medications, we strongly encourage you to visit a physician for a stronger anti-fungal prescription that can be offered in topical or oral forms.

If you are suffering from athlete’s foot, we encourage you to seek the medical advice of a physician. For more information about athlete’s foot or other fungal infections that affect your skin, please visit www. or call 901-759-2322.  


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