Athlete's Foot Research in Portland, Oregon
Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection. The fungus can grow and multiply on the skin, especially the feet. Fungus grows best in a dark, moist, and warm environment. Many people develop it at least once in their lives. It is more common in teenagers and males, but may occur in anyone. Athlete’s foot is easily treated, although it may come back if you are susceptible.
What does athlete’s foot look like?
- The appearance of athlete’s foot can vary from person to person. In some people, the skin between the toes peels, cracks, and scales.
- There may be redness, dryness, or scaling on the soles or along the sides of the feet. There may be an itching or burning sensation. If the fungus infects the toenails, it may cause discoloration, crumbling, or thickening of the nails.
- In order to diagnose athlete’s foot, we may scrape a scaly area from the skin on your feet. The scales are then examined for fungus under the microscope.
Treatment of Athlete’s Foot
For many cases, over-the-counter anti-fungal creams are effective for treatment of athlete’s foot.
Lamisil (terbinafine) cream or Lotrimin Ultra (butenafine) cream.
- Apply the cream to whole foot once a day for six weeks, including between the toes. While your skin may look better in less than six weeks, it is important to continue to use the medication as directed. The fungal infection may remain active, and could get worse if the cream is stopped too soon.
- After you complete the full six-week treatment course, you can prevent the fungus from coming back by using the same cream (i.e. Lamisil) a few times a week or an antifungal powder or spray daily.
- Toenail infections can be difficult to treat and may require oral medication.
- Though the instructions may warn against using on nails, this is only because there was no official testing done, it is perfectly safe to do so, per provider instructions
Tips for prevention of athlete’s foot
- avoid walking barefoot
- change shoes and socks daily
- wear cotton or synthetic socks which absorb sweat
- dry feet well after swimming, bathing, or exercising
- avoid tight footwear, especially in the summer
- dust an antifungal powder on your feet and into your shoes, putting socks on first, then underwear