Our Upland, CA podiatrist office provides comprehensive foot and ankle care – and this means we care for a wide range of conditions. For some patients, we create treatment plans to address a sports injury. Others need a diabetic foot care plan to prevent serious complications in the lower limbs. And yet other patients come see us to resolve skin and toenail problems.
An example of a skin problem commonly seen in the lower limbs is athlete’s foot. Whereas this condition won’t typically keep you from performing favorite activities, it is still one that causes irritating symptoms.
Furthermore, athlete’s foot isn’t something that will just go away if you ignore it. On the contrary, it can spread and become an even bigger source of frustration and annoyance. Given that it’s not usually a difficult problem to resolve, the best course of action is to simply address it and find the relief you deserve.
What Is Athlete’s Foot and Why Does It Develop?
Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the condition, but not many know that it is actually a infection caused by a very common type of fungus (tinea pedis).
Athlete’s foot is usually contracted with the offensive fungus is transferred to a human foot via contact with either a contaminated surface or from an infected individual. Surfaces that are often contaminated include ones like locker room floors, indoor pool decks, and communal showering areas. Fungal spores thrive in such environments because they are usually warm and humid.
Another environment that is often warm and damp is a foot encased in a sock and shoe! Accordingly, footwear can also easily become contaminated by someone who has the infection.
Some good news about athlete’s foot is that out of the various types of fungal infections you could potentially contract, athlete’s foot isn’t the worst.
Unlike a case of toenail fungus, for example, athlete’s foot isn’t terribly stubborn. Whereas the fungal spores that cause toenails to become dull, discolored, thickened, crumbly, and downright embarrassing are able to hide underneath nails, tinea pedis resides on the surface of the skin.
Now, just because it’s not “the worst” doesn’t mean that athlete’s foot is a picnic!
What Symptoms Can You Expect With Athlete’s Foot?
On its best day, this condition is irritating – causing a maddening itch for your feet. The itching and burning sensations commonly known to accompany athlete’s foot tend to be strongest when an infected foot is exposed to air (such as when you take off your socks and shoes), but are also still problematic when the foot is covered as well.
Beyond the itching and burning, other symptoms to note include redness, a scaly rash, blisters, chronic dryness, and even ulcers. Blistering, dryness, and ulceration are generally reserved for cases that are more severe in nature, however.
Due to similarity in symptoms, this fungal infection is sometimes mistaken for eczema or simply dry skin. Of course, if you aren’t sure what problem is affecting your feet, come see us and we will be glad to provide some clarity to you through a professional diagnosis.