You might think of athlete’s foot as more of an irritating nuisance than a serious problem. While there’s a kernel of truth to that, the bigger reality is this: athlete’s foot should never be underestimated!
At best, athlete’s foot leaves your feet feeling itchy and uncomfortable, while scratching only makes things worse. But if you don’t treat it, athlete’s foot can spread to other parts of your body—including your toenails, where it leads to a much more difficult-to-treat condition. It can even spread to other people!
The good news is that most mild cases of athlete’s foot can be treated at home. But if you find that your itchy feet aren’t clearing up, or keep coming back again and again, don’t ignore the problem—give us a call!
What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a skin infection caused by a fungus. These fungi, known as dermatophytes, feed on keratin, a protein that’s abundantly present in skin, nails, and even hair. They are also responsible for jock itch, ringworm, and toenail fungus.
The infection produces dry skin and a scaly, red rash that tends to be especially concentrated around the soles, the tops of your feet, and between your toes. If your athlete’s foot is especially severe, you may even develop blisters or ulcers. The itchiness is often worst immediately after taking off your socks.
Because athlete’s foot symptoms can be very similar to several other unrelated conditions, including eczema and psoriasis, we may need to examine a sample of your skin to confirm a diagnosis—especially if antifungal treatments are not working.