Athlete's Foot is a fungus infection that may lead to other infections such as cellulitis.
Many different organisms can cause Athlete's Foot. Because of this, treatment can be tricky. Some infections are limited to the outer layers of skin and respond well to creams and liquid medicines. Others may infiltrate the deeper layers of skin and require pills to treat.
All Athlete's Foot-causing organisms thrive in moist, warm environments. The heat in Mesa, Arizona makes this a common infection among workers, athletes, or anyone who wear closed-toe shoes and spend large amounts of time outdoors or in factory and construction work.
All Athlete's Foot-causing organisms are contagious. They are often transmitted in public areas such as locker rooms, pool decks, and shared shower facilities.
Dermatophytes are the most common organism in Athlete's Foot. They often cause a rash along the soles of the feet, dryness or cracking in the skin, redness, and tiny blisters that heal and then recur. Itching and burning are frequent symptoms.
Molds can also cause Athlete's Foot. The appearance of mold skin infections varies but similar symptoms such as itching, burning, and a rash are common.
Yeasts often infect the space between the toes. These are often painful and can be invasive. It is also common for Athlete's foot between the toes to cause open sores and other more serious bacterial infections.
All Athlete's Foot Infections can cause more serious infections. Because the Athlete's foot infection often results in breaks in the skin, bacteria can cause a more serious infection that may require antibiotics, or surgical treatment ï»¿in rare cases such as abscesses.
Do Over-the-Counter Antifungal Sprays, Creams, or Liquids work? Yes and no. Topicals have broad success at killing fungus. However, some infections penetrate deeper layers of skin than these typse of medicines can effectively reach.
Fungus also hides in shoes and socks, which often serve as a reservoir of fungus spores. Spores are very difficult to kill and can be a cause of re-infection.
To maximize your success with Over-The-Counter Medicines, see our Self-Treatment Page for Athlete's Foot Infection.
Why should you see a podiatrist for an Athlete's Foot Infection? We have the experience and expertise to diagnose your Athlete's Foot Infection through a thorough exam and diagnostic testing with PAS stain and fungus cultures. We can then recommend the most efficient and effective treatment. Treatment often includes a combination of topical and oral medicines, and changes to foot hygiene.
See our Fungus Prevention Page for tips on how to keep Athlete's Foot Infection from coming back!