It’s springtime in Houston and that means that Athlete’s foot will be on the rise. Athletes foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common skin infection caused by a fungus. It occurs along the bottom of the feet and between the toes.
The condition usually occurs in warm climates and in dark and wet environments. Public showers, swimming pools and locker rooms are areas where one can become infected by a fungus. Athlete’s foot frequently occurs in patients who have poor hygiene, have a compromised immune system, have poor circulation, or have diabetes.
The symptoms of Athlete’s foot include red patches, itching and burning blisters, dry and scaly skin on the bottom of the feet and white and moist skin between the toes.
Physicians can diagnose the condition by visual examination, scraping of the involved skin and examining it under a microscope or performing a fungal culture.
Athletes foot can be treated with over-the-counter medications and foot powders. If the symptoms are not relieved, prescription medications may be indicated. Severe cases may be treated with a short course of an oral antifungal medication. Occasionally, areas with Tinea pedis may become secondarily infected with a bacteria. This condition is treated with oral antibiotics. One should take the following steps to help prevent Athlete’s foot.
- Wash and dry your feet on a daily basis,
- Use shower shoes at public pools and showers,
- Regularly change your shoes,
- Wear white cotton socks to absorb sweat,
- Let your shoes air out and dry out,
- Avoid wearing synthetic socks and
- Never share shoes.
Dr. Rossie Gomez is a practicing podiatrist with over 25 years experience. He is located at 3402 Dowling and can be reached by phone at (713) 874-0770.