Athletes Foot is a very common condition in South Florida. There are multiple forms of Tinea Pedis (Athletes Foot) caused by a variety of different types of organisms. Although most cases of Athletes Foot are cured with topical medications, some are resilient cases in need of further evaluation and treatment.
Athletes Foot is a fungal infection of the skin resulting in flaking, itching, burning and scaling of affected areas. The condition is usually transmitted in moist areas where people commonly walk barefoot, such as locker rooms, bathhouses, swimming pools, hot tubs or showers. It can also be spread by sharing footwear and less commonly through sharing towels with an infected person. While the usual course of infection typically affects the feet, it can be spread to other regions of the body, including the groin.
Not all people respond to Athletes Foot in the same manner. Certain people may experience an "id reaction", an allergic reaction to the fungus. In cases such as these, vesicles or blisters can appear on the chest, arms and hands. If treated properly, the "id reaction" can be completely resolved.
Diagnosis of the condition is usually accomplished through visual inspection of the affected area. In certain cases when the diagnosis is not clear, a microscopic survey known as a KOH test may help eliminate other possible causes of symptoms, including psoriasis and eczema.
Preventing Athletes Foot is important because a few simple precautions can limit your chances of becoming infected. Hygiene is crucially important due to the simple fact that fungi thrive in moist environments. Some people are more prone to repeated infections and should be extra vigilant.
Treatment of Athletes Foot is available at East Ocean Podiatry. When necessary, we work with multiple Pathology Labs in order to isolate the organism causing the infection. This special care can lead to a faster recovery from the infection. The time frame for curing the infection can be 45 days or longer. When using topical treatments, it is recommended to continue to apply the topical for four weeks after symptoms have resolved, ensuring the fungus has been completely eradicated. It is not recommended that you treat yourself without consulting a specialist. Simply treating symptoms with anti-itch cream may provide temporary relief but will exacerbate the fungus by adding moisture to the infected area.