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Athlete's Foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common skin condition of the foot caused by a fungus. The fungus that causes athlete's foot grows best in a dark, warm moist environment - just like the environment inside your shoes! Typically, it occurs between the toes and on the soles of the feet. It is transferred from person to person when bare feet are exposed to the same surfaces, such as in showers and locker rooms. Some people tend to be more susceptible to this disease, and therefore have to be more diligent at avoiding places and activities where the fungus dwells.

Symptoms of Athlete's Foot drying and scaling of the skin, blistering, itching and burning. It can be difficult for patients to tell the difference between dry skin and athlete's foot. It is not uncommon for a secondary bacterial infection to occur in cases of long-standing athlete's foot.

You help can prevent Athlete's Foot by:

  • Not walking barefoot, particularly in public pools and locker rooms.
  • Reducing foot perspiration by using talcum powder.
  • Wearing light and airy shoes.
  • Not wearing the same pair of shoes every day.
  • Wearing socks that keep your feet dry, and changing them frequently if you perspire heavily. Socks made of acrylic are best at wicking moisture away from your skin. Avoid cotton socks.

While fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals are usually used to treat Athlete's Foot problems, they often fail to contact the fungi in the lower layers of the skin. For persistent Athlete's Foot, a prescription topical or oral antifungal drug (or both) may be needed. It is best to continue treatment past the point when your skin looks better to make sure all the fungus has been eradicated. Also, be aware that if you suffered from athlete's foot once, that you can catch it again. For this reason, it is important to follow the guidelines listed above to decrease your chances of reinfection. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications.