Athletes Foot...
Information on Tinea Pedis
and common tinea treatment.

What Is Athletes Foot?

Athletes Foot is a fungal skin infection which often manifests itself between the fourth and fifth toes of the feet, however, it can occur on any part of the foot.

It is also known as tinea pedis and has been known to spread to the soles of the feet and toe nails. Once toe nails have become infected they can be extremely difficult to treat, so prompt treatment is very important.


What are the symptoms of Athletes Foot?

The symptoms of tinea can vary between individuals with the most common symptom being severe itching. This can often signal the beginning of a fungal skin infection. Other symptoms include redness, burning, stinging, scaling, peeling skin, foot odour and, in severe cases, blistering and weeping may be observed. Sometimes the skin can split open predisposing the sufferer to secondary bacterial infection.

What Causes Athletes Foot?

Tinea pedis is a fungal infection primarily caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes.

Normally the skin acts as an effective barrier against any fungal invasion, with fungi being present without producing any problems.

If the fungi are exposed to the right combination of conditions they can become overactive and reproduce to excessive numbers.

Generally, a warm, humid, moist environment and/or a decrease in the body's natural resistance to infection are favourable conditions for fungal overgrowth.

How Is Athlete's Foot Treated?

Tinea pedis of the feet should involve:

1. Treatment of the infection, and
2. Prevention of infection recurrence

The following procedures can help:

  • Wash and dry your feet daily;

  • Wipe your feet over with methylated spirits after drying if your feet are moist;

  • Antiseptic liquid should be applied to cracks with secondary bacterial infection;

  • Once bacterial infection has healed, treatment with a fungicidal agent should commence. Your podiatrist will advise you on the appropriate medicament or cream to use.

  • Fungicidal spray is applied to shoes and socks to prevent reinfecton of the skin;

  • Shoes with leather uppers are preferable.

  • Natural fibred socks or stockings, (ie. 80-100% cotton or wool), should be worn if wearing hosiery;

  • If infection is resistant to the treatment above your podiatrist may recommend oral medication.

    These medications can have serious side effects and therefore should only be used if absolutely necessary and following the approval of your Doctor.

    WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.

    For more information on aching feet and many other foot pain, leg pain and back pain conditions please visit our Foot

    Pain Conditions page and click on the condition of interest to you.

    To find a Podiatrist or Foot Doctor near you visit our Find a Podiatrist page and click on your country.

    Still have a question about your foot problem, leg pain or you just need some footwear advice?

    Visit our Foot Problems page and ask us a question about your specific problem. We'll do our best to help.

    Visit: foot pain and athletes foot for more information on foot pain and athletes foot.

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