Researchers estimate that 3-15% of the population has athlete’s foot at any given time. This common fungal infection results in itchy, peeling skin, a scaly rash, and discomfort. At Chicagoland Foot and Ankle, with locations in the Beverly/Mt. Greenwood and Portage Park areas of Chicago, as well as Orland Park and New Lenox, Illinois, the board-certified foot and ankle specialists provide comprehensive care for athlete’s foot. To schedule an appointment, book online, or call the nearest office.
Athlete’s foot is a contagious infection caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. Anyone can develop athlete’s foot, but it’s especially common in people who get very sweaty during exercise. That is particularly true if you wear tight shoes or socks that don’t allow your skin to breathe.
The most common symptom of athlete’s foot is a red, scaly rash that occurs in the crevices between your toes. As the condition progresses, your skin may also start peeling or develop blisters.
Athlete’s foot usually affects only one foot. However, it can quickly spread if you scratch or pick at the infected parts of your feet.
Athlete’s foot is a common problem. Some of the factors that may increase your risk include:
You’re also more likely to develop athlete’s foot if you walk around barefoot in high traffic, public areas like swimming pools, saunas, or locker rooms.
There’s no way to prevent athlete’s foot entirely, but you can significantly lower your risk by keeping your feet dry, especially the areas between your toes, wearing comfortable, well-ventilated shoes, and treating your feet with antifungal creams or ointments on a regular basis.
The team at Chicagoland Foot and Ankle diagnoses athlete’s foot by carefully examining your feet and toes. Most fungal infections are visible to the naked eye.
If your provider suspects another skin-related condition, they might also take a sample of skin or a scraping from under your toenails and send it to a laboratory for additional testing.
Treatment of athlete’s foot typically includes a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and prescription medication. You can avoid a recurrence of athlete’s foot by changing your socks regularly, not scratching your rash, and alternating between two or more pairs of shoes.
If you have a mild case of athlete’s foot, over-the-counter ointments or creams may provide significant relief. If your symptoms persist or get worse, your Chicagoland Foot and Ankle provider might recommend prescription-strength medication or oral antifungal pills.
To receive comprehensive care for athlete’s foot, schedule an appointment at Chicagoland Foot and Ankle. Book a consultation online, or call the nearest office today to speak with a friendly staff member.