Athletes Foot

This is a fungal infection of the skin and can affect any area of the foot.

It seems most commonly found in between the toes as areas of white, flaky skin, which sometimes split at the base of the toe and is often very itchy and sore. It can also be found on the sole of the foot where the skin is often dry and can be seen as small “bubbles” under the surface, often along the instep and again which may be itchy.

Infection is caused by fungal spores which have entered the body through tiny areas in the skin. Often those who have already got an infection present in there toenail can spread the infection into the skin and sometimes visa-versa.

How to treat

A definite diagnosis is not always easy as even you doctor can often confuse the symptoms with other condition. However if you are unsure it is advisable to see someone for advice a Chiropodist/Podiatrist or your local pharmacist can then recommend a course of treatment.

Initially this will usually consist of use of an antifungal cream until the condition clears. It is advisable to continue with the treatment for an extra week, even when the infection appears clear, to prevent the problem of re-infection. The fungal infection is very clever and will often seem to have disappeared to reappear a week later with vengeance.

Continual Care

It is a good idea to ensure you do not re-infect the skin via your shoes and socks. Socks/hosiery should be washed in as hot a wash as possible, and your footwear can be dusted, or sprayed with an antifungal powder. Try to alternate you shoes which stops the fungus to surviving as easily. Also remember general good foot hygiene is also very important.

It is often a good idea to use flip-flop type sandals in potentially infectious places like communal changing rooms etc, to prevent possible re-infection.

If you find you are getting persistent or regularly reoccurring fungal infections I would recommend you visit your doctor for advice.

Other useful pages:

  • General footcare
  • Footwear
  • Moist Skin
  • Dry Skin