What is Athlete's Foot?
Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that affects the skin and toenails on the feet. Also known as tinea pedis (skin) or onychomycosis (nails), this skin condition is contagious and is most commonly seen in athletes. While the condition itself is not serious, it can be uncomfortable and troublesome if not diagnosed and treated. Our team of dermatologists at Snyder Dermatology in Austin, TX , work with people everyday who have this troubling condition, which keeps them from being the best they can be at work or at home.
Athlete's foot occurs when the fungus grows on the feet, which can be anywhere on the foot including the top, underside, heel, or toes. Anyone can get it, but it is often spread in gym locker rooms, swimming pools, showers, or other areas where the infected person walks barefoot with others. Wearing tight-fitting shoes, having sweaty feet, and minor skin injuries on the feet, all which can occur among athletes, are common causes for the fungus developing.
Athlete's Foot Diagnosed
If the foot has red blotchy areas, is itchy, or has moist, flaking skin, then a possible infection may exist. Our dermatologists can often diagnose athlete's foot based on these types of symptoms alone. In some cases, a skin test and or even a biopsy will be taken in case there is concern for a more serious issue. In our office, we perform what is known as a potassium hydroxide test (KOH) exam. During this test, a small area of the infected skin is scraped off and placed in potassium hydroxide solution. KOH destroys the normal skin cells of the scraping and leaves the hyphae of the fungus untouched, which allows us to easily diagnose the infection under a microscope. If athlete's foot does come back as a confirmed diagnosis, proper treatment will then be prescribed along with behavior modification.
"As usual, Dr. Aranda goes above and beyond in providing a personable care that is difficult to find. She takes the time to discuss various treatment options, discusses the pros and cons of each and genuinely values your input to collectively determine the best outcome. I feel so strongly about Dr. Aranda, Dr. Snyder and their professional staff that I still went to them last year when they were out of network. Thank you Dr. Aranda, you're just great!"- B.J. / Google / Mar 25, 2017
"Dr. Cervantes is wonderful. She listens carefully and is always willing to answer any questions you may have."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Feb 15, 2019
"I didnt know what to expect coming here because some of the reviews on here say the staff is so rude. But i had the most pleasant experience here. From the moment i opened the door, i felt welcomed. The doctor herself was such a delight. She talked to me in a manner that made me feel so comfortable. She diagnosed me with something i kind of thought i had already, so now to see what the treatment does. I will see her again in three months. So overall, im glad i chose this office for my dermatology needs."- E.G. / Google / Feb 14, 2019
"I would highly recommend Snyder Dermatology, Dr. Cervantes and her staff are amazing! From the moment you walk into the office until the moment you leave you are greeted and made to feel welcomed. I was able to schedule an appt fairly quickly and once there the waiting was not long. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I had a procedure done and was very anxious and nervous, Dr. Cervantes made me feel comfortable as she explained everything to me. My daughter was treated for acne as well and her experience here was wonderful. Dr. Cervantes made her feel special. Call....You won't be disappointed."- M.B. / Yelp / Feb 14, 2019
"Dr Cervantes is great!!!! She is very easy to talk with and I feel she did a thorough skin exam... I have had to do regular skin exams for about 10 years due to precancerous spots on my face and back. I started going to Snyder dermatology 2 years ago and feel Dr Cervantes is the Best I have seen!!"- J.H. / Yelp / Feb 13, 2019
How to Treat Athlete's Foot
Many men and women who get athlete's foot often times understand that they have a fungal infection and simply use over-the-counter (OTC) topical antifungal medications, which in many cases can be effective. If these medications do not treat the fungus, and the infection persists or gets worse, then a visit to our dermatology clinic is usually recommended. There are numerous prescription medications that can help treat the infection, including topical, prescription-strength anti-fungals as well as oral antifungal medications such as itraconazole, fluconazole, or terbinafine. At times oral antibiotics are combined in the treatment to help with secondarily infected blisters which reduce inflammation, and prevent additional blisters from developing. It's important that patients adhere to an at-home regime as well, including keeping the feet dry, as well as soaking the feet in salt water, or diluted vinegar to help accelerate the healing and drying up of the blisters.
Athlete's foot is a common fungus and there are many things both athletes and the everyday active individual can do to help prevent future infections, including:
- Do not share shoes, socks, or towels
- Wear flip flops in locker rooms, showers, etc. shared by teammates
- Keep your feet clean with soap and water daily
- Apply antifungal powder to the feet daily
- Wear socks that are breathable, choose fabrics that help keep and wick moisture away from the skin
- Wash sweaty socks daily
- Air out shoes that have become moist due to sweat
- Choose shoes made of materials that allow air in (breathable materials)
- Alternate between more than one pair of shoes to allow moisture to dry out
Plan Your Procedure
- 15 minutes
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Athlete's foot can be severe or mild. It can be a condition that comes and goes, and worsens over time. Diagnosing the fungus and treating it, and then understanding the right protocol to take will help treat this infection. If you believe you have a fungal infection on your feet, including the heel, sides, top and/or bottom, or between your toes and nails, please call Snyder Dermatology and make your appointment so that relief can be found.