If you think you may have athlete’s foot, you should visit our podiatry office. While athlete’s foot is one of the most common causes of itchy, flaky feet, it is not the only potential cause. Athlete’s foot can usually be treated by over-the-counter medications, as it is the most common type of fungal infection. Still, some cases are too severe and must be treated by a professional. In some instances, a person may think they have athlete’s foot when they actually have another skin condition. If this is the case, normal over-the-counter medications for athlete’s foot will not do the trick.
SYMPTOMS OF ATHLETE’S FOOT
The symptoms of athlete’s foot vary, but most commonly, people will experience:
- Itchiness accompanied by flaky, scaly, dry skin
- Stinging or burning sensations
- Oozing and crusting blisters
- Swollen feet
OTHER CAUSES OF ITCHY, FLAKY FEET
While athlete’s foot is the most likely cause of these symptoms, other foot conditions could be the culprit. For example, dry feet often cause similar symptoms but usually not as severe.
Eczema is another cause of similar symptoms, but with eczema, most people experience more of the red, oozing blisters and more painful sensation. Eczema is usually also found on the arms and behind the knees as well.
#2. CONTACT DERMATITIS
Contact dermatitis can cause itchy feet, but typically, the symptoms of contact dermatitis include more swelling and draining lesions and less flaky skin. Contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction to something the skin has come into direct contact with.
Psoriasis is a condition in which skin cells build up and form scaly and itchy red skin. It is usually triggered by stress or illness and is thought to be immune system related. It is often more painful and looks more rash-like.
Dyshidrosis is a condition similar in appearance to athlete’s foot, but it usually consists of tiny, fluid-filled blisters as well. Normally, this condition affects the palms and fingers, but less commonly, it can affect the feet. Deep itching, burning, peeling and crusting skin are also common symptoms.
A PODIATRY OFFICE CAN DIAGNOSE THIS AND OTHER FOOT PROBLEMS
If a patient is unsure of the cause of itchy, dry feet or over-the-counter athlete’s foot treatment has not helped the condition improve in one to four weeks, it is time to call our office. As a podiatry office, we can provide an examination and diagnosis, as well as treatment that works.
PREVENT ATHLETE'S FOOT FROM COMING BACK
If a patient has recently gotten rid of athlete’s foot, there are precautions they can take to make sure it does not come back:
- Wash feet with soap and water daily
- Towel-dry or blow-dry feet completely, and avoid putting on shoes and socks while feet are still damp; make sure between the toes are completely dry as well
- Use an anti-fungal powder inside shoes to absorb moisture and odor
- Use socks that have moisture-wicking properties
- Change socks frequently, especially if your feet sweat a lot
- Allow shoes to dry out between uses
- Wear shoes that are well-ventilated
- Wear shoes or sandals in common areas like locker rooms or dorm showers or when walking around pool areas
- Avoid going barefoot
- Avoid touching the clothes or walking where others who have the condition have been, as it is highly contagious
Call our office
To learn more about preventing athlete’s foot, treating athlete’s foot or determining whether you actually have this condition, schedule an appointment with our podiatry office today.
Call (408) 827-9483 today to reach Leonard Greenwald, D.P.M..