Preventing Athlete's Foot

Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel of Emerald Coast Podiatry treat their patients for a variety of issues at Fort Walton Beach and Crestview, FL. A common foot condition he treats is the Athlete's Foot.

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete's foot (tinea pedis), commonly seen in athletes, is a contagious fungal foot infection that can spread to the toenails and hands. Athlete’s foot isn’t life-threatening but is sometimes hard to cure, especially if you have other health conditions that may complicated things, like diabetes or a weakened immune system.

What are the causes?

When the tinea fungus grows on feet, you may contract it if your skin becomes exposed to the fungus through person-to-person contact or contaminated surfaces.

The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments, like public showers, locker room floors, and around swimming pools. Anyone can get athlete’s foot but factors that increase your risk of getting athlete’s foot include:

  • Visiting the places mentioned above while barefoot
  • Sharing an infected person's socks, shoes, or towels
  • Improper hygienic foot care, like washing and drying feet

Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

There are many possible symptoms, which include:

  • Itching, stinging and burning between your toes or on soles of feet
  • Itchy blisters
  • Cracking and peeling skin on feet
  • Discolored, thick, and crumbly toenails
  • Toenails that pull away from the nail bed

 Diagnosing Athlete's Foot

Dr. Ricciardi or Dr. Patel diagnose patients at either of their offices: Fort Walton Beach or Crestview. He performs a skin test called skin lesion potassium hydroxide exam by scraping off a small area of the infected skin and placing it in potassium hydroxide. The potassium hydroxide destroys normal cells and leaves the fungal, which are easily seen under a microscope.

How to Prevent Athlete's Foot

  1. Keep your feet dry
  2. Change socks regularly
  3. Wear light, well-ventilated shoes
  4. Alternate shoes and wash them
  5. Protect your feet in public places by wearing sandals
  6. Don't share shoes

Do you need a consultation with Emerald Coast Podiatry?

If you have any questions or concerns about Athlete's foot, you should contact Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel in Fort Walton Beach or Crestview, FL, by calling 850-862-4119 for Fort Walton Beach or 850-682-6522 for Crestview.

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