You spend a lovely day at the town pool, visiting with friends, swimming, having lunch at the snack bar. A few days later your feet start to itch, particularly between your toes and on the soles. The skin becomes red, irritated and flaky. Chances are you contracted Athlete’s foot, a condition we see often in both children and adults in the summer at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM.
How Does it Happen?
Athlete’s foot, also known in the medical world as tinea pedis, is caused by a fungus that is spread by direct contact. Someone with athlete’s foot walks barefoot by the pool, you walk barefoot over the same spot and presto—athlete’s foot! The fungus that causes this irritating condition loves damp, warm places and in addition to pools you’ll likely find it in gym locker rooms and showers, changing areas at the beach and even at the nail salon where you get a pedicure if proper sanitary procedures are not followed.
Getting Rid of It
If you’ve ever had athlete’s foot before you know that you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. There are a number of over-the-counter products available but many of them do not penetrate to the lower layers of skin where the fungi may be. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. Demarco will most likely be able to diagnose your athlete’s foot just by an examination and can prescribe a topical or oral antifungal medication to eliminate it if necessary. Note: If you are a patient with diabetes or have a compromised immune system, don’t try home treatment. Contact our Somers Point office immediately for an appointment by calling: (609) 927-4894. Athlete’s foot can cause sores to develop which would be particularly dangerous to patients with immune system issues.
Don’t wait and hope athlete’s foot will go away on its own. Left untreated, blisters can develop and the infection can spread to toenails and other parts of your body.