Athlete’s Foot Fungal Infection Specialist Questions and Answers
Athlete’s feet are often spread in places where people go barefoot such as public showers or swimming pools. Here at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, we offer athlete’s foot fungal infection treatment so you can walk easily. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online. Serving patients from South Elgin IL, Streamwood IL, Bartlett IL, Hanover Park IL and Saint Charles IL.
Athlete’s foot can be an annoying inconvenience that you may not think warrants a trip to see a doctor or podiatrist. However, without proper care and treatment, the fungus can spread to other parts of your body. As such, it is always a good plan to get checked out by a podiatrist or doctor if you think you have athlete’s foot! Our board-certified physicians at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists would be happy to do that for you.
What fungus causes athlete’s feet?
This may come as a surprise, but athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is caused by the same fungus that causes ringworm (which is not actually a worm despite the misleading title)! The type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot and ringworm is called dermatophytes, which thrives in closed, damp, and warm environments and lives off the keratin protein found in your hair, nails, and skin. Consequently, wearing damp socks or shoes in a warm and humid environment, whether from hiking, playing sports, working, or wearing the same socks for multiple days, often fosters the growth of dermatophytes and causes athlete’s foot.
Can an athlete’s foot fungus spread to other parts of the body?
If left alone with proper treatment, an athlete’s foot is not likely to spread to other parts of the body, though it may spread to other parts of the foot, such as the toenails. However, if an individual with an athlete’s foot scratches the infection and then touches another part of their body, such as the scalp, groin, or arm, the fungus can quickly spread to those parts of the body, causing ringworm or jock itch. Consequently, if you think you have athlete’s foot, the best thing to do is seek medical attention for proper treatment to prevent the accidental spread of the infection.
What kills athlete’s foot fungus?
For minor cases of athlete’s foot, over-the-counter antifungal medications do a fine job of killing off the fungus. Some of these antifungal medications include clotrimazole, known commercially as Canesten, miconazole, or Micatin, and tolnaftate, branded as Tinactin. However, if the athlete’s foot is severe enough, your doctor may recommend prescription-strength medication, such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF) or terbinafine (Lamisil AT). The type of medication that your doctor or podiatrist recommends will depend on your medical history, allergies, and any medications you are taking.
Should I go see a podiatrist for my athlete’s foot?
While a general practitioner (GP) or primary care provider (PCP) can provide adequate treatment of mild athlete’s foot, a podiatrist brings more expertise and skill when dealing with foot-related issues, such as athlete’s foot. Furthermore, if this is not your first rodeo with athlete’s foot or you frequently get athlete’s foot, a podiatrist has more resources, knowledge, experience, and expertise to provide you with better solutions and treatment for recurring athlete’s foot. With that in mind, we recommend seeing a podiatrist for athlete’s foot rather than seeing a family doctor.
How can I take better care of my feet to prevent athlete’s foot?
While we cannot guarantee that you will never get athlete’s foot, there are some things you can do to prevent it, such as the following:
- Wear sandals when you are in a public shower, restroom, or pool
- Wear shoes that let your feet breathe
- Change your socks daily and whenever they get wet
- Dry in between your toes after showering, bathing, or swimming
For more information on how to prevent athlete’s foot, feel free to contact us at (847) 233-1296 during the hours of 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Wednesday, or 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday.
We welcome you to Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists at 1750 N Randall Rd, Suite 160, in Elgin, IL, for excellent athlete’s foot treatment! You can schedule an appointment with us online or by giving us a call.