Give Your Athlete’s Foot the Boot

athlete’s footFungal infections of the skin are very common, especially in the warm moist climate of Hawaii. At Matsuda Dermatology, we treat all fungal infections from athlete’s foot to ringworm, from jock itch to yeast infections. Here’s some information on athlete’s foot, which is probably the most common fungal infection we see.

What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot, clinically known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the foot. It causes peeling, redness, itching, burning, and sometimes blisters and sores on the feet. Like all fungal infections, athlete’s foot develops in warm, moist environments such as the shoes, socks, swimming pools, locker rooms, and the floors of public showers.

What causes athlete’s foot?

The fungus involved in athlete’s foot thrives on dead tissue of the toenails and the outer layers of the skin on the feet. It’s a common fungus, called trichophyton rubrum, that creates athlete’s foot.

How do I know if I have athlete’s foot?

Different people display different symptoms, but there are some common symptoms of athlete’s foot:

  • Peeling, cracking, and scaling of the skin on the feet
  • Itching, burning
  • Redness, blistering, and breaking down of the skin

Types of athlete’s foot

Interdigital — Interdigital athlete’s foot is the most common form. It is also called toe web infection and it usually occurs between the two smallest toes. Toe web infections cause itching, burning, and scaling and the infection can easily spread to the sole of the foot.

Moccasin — This type of athlete’s foot usually occurs on the sole. It begins with a minor irritation, dryness, itching, or scaly skin. As it develops the skin may become thicker and start to crack.

Vesicular — This is a rare form of athlete’s foot. It usually begins with a sudden outbreak of fluid-filled blisters under the skin on the underside of the foot.

How do we treat athlete’s foot?

At Matsuda we see athlete’s foot all the time, due to the moist climate here in Honolulu. We begin treatment with topical antifungal medications that are applied directly to the feet. In severe cases, however, we may need to prescribe oral drugs to kill the fungus causing the infection.

Have itchy, scaly feet? You may have athlete’s foot. Call us at Matsuda, 808-949-7568, and we’ll help you kick it!