What is Athlete's Foot?
Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that affects the skin and toenails on the feet. Also known as tinea pedis (skin) or onychomycosis (nails), this skin condition is contagious and is most commonly seen in athletes. While the condition itself is not serious, it can be uncomfortable and troublesome if not diagnosed and treated. Our team of dermatologists at Snyder Dermatology in Austin, TX , work with people everyday who have this troubling condition, which keeps them from being the best they can be at work or at home.
Athlete's foot occurs when the fungus grows on the feet, which can be anywhere on the foot including the top, underside, heel, or toes. Anyone can get it, but it is often spread in gym locker rooms, swimming pools, showers, or other areas where the infected person walks barefoot with others. Wearing tight-fitting shoes, having sweaty feet, and minor skin injuries on the feet, all which can occur among athletes, are common causes for the fungus developing.
Athlete's Foot Diagnosed
If the foot has red blotchy areas, is itchy, or has moist, flaking skin, then a possible infection may exist. Our dermatologists can often diagnose athlete's foot based on these types of symptoms alone. In some cases, a skin test and or even a biopsy will be taken in case there is concern for a more serious issue. In our office, we perform what is known as a potassium hydroxide test (KOH) exam. During this test, a small area of the infected skin is scraped off and placed in potassium hydroxide solution. KOH destroys the normal skin cells of the scraping and leaves the hyphae of the fungus untouched, which allows us to easily diagnose the infection under a microscope. If athlete's foot does come back as a confirmed diagnosis, proper treatment will then be prescribed along with behavior modification.
"I had terrible acne problems for the first time in 22 years and decided to try out this clinic. Right away the appointment was booked within the week and in my first consultation they offered me a long term plan and short term solution for the pain. The clinic is very clean and the staff is very friendly, they definitely make you feel at ease. On top of everything the doctors referred me to specific pharmacies that could offer me lower prices for the medications. My acne mostly cleared within a month but follow up visits made sure It cleared completely and made sure I was comfortable with the treatment and long term use."- D.C. / Google / Oct 26, 2019
"I have been to both offices and each experience was awesome. The staff and doctors are friendly and the service is the same as a five star restaurant or hotel.Dr. Dietert is very talented and is a wonderful person. She has a great concern for her patients and will do everything she can do to help.I highly recommend Snyder Dermatology and Dr. Dietert."- T.C. / Google / Oct 04, 2019
"I've been seeing Dr. Snyder for the past ten years. The first time was when I was splitting my time between Los Angeles and Austin while in graduate school. I had a major eczema problem on my skin. I had no clue that the skin problem was from the fumes of an art project I had been creating for a client, till I discussed the specifics of my days before the out break with Dr. Snyder. She was like one of those damn ghost whisperers, walking me through my days. When she nailed the source, she simply explained to me the problem was from the fumes of the chemicals I was working with at the time (industrial resin and a catalyst). She prescribed a steroid and gave me a skin routine, my eczema went away within a week. Amazing! She is still my "go to" dermatologist for other issues I have had over the past few years. Yes, I travel from LA to Austin to see her. She's that good. Keep in mind that she is straightforward and to the point but awesome!"- J.S. / Yelp / Oct 02, 2019
"Dr. PARKER is an incredible dermatologist. I called on Tuesday morning in a panic because of an allergic reaction - she fit me in later that day. Not only did she work quickly to diagnose the problem, but she prescribed medications that fit my difficult and specific allergies. I called on Wednesday to check in and she spoke on the phone with me personally, and is meeting with me for a follow-up as well. 10/10 doctor all around- truly cares about her patients. Would recommend her to everyone reading this!!!! Best dermatologist experience I've had- and I've seen a lot of them."- C.C. / Yelp / Aug 22, 2019
"Highly recommend seeing Dr. Dietert, fantastic doctor and a kind person. With her you know you are in great hands."- C.D. / Google / Jun 13, 2019
How to Treat Athlete's Foot
Many men and women who get athlete's foot often times understand that they have a fungal infection and simply use over-the-counter (OTC) topical antifungal medications, which in many cases can be effective. If these medications do not treat the fungus, and the infection persists or gets worse, then a visit to our dermatology clinic is usually recommended. There are numerous prescription medications that can help treat the infection, including topical, prescription-strength anti-fungals as well as oral antifungal medications such as itraconazole, fluconazole, or terbinafine. At times oral antibiotics are combined in the treatment to help with secondarily infected blisters which reduce inflammation, and prevent additional blisters from developing. It's important that patients adhere to an at-home regime as well, including keeping the feet dry, as well as soaking the feet in salt water, or diluted vinegar to help accelerate the healing and drying up of the blisters.
Athlete's foot is a common fungus and there are many things both athletes and the everyday active individual can do to help prevent future infections, including:
- Do not share shoes, socks, or towels
- Wear flip flops in locker rooms, showers, etc. shared by teammates
- Keep your feet clean with soap and water daily
- Apply antifungal powder to the feet daily
- Wear socks that are breathable, choose fabrics that help keep and wick moisture away from the skin
- Wash sweaty socks daily
- Air out shoes that have become moist due to sweat
- Choose shoes made of materials that allow air in (breathable materials)
- Alternate between more than one pair of shoes to allow moisture to dry out
Plan Your Procedure
- 15 minutes
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Athlete's foot can be severe or mild. It can be a condition that comes and goes, and worsens over time. Diagnosing the fungus and treating it, and then understanding the right protocol to take will help treat this infection. If you believe you have a fungal infection on your feet, including the heel, sides, top and/or bottom, or between your toes and nails, please call Snyder Dermatology and make your appointment so that relief can be found.