Aloha Foot Centers

Kailua Kaneohe Foot & Ankle Specialists

Robert LaReaux, DPM
Sandra Au, DPM
Ken Tsubata, DPM

Podiatric Foot Care for Dry Itchy Athletes Foot

What is Athletes Foot?

Could you have itchy athletes foot?  This is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes.  Shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth.  The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi. Because the infection was common among athletes who used these facilities frequently, the term "athletes foot" became popular.  Not all fungus conditions are athletes foot. Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic athletes foot.

Symptoms

Symptoms include skin that is dry itchy foot, scaling, inflammation, and blisters whcih often lead to cracking of the skin. When blisters break, small raw areas of tissue are exposed, causing pain and swelling. Itching and burning may increase as the infection spreads.

Athletes foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails. It can be spread to other parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who scratch the infection and then touch elsewhere. The organisms causing the condition may persist for long periods. Consequently, the infection may be spread by contaminated bed sheets or clothing to other parts of the body.

Prevention

It is not easy to prevent because it is usually contracted in dressing rooms, showers, and swimming pool locker rooms where bare feet come in contact with the fungus. However, you can do much to prevent infection by practicing good foot hygiene. Daily washing of the feet with soap and water; drying carefully, especially between the toes; and changing shoes and socks regularly to decrease moisture, help prevent the fungus from infecting the feet. Also helpful is daily use of a quality foot powder.

When to Call for with a Podiatric Foot Doctor

If an apparent fungus condition does not respond to proper foot hygiene and self care, and there is no improvement within two weeks, please call for an appointment. Dr. LaReaux will determine if a fungus is the cause of the problem. If it is, a specific treatment plan, including the prescription of medication, applied topically or oral pill may be suggested. If the recommended course of treatment is shortened, failure of the treatment is common. 

Tips for proper Podiatric Care

  • Avoid walking barefoot; use shower shoes.
  • Reduce perspiration by using talcum powder.
  • Wear light and airy shoes.
  • Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them frequently if you perspire heavily.

Podiatric Treatment

Fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals are frequently used for treatment.

In mild cases of the infection it is important to keep the feet dry by dusting foot powder in shoes and hose. The feet should be bathed frequently and all areas around the toes dried thoroughly.