Athlete's foot – also known as tinea pedis - is a common fungal infection that affects the feet – primarily the space between the toes.
If left untreated, this infection can spread to the soles or the sides of your feet, or to the spaces between your other toes.
It may even spread to your toenails and cause a fungal nail infection.
Quite often, however, you may not even be aware that you have the condition or be aware of the fact that it is spreading! Since Athlete’s Foot is contagious, you may be spreading the infection before you even realise that you have it.
What causes Athlete’s Foot?
Often you’ll pick Athlete’s Foot up from an infected person or from contact with contaminated surfaces, such as towels, floors and shoes.
It is quite contagious and can also be made worse by damp socks and shoes, and by warm, humid conditions.
The main symptoms of Athlete’s Foot include:
Sore and itchy feet – especially between the toes.
Stinging or burning sensation between the toes
Thickened skin on the feet
Peeling or cracked skin
Reddened patches of skin, with white and wet-looking surfaces
Fortunately, the Minor our pharmacists can treat Athlete’s Foot on the Minor Ailments scheme with antifungal medication.
The treatment is Clotrimazole cream, Miconazole cream or Terbinafine gel (only prescribed for those over 16 years of age).
Athletes foot may take many weeks to fully resolve and it is essential to continue treatment until fully cleared
Self-care for your feet
During your consultation with our pharmacist, you may be given some advice on good foot hygiene, as these tips may help you to prevent your Athlete’s Foot from recurring. Our pharmacist will suggest that you:
Wear footwear that keeps your feet cool and dry
Wear cotton socks
Change your shoes every 2-3 days
Dry your feet thoroughly after washing, especially between your toes
You’ll also be given advice on reducing the risk of transmission to others, such as:
Avoiding scratching the affected skin to reduce the spread of infection to other sites
Avoiding going barefoot in public places such as changing rooms – this will prevent you from being infected by another person
If you think that you may have Athlete’s Foot, call into the pharmacy today or give us a call to arrange a consultation!