Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection of the foot. It causes an itchy rash to develop between your toes. As well as being itchy, the affected skin may also be red, scaly, flaky and dry. The infection can spread to the sole and side of your foot, causing redness and scaling in these areas. If untreated, the infection can spread to your toenails causing them to become thickened, discoloured, dry and crumbly.
Everyone has bacteria and fungi on their skin. Most of the time they are harmless and don't cause problems. Athlete's foot is caused when a group of fungi called dermatophytes multiply causing infection. Your feet provide a warm, dark and humid environment – ideal conditions for the fungi to live and multiply. It can be passed easily from person to person through contaminated towels, clothing and surfaces eg; showers, swimming pools and towels.
Antifungal creams and powders are available over the counter and are effective in treating most cases of athlete's foot. Ask your Feelys totalhealth Pharmacy Team Member for advice on which one would suit you. It is important to treat the rash as well as 4-6 cm of healthy looking skin surrounding the affected area, as sometimes skin can be infected with the fungus without showing any symptoms. Your rash may clear up quickly, but you may need to continue using the medication for one to two weeks after your symptoms have disappeared to ensure that the infection has been successfully treated. In severe cases, or where topical treatment has not worked, your doctor may recommend a tablet to treat the infection.