Athlete’s foot is a skin disease caused by a fungal infection, usually occurring between the toes, but can occur on the bottom of the foot in the arch, and sometimes on the sides or top.
The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because 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 fungus. Because the infection was common among athletes who used these facilities frequently, the term “athlete’s foot” became popular.
Not all fungus conditions are athlete’s foot. Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic athlete’s foot.
If an apparent fungus condition does not respond to proper foot hygiene and self care, and there is no improvement within 7 days, call us. We will determine if a fungus is the cause of the problem. If it is, a specific treatment plan, including the prescription of antifungal medication, applied topically or taken by mouth, may be suggested. A biopsy of the area may be needed in some cases to determine if a fungal infection is present.
If the infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics, such as penicillin, that are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria may be prescribed.
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