Athlete's Foot (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Athlete's foot facts
- What is athlete's foot?
- What are the symptoms and signs of athlete's foot?
- What does athlete's foot look like?
- Is athlete's foot contagious?
- What else causes foot rashes?
- What is the treatment for athlete's foot?
- What home remedy can I use for athlete's foot?
- How can I treat athlete's foot in pregnancy?
- When should I seek medical care?
- What are possible complications of athlete's foot?
- What kind of doctor treats athlete's foot?
- How can I prevent future athlete's foot infections?
- Pictures of Foot Problems - Slideshow
- Medical Pictures Athlete's Foot Image Collection
- Pictures of Ringworm - Slideshow
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What are the symptoms and signs of athlete's foot?
Many individuals with athlete's foot have no symptoms at all and do not even know they have an infection. Many may think they simply have dry skin on the soles of their feet. Common symptoms of athlete's foot typically include various degrees of itching and burning. The skin may frequently peel, and in particularly severe cases, there may be some cracking, pain, and bleeding as well. Rarely, athlete's foot can blister.
What does athlete's foot look like?
Most cases of athlete's foot are barely noticeable with just slightly dry, flaky skin. More extensive athlete's foot may look like red, peeling, dry skin areas on one or both soles of the feet. Sometimes the dry flakes may spread onto the sides and tops of the feet. Most commonly, the rash is localized to just the bottoms of the feet. The space between the fourth and fifth toes also may have some moisture, peeling, and dry flakes.
There are three common types of fungal athlete's foot: (1) soles of the feet, also called "moccasin" type; (2) between the toes, also called "interdigital" type; and (3) inflammatory type or blistering.
Occasionally, it may appear as small or large blisters of the feet (called bullous tinea pedis), thick patches of dry, red skin, or calluses with redness. Sometimes, it may look like just mild dry skin without any redness or inflammation.
Fungal athlete's foot may present as a rash on one or both feet and even involve the hand. A "two feet and one hand" presentation is a very common presentation of athlete's foot, especially in men. Hand fungal infections are called tinea manuum. Fungal athlete's foot may also be seen along with ringworm of the groin (especially in men) or hand(s). It is helpful to examine the feet whenever there is a fungal groin rash called tinea cruris. It is important to treat all areas of fungal infection at one time to avoid reinfection. Simply treating the soles and ignoring the concurrent fungal infection of toenails may result in recurrences of athlete's foot.
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