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Skincare - Athlete's Foot
(Fungal Skin Infection)

Tinea pedis is a foot infection due to a dermatophyte fungus. It is the most common dermatophyte infection and is particularly prevalent in hot, tropical, urban environments.

 

Who is at higher risk?

Tinea pedis usually occurs in males and adolescents/young adults, but can also affect females, children and older people. Infection is usually acquired by direct contact with the causative organism, for example using a shared towel, or by walking barefoot in a public change room.

Other risk factors include:

Symptoms

Tinea pedis tends to be asymmetrical,

and may be unilateral.
 

  • General itch of the foot

  • Itchy erosions and/or scales/ break in skin/ moisture build up in between the toes, especially between 4th and 5th toes/ other toes.
     

  • Flakey skin covering the sole and sides of the feet (hyperkeratotic/moccasin type, usually caused by T. rubrum)
     

  • Small to medium-sized blisters, usually affecting the inner aspect of the foot (vesiculobullous type).
     

  • It can also uncommonly cause oozing and ulceration between the toes (ulcerative type), or pustules (these are more common in tinea pedis due to T. interdigitale than that due to T. rubrum).

How to treat Tinea Pedis?

General measures should be first-line, including meticulous drying of feet, especially between the toes, avoidance of occlusive footwear, and the use of barrier protection (sandals) in communal facilities.

Topical antifungal therapy once or twice daily is usually sufficient.

Individuals with the hyperkeratotic variant of tinea pedis may benefit from the addition of a topical keratolytic cream containing urea.

To minimize recurrence of tinea pedis:

  • Dry feet and toes meticulously after bathing

  • Use anti-fungal foot powder once or twice daily

  • Avoid wearing occlusive footwear for long periods

  • Thoroughly dry shoes and boots

  • Clean the shower and bathroom floors using a product containing bleach

  • Treat shoes with antifungal powder.
     

If treatment of tinea pedis is unsuccessful, consider reinfection, coexistent untreated fungal nail infection, reinfection due to untreated family member, or an alternative diagnosis.

Podiatrists are professionally trained to help & treat, contact us for a consultation today! 

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How to treat Tinea Pedis?

General measures should be first-line, including meticulous drying of feet, especially between the toes, avoidance of occlusive footwear, and the use of barrier protection (sandals) in communal facilities.

Topical antifungal therapy once or twice daily is usually sufficient.

Individuals with the hyperkeratotic variant of tinea pedis may benefit from the addition of a topical keratolytic cream containing urea.

To minimize recurrence of tinea pedis:

  • Dry feet and toes meticulously after bathing

  • Use anti-fungal foot powder once or twice daily

  • Avoid wearing occlusive footwear for long periods

  • Thoroughly dry shoes and boots

  • Clean the shower and bathroom floors using a product containing bleach

  • Treat shoes with antifungal powder.
     

If treatment of tinea pedis is unsuccessful, consider reinfection, coexistent untreated fungal nail infection, reinfection due to untreated family member, or an alternative diagnosis.

Podiatrists are professionally trained to help & treat, contact us for a consultation today! 

Fungal skin infection or inflammatory condition?

Although the following inflammatory disorders may present similarly, the mycology test result would be negative. Moreover, the appearance would be symmetrical and bilateral, which is not the case for tinea pedis (ungal skin infection).

Conditions that present similar to tinea pedis includes:

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