Athlete's Foot Specialist

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Athlete's Foot services offered in Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Huntley and Montclare, Chicago, IL

Athlete’s foot is a highly contagious infection that requires prompt treatment. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, with offices in Elgin, Schaumburg, Huntley, and the Montclare neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the board-certified podiatrists provide comprehensive treatment and prevention for athlete’s foot. Call the location nearest you or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about athlete’s foot.

What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that typically affects the skin between the toes. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot also causes ringworm and jock itch. This highly contagious fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. 

While this infection primarily affects the feet, it can spread to other moist areas of the body, such as the groin.

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot typically begins between the toes and gradually spreads to the soles and tops of your feet. Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include:

  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Skin that appears red, white, or purple
  • Itchy skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Blisters
  • Burning or stinging

Fungus and bacteria that affect the feet also can cause a foul smell that may signal an advanced case of athlete’s foot.

What causes athlete’s foot?

While fungi, or dermatophytes, directly cause athlete’s foot, certain risk factors increase your chance of infection. Common risk factors for athlete’s foot include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Wearing unwashed socks
  • Wearing tight-fitting socks
  • Being barefoot in communal areas, e.g., locker rooms, saunas, or public pools

Sharing shoes, clothes, mats, rugs, towels, and linens with someone who has an active infection significantly raises your risk of athlete’s foot.

How is athlete’s foot diagnosed?

Your podiatrist can typically diagnose athlete’s foot through a visual exam. However, they may take a sample of skin tissue for lab testing. A lab test can confirm an athlete’s foot diagnosis and rule out other common conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, or another fungal infection.

What are the treatments for athlete’s foot?

The podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists take a multifaceted approach to athlete’s foot treatment. These effective solutions can help eliminate fungus at the source. Your podiatrist may also provide tips on how to avoid athlete’s foot in the future.

Treating the infection itself is the first step in eliminating athlete’s foot. Your podiatrist may recommend a prescription-strength ointment to apply to your skin. Oral antifungal pills are sometimes necessary to clear an infection.

Prevention is key if you experience recurrent athlete’s foot. Your podiatrist may ask you to:

  • Change your socks frequently
  • Clean and dry your feet daily
  • Wear light, ventilated footwear
  • Stop sharing shoes with others
  • Stop scratching your rash

To learn more about athlete’s foot, call Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.