Causes of tinea (athlete’s foot)
Tinea is caused by a fungal infection. You catch tinea by coming into contact with surfaces infected with the fungus. The fungus thrives in dark, moist, warm conditions and for this reason tinea is most common between the toes and on the soles of the feet. Communal wet areas such as showers, around swimming pools and locker change rooms are common breeding grounds for the tinea fungus.
Patients that suffer from sweaty feet are more prone to tinea infections. Being enclosed in socks or nylon stockings for long periods also provides a perfect breeding ground for tinea.
Tinea (athlete’s foot) diagnosis
Tinea or athlete’s foot infections are generally easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne podiatrists, who are experts in identifying skin conditions of the foot without the need for further tests. If there is any doubt on the source of a foot skin infection then our podiatrists may choose to take a skin scraping and send this to pathology to confirm diagnosis.
Podiatry treatment for tinea (athlete’s foot)
Following successful diagnosis by our Melbourne podiatrists, tinea or athlete’s foot infections can be treated with topical anti-fungal medication. There are many different topical anti-fungal medications available over the counter at the pharmacy including creams, gels, sprays and powders. Our podiatrists can advise you on which topical will work best for your tinea treatment. Chronic and stubborn tinea foot infections may require referral for stronger oral prescription medication.
Successful treatment and prevention of tinea or athlete’s foot infections involves treating the cause. Generally this involves our podiatrists addressing the environmental factors that cause the tinea fungus, such as sweaty feet, socks and footwear.
Tinea or athlete’s foot should not be ignored as it can progress and even lead to fungal nail infections or more serious bacterial infections. So if you think you have a tinea foot infection don’t delay in seeking early podiatry treatment.