What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a fungus that manifests as a red, itchy rash on the feet. Athlete’s foot often looks scaly in appearance. It can cause burning symptoms, as well as foot ulcers or sores in severe cases.
Athlete’s foot is usually easy to treat with over the counter creams, powders, and other topical medications. However, sometimes athlete’s foot is quite persistent. When this happens, it’s usually because the patient has an underlying condition. This can also occur if the fungus has gone untreated for an extended period of time.
For example, when athlete’s foot and diabetes occur at the same time, it can result in serious complications.
If you have athlete’s foot, a doctor can always help you treat it effectively. However, many people opt for over the counter remedies. Usually, these treatments, combined with proper foot care and hygiene, quickly eliminate the fungus. However, there are some situations in which seeking professional medical care is the best solution.
If you have diabetes, your body’s ability to fight off infection is compromised. This is also true for patients undergoing some cancer treatments or taking immunosuppressant medications. In such cases, the body may have trouble getting rid of athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
If you have poor blood circulation because of diabetes or another medical condition, this can also lead to complications. Poor circulation inhibits blood flow to the affected area, thereby limiting the body’s ability to heal.
You may not know you have poor circulation if you haven’t been previously diagnosed. Signs of poor circulation may become more noticeable if you have a fungal infection like athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot does not cause neuropathy, or numbness in the feet. If you have athlete’s foot and numb toes seem to be a symptom, you may have poor blood circulation. This can allow the fungus to spread and slow healing.
Other signs of poor blood circulation may include fatigue, tingling in the hands and feet, and varicose veins.
If you have diabetes or poor blood circulation, you should visit a podiatrist as soon as possible. If left untreated, athlete’s foot can spread to the toes, nails, and other parts of the body. It can even result in open sores and toenail deformities.
If you’ve had athlete’s foot for two weeks or more and over the counter treatments aren’t working, it’s time to visit the doctor. A medical professional can prescribe more effective antifungal medications and address side effects of the infection.
At Mitchell Foot & Ankle, P.C., our professionals are here to address all your foot health needs. From helping combat diabetic neuropathy, to treating athlete’s foot, we’re here for you.
Athlete’s foot is contagious. This means if you live with others, there is a chance they could catch it. While taking common sense precautions can reduce the risk of spreading infection, healing is the most effective way to prevent transmission.
If you have a fungal infection on the feet or toes, contact our podiatrists in Hyde Park today. There’s no need to worry about what happens if athlete’s foot goes untreated! Our team is here to help you get rid of even the most stubborn infections and protect your foot health.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Chicago office!