Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects between 3-15% of people. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be an athlete to develop an infection. At Optima Foot and Ankle, with the convenient locations in Bend, Oregon, and Redmond, Oregon, expert podiatrists Laura Schweger, DPM, and Evan M. Ross, DPM, provide safe, effective treatment for athlete’s foot. Use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment or call the nearest office today.

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What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot occurs due to a fungal infection. It typically starts between the toes and spreads to the top of the feet. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot is closely related to those that cause ringworm and jock itch. Fortunately, with early intervention and treatment, it’s possible to both treat and reverse.

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?

The symptoms of athlete’s foot vary and depend on the severity of the infection. Telltale signs include a red, scaly rash, peeling or flaky skin, and small blisters or open sores.

It’s possible to spread the infection to your other foot or another part of your body through touch, so it’s important to avoid scratching or picking at your feet and toes.

Who is at risk of athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot affects people of all ages and backgrounds, but several factors increase your risk, including:

  • Being a man
  • Wearing damp socks
  • Wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes
  • Sharing mats, rugs, socks, or sheets with someone who has a fungal infection

You’re also more likely to develop athlete’s foot if you regularly walk around barefoot in communal areas like locker rooms, saunas, or swimming pools.

How is athlete’s foot diagnosed?

To diagnose athlete’s foot, your Optima Foot and Ankle provider thoroughly examines your feet and toes. In the majority of cases, visual observation is enough to make a determination.

If your provider suspects another condition, they might take a skin sample from your foot and send it to a laboratory for further analysis.

How is athlete’s foot treated?

Treatment of athlete’s foot depends on the intensity of your symptoms and their effect on your daily life. If you have a mild or moderate infection, you might benefit from over-the-counter antifungal ointment, creams, powders, or a spray.

If the problem persists, you might benefit from oral antifungal medication or in-office treatment with the Lunula Laser®. The Lunula Laser uses painless, touchless, cool laser technology. It’s safe, effective, and provides near-instant results.

Following treatment, it’s important you take steps to avoid a recurrence. Optima Foot and Ankle recommends:

  • Keeping your feet dry
  • Changing your socks frequently
  • Wearing light, well-ventilated shoes
  • Using over-the-counter products on a daily basis

In addition, try to avoid scratching or picking at the rash and don’t share your shoes with others.

To receive treatment for athlete’s foot, request a consultation at Optima Foot and Ankle. Use the online scheduling tool to book online or call the nearest office today.