Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin that can occur on any part of the foot including in between the toes. This short video below on athlete’s foot shows some of the typical features of the infection. As a foot and ankle specialist in Singapore, we advise seeking medical help immediately when you notice signs of the infection.
What does an athlete’s foot infection look and feel like?
Surprisingly, athlete’s foot does not always cause itchiness, although itchiness is one of the symptoms. It may just look like dry skin around the heel, arch or toes of the foot that does not improve with moisturisers. If it occurs between the toes, it is usually between toe number 4 and 5 and may look soggy, white or red and have peeling skin that causes irritation to the foot and sometimes, pain. Our specialists in Singapore have noticed that the signs and symptoms almost always become worse when one wears closed shoes for the entire day. This is one of the reasons why it is also common in individuals who work long office hours.
Fungal infections of the skin of the foot frequently spread to the nails causing a condition known as onychomycosis. Nail infections are very difficult to treat and could take up to a year of treatments before healing.
When you develop any kind of foot pain that persists, you should visit a specialist to have it checked – our podiatrists in Singapore recommend seeking medical attention immediately when the condition does not improve.
How to prevent athlete’s foot without the help of a specialist?
Keeping the skin on your feet free from infections can be a tough task. Our foot specialists in Singapore recommend the following steps to avoid fungal infections on your feet:
1. Always wear flip-flop sandals inside gym showers, changing rooms, around swimming pools, nail salons and reflexology places.
2. Never share shoes and sandals.
3. Wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water upon exiting a swimming pool and dry them meticulously. Children should especially do so.
4. Shoes that are regularly worn for many hours during the day should be dried out in direct sunlight weekly.
5. Ensure that your nail salon uses sterile instruments or take your own.
You may visit our foot doctor in Singapore for a prescription of topical anti-fungal medications or oral treatments to cure the infection. The specialist may also suggest home care remedies such as soaking the feet in saltwater or diluted vinegar.