Athletes foot is called Tinea pedis in the medical books. The common foot fungus that causes athletes foot is Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The contagious fungus to spread by contact with public pools spas showers and bathing facilities.
The fungus affects the feet toes and toenails. It begins with scaling redness peeling and flaking between the toes and the bottoms of the feet. The fungus generally does not spread to the tops of the feet but will affect the toenails and between the toes creating a raw skin peeling appearance. The fungus will spread to the shoe regions of the foot on the sides and bottom in patchy scaly pattern.
Tiny blisters will form between the toes resulting in inflammation and swelling. The fungus also embeds under the toenails causing cracking and discolored toenails. The sometimes-painful fungus makes the feet sensitive due to the cracking and splitting of the skin.
Treatments for athletes foot and toenail fungus include over-the-counter-antifungal creams applied twice a day up to four weeks. Avoid placing the cream between the toes where moisture accumulates since the fungus thrives on moisture. Instead place the cream on the other areas of the foot and toenails. Sometimes the feet and toes become inflamed. In such cases apply a topical steroid such as 1% hydrocortisone cream twice daily to aid in the healing of the feet and destroying the fungus.
Use an antifungal spray inside the shoes as well as a foot powder. Add the powder to the feet and between the toes for added assistance to kill off the fungus. Make sure to allow the shoes to air out and be completely dry before wearing them again. The fungus survives in moist wet environments which is continuing the infestation of the fungus without proper treatment to the footwear.
If shoe inserts are use in footwear remove the old inserts and replace with new inserts that are containing the fungus. Avoid wearing the same shoes two days continuously. Allow the shoes to air dry to help diminish the fungus. When the shoes are drying place them in a ventilated location without other shoes in the area. Keep the shoes and feet dry to reduce the risks of athletes foot and toenail fungus.