Athlete’s foot (Tinea)

What is it?
Athlete’s foot or tinea is a fungal infection that affects the skin of the feet. Toenails can also become infected by the fungus, which thrive in warm, humid areas (eg. Your shoes, socks, between your toes, etc).

You are most likely to catch tinea if you:

  • Go barefoot at public swimming pools and showers
  • Share socks, shoes or towels with someone that has tinea

How does it affect your feet?

  • Small blisters or peeling skin on the bottom of your foot, which can become itchy.
  • Inflamed, soggy or itchy skin between your toes.
  • Dry calloused skin on the bottom and sides of your feet.
  • Fungal nails, which may become thick, discoloured, cracked or brittle.

Prevention is always the best cure!

  • Keep your feet clean and dry, especially between your toes.
  • Shower with things or sandals on your feet in public showers.
  • Don’t use powder between your toes.
  • Wear natural fibre socks rather than nylon or acrylic.
  • Wear leather instead of synthetic material shoes.

What can be done about it?

  • Topical creams and ointments are usually effective in curing tinea.
    • Your podiatrist can advise you on the best medicaments for your skin to cure tinea.
    • It is important to follow the instructions for the medicine, which may include
      applying the cream for 2 weeks after the tine appears to have resolved.
  • Wear leather shoes and 100% cotton or wool socks to allow your feet to
    breathe, and wash and dry your feet thoroughly every day.
  • To prevent re-infection, wear thongs or sandals in the shower and treat your socks and shoes with a tinea spray.