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Athlete’s Foot

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Athlete’s foot is a rash caused by a fungus which usually appears on the feet and/or between the toes. It is not usually serious but should be treated to stop it spreading to other parts of the body or other people.

Affected areas of skin may be:

  • Dry, red, scaly and flake
  • White, soggy and cracked
  • Itchy
  • Sore
  • Covered in small blisters

Scratching the infected skin and then touching other parts of your body could spread the infection.

How can I avoid triggers/ suggested lifestyle changes

Athlete’s foot is caused by fungi growing and multiplying on the skin. You can reduce your risk of
developing athlete’s foot by:

  • Drying your feet gently but thoroughly after washing them, particularly the areas between your toes.
    Dab them dry rather than rubbing them.
  • Wearing cotton socks and roomy shoes made of natural materials such as leather – this will allow
    your feet to “breathe”.
  • Wear a fresh pair of socks, tights, or stockings every day.
  • Change your shoes every couple of days – this allows them to dry out between uses.
  • Not walking around barefoot in public showers and locker rooms.
  • Not sharing towels, socks and shoes with other people, and ensuring your towels are washed
  • Use talcum powder on your feet to stop them from getting sweaty
  • Not using moisturiser between your toes, as this can help fungi multiply.

Continue to follow the above advice after treating the athlete’s foot to help stop it from coming back.

There is no need to stay off work if you or your child develop athlete’s foot.

How do I treat Athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is unlikely to get better on its own. It can usually be treated using antifungal treatments available from pharmacies without the need to see a GP. A pharmacist can recommend an antifungal medicine that are safe for you to use; not all types are suitable for children, older people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

When should I seek advice?

  • Treatments from a pharmacy don’t work
  • You’re in a lot of discomfort
  • Your foot is red, hot and painful – this could be a more serious infection
  • You have diabetes – foot problems can be more serious if you have diabetes
  • You have a weakened immune system – for example, you’ve had an organ transplant or are having chemotherapy

Where can I get more information?

  • NHS Choices –
  • Your local community pharmacy
Last Updated: Tuesday 25th April 2023 - 1:47:pm

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