Common Foot Problems

Athlete’s foot

Tinea is a contagious fungal infection of the skin. It is easy to catch and is often picked up in public areas, such as communal showers. The skin can change in appearance, becoming red, moist and itchy, and sometimes developing small blisters.

Athlete’s foot usually forms between the fourth and fifth (smallest) toes or third and fourth toes, producing skin cracking, white and soggy toes, scaling, and itchiness. The infection can spread to the soles of the feet. It’s made worse by sweaty feet and wearing tight socks or shoes that stay in moisture. If a bacterial infection sets in on top of it, the skin will ooze, burn, and smell.

The best way to prevent athlete’s foot:

Keep your feet clean, dry, and cool.

Whenever possible, take off your shoes to “air out” your feet.

Clean your feet daily with soap and water.

Always dry well between your toes.

Use an absorbent powder such as talcum powder or aluminum chloride powder.

Wear absorbent socks (e.g., made out of cotton or wool).

Avoid tight-fitting footwear, since sweaty feet provide ideal conditions for fungal growth.

Change your socks after exercising or after any excess sweating.

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