The Athlete’s Foot – Tinea Pedis

Athlete’s Foot (lat. Tinea pedis, Tinea interdigitalis) is a fungal skin infection that usually begins between the toes. If not treated timely, it can spread to other parts of the foot, like soles and nails. It can also be transmitted to other body parts by contact. Most often it occurs in people who spend most of the day in sports and closed footwear, that prevents the foot from “breathing”, so the foot sweats more favouring the development of fungi. This fungal infection is difficult to treat because inside of a shoe offers a perfect, moist and warm environment for them. This condition can be transmitted when wearing someone else’s shoes, using hygiene kit of an infected person, but most often it is transmitted in dump environments, where one walks barefoot.

Symptoms — Athlete’s Foot

Redness, cracked skin between the toes, and moist and bleeding may occur in some areas. When it comes to subjective symptoms, itching and burning sensation may be present. If the condition spreads to nails, it is characterised by the yellowish or brownish colouring of the nail and the thickening of the nail plate. Changes in the form of redness and flaking can occur on the entire surface of the soles. An unpleasant odour may be also present.


A dermatologist may be able to diagnose athlete’s foot simply by looking at it. To confirm the diagnosis a skin scraping from the affected area of the skin or nail can be taken for mycological testing in a lab.

Treatment and prevention

Topical antimycotics are used in the treatment of Athlete’s foot. When therapy with topical preparations does not give satisfactory results, and the disease spreads to a larger area and persists for a long time, antimycotics are introduced in the form of tablets. With the application of therapy, it is necessary to keep the affected region dry. Feet need to be washed regularly, and after washing it is important to dry them well, especially the area between the toes where water is easily retained. Socks need to be changed frequently, and it is the best it they are made of cotton. In order to avoid a recurrence of athlete’s foot, it is important not to walk barefoot in wet public areas and also, not to exchange personal hygiene items and shoes with other people. People who have increased sweating of feet need to change socks several times during the day. The socks should be made of natural materials. It is also important to carefully dry the feet after taking a shower. It can be helpful to apply powder periodically. It is recommended to wear shoes that let the feet breathe.
Svetlana Đurišić specijalista dermatovenerologije

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