Athlete’s foot may appear in different stages, each with its own presentation. For instance, the acute stage may have blisters or have intense itching. In addition, there may be maceration between the toes; and occasional drainage. The chronic condition is characterized more by a dry and scaly appearance and rarely itches.
Athlete's foot is caused by an infection of a fungus which attacks the corneal (outer) layer of the skin. This results in scaling or redness to the skin. Fungus typically grows in moist dark areas...or the exact conditions inside each of our shoes!!
Athlete's foot is diagnosed clinically by the appearance of an itchy scaly rash on the bottoms of the feet and in between the toes. Other skin conditions can mimic the same appearance. If the condition does not resolve with standard treatment further investigation is indicated through wood's lamp florescence, or skin biopsy.
The treatment for athlete’s foot depends on the severity of the condition. At the first sign of an athlete’s foot condition, a short trial period of a medicinal preparation available at the pharmacy in spray or cream varieties is recommended. Following several days of use, if the condition persists, a visit to the foot specialist is recommended. If you have a lower stage infection a stronger topical cream or gel might work. Infections between the toes are a little harder to treat because the area stays moist.