Experiences withAthlete's foot
Symptoms of athlete's foot
One of the main symptoms of Athlete's foot is itchy white patches between your toes.
It can also cause sore and flaky patches on your feet.
The skin can look red, but this may be less noticeable on brown or black skin.
Sometimes the skin on your feet may become cracked or bleed.
Athlete's foot can also affect your soles or sides of your feet. It sometimes causes fluid-filled blisters.
If it's not treated, the infection can spread to your toenails and cause a fungal nail infection.
How to treat and prevent athlete's foot yourself
You can keep using some pharmacy treatments to stop athlete's foot coming back.
It's also important to keep your feet clean and dry. You do not need to stay off work or school.
dry your feet after washing them, particularly between your toes – dab them dry rather than rubbing them
use a separate towel for your feet and wash it regularly
take your shoes off when at home
wear clean socks every day – cotton socks are best
do not scratch affected skin – this can spread it to other parts of your body
do not walk around barefoot – wear flip-flops in places like changing rooms and showers
do not share towels, socks or shoes with other people
do not wear the same pair of shoes for more than 2 days in a row
do not wear shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty
Keep following this advice after finishing treatment to help stop athlete's foot coming back.
Treatment for athlete's foot from a GP
The GP may:
- send a small scraping of skin from your feet to a laboratory to check you have athlete's foot
- prescribe a steroid cream to use alongside antifungal cream
- prescribe antifungal tablets – you might need to take these for several weeks
- refer you to a skin specialist (dermatologist) for more tests and treatment if needed
How you get athlete's foot
You can catch athlete's foot from other people with the infection.
You can get it by:
- walking barefoot in places where someone else has athlete's foot – especially changing rooms and showers
- touching the affected skin of someone with athlete's foot
You're more likely to get it if you have wet or sweaty feet, or if the skin on your feet is damaged.
The main symptoms of athlete's foot are itchy white patches and cracked skin, usually between the toes.
You can usually treat athlete's foot using antifungal creams, sprays or powders bought from a pharmacy. See a GP if these do not work.
You can catch athlete's foot from walking barefoot in places where someone else has it or touching the affected skin of someone with it.
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