Stinky Feet Series: Scaly itchy Feet?

Getting sweaty and stinky feet by being in a pair of close-fitting shoes for a long period of time can lead to an itchy condition called tinea pedis, also commonly known as athlete’s foot. Tinea pedis is a common fungal infection of the foot that is caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes. Generally the skin is one of the most effective barriers against bacterial or fungal infections but fungus will thrive and overgrow under the right conditions of warm and moist skin especially within tight enclosed shoes. In addition to itchy feet, you may also experience scaly, dry, or peeling patches of skin on the bottom of the feet or in between the toes. Often discolored, thick toenails are associated with athlete’s foot indicating fungal toenails.

The following are treatments that may be considered by your doctor or podiatrist for athlete’s foot:

  • Wash your feet daily keeping your feet clean and dry, remember to dry in between the toes too.
  • OTC anti-fungal power or antifungal cream
  • Change your socks if heavily sweaty
  • Wear socks or shoe gear with breathable materials that wicks away sweat and keep the feet dry.
  • Athlete’s foot is contagious so don’t share socks and don’t walk around barefoot in public areas, but remember to let your feet breathe in sandals or open-toed shoes!

Once the fungal infection is under control, the smelly feet should go away too as the athlete’s foot improves. See your doctor or podiatrist if the athlete’s foot continues and has not improved within 1-2 weeks. Your doctor may prescribe topical or oral anti-fungal medications depending on the severity of the fungal infection. Call your podiatrist today for the proper treatment of athlete’s foot in order to put your best foot forward and lead a more itchy and smelly-free life!

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.