Stinky Feet Series: Got itchy scaly redness in between the toes?

Unlike athlete’s foot, a fungal infection of the foot, the soggy nature of feet in shoes can also foster a stinky bacteria infection called erythrasma. The bacterium that grows in this environment is called Corynebacterium minutissimum. This bacteria is part of the normal skin flora but under the right moist condition, it can proliferate leading to a superficial bacterial skin infection. Erythrasma most commonly causes bacterial infection in the webspaces of the toes and gives the clinical appearance of red or brown scaly patches of skin with soggy looking itchy skin.

The following are diagnosis and treatment options that may be considered by your doctor or podiatrist for erythrasma in the feet:

  • To diagnosis erythrasma your podiatrist may use a Wood’s lamp, which would reveal a fluorescent coral red color.
  • A culture swab of the affected skin can also be done that’s viewed under a microscope that can also help confirm the diagnosis of erythrasma. This may also reveal a concomitant fungal infection.
  • Proper moisture control between the toes by using moisture-wicking fabric socks and making sure to dry in between the toes.
  • Treatment typically involves antibiotics either oral erythromycin or azithromycin. Your doctor or podiatrist may prescribe a week of antibiotic therapy.
  • Topical antibiotics may also be prescribed such as topical erythromycin drops.

Good hygiene and keeping the feet clean and dry especially in between the toes will help calm down the symptoms of erythrasma as well as prevent any recurrence. With the use of proper antibiotics therapy, improvement should be seen within two weeks so call your podiatrist today for the treatment of this uncomfortable itchy condition called erythrasma!

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.