Athlete's Foot Specialist

McElvin Pope, DPM

Podiatrist located in Brooklyn, NY, MidTown, Manhattan, NY & Queens, Long Island City, NY

About 25% of all Americans experience the uncomfortable itching and burning of athlete’s foot at some point in their lifetime. Dr. McElvin Pope in New York City and Long Island City has experience in treating athlete’s foot and can relieve your symptoms and help prevent any future recurrence, which is a common problem. To get expert treatment for athlete’s foot, call Dr. Pope’s Manhattan office or use online booking to schedule an appointment.

Athlete's Foot Q & A

What causes athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is caused by a fungal skin infection. Your feet are vulnerable to fungal infections because fungi prefer warm, dark, moist environments like inside your shoes.

Fungal infections are highly contagious. You can pick up the infection by touching a contaminated surface or a person who’s infected. For example, it’s common to get athlete’s foot from floors or towels in locker rooms and public showers or around a swimming pool.

Can athlete’s foot be prevented?

Your risk of getting athlete’s foot increases if you have dermatitis, very sweaty feet, circulation problems, or a weak immune system. You may also be at high risk if you wear safety boots or rubber boots.

You can take several steps to prevent or significantly lower your risk of developing athlete’s foot. Dr. Pope recommends the following:

  • Don’t walk barefoot around pools or in locker rooms
  • Wear well-ventilated, correctly fitting shoes
  • Wear cotton socks to keep your feet dry
  • Alternate shoes to give each pair time to dry out
  • Wash your feet every day and make sure they’re dry
  • Don’t share towels, shoes, or socks

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?

The first symptoms often appear between your toes, where you may notice any of the following:

  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Itchy skin
  • White, thickened skin
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Blisters and ulcers
  • Itching that’s worse when you take off your shoes

When the infection goes untreated, it can spread into your toenail and over the sole and sides of your foot. When this happens, your skin becomes dry, and it may look like you have eczema. The fungal infection can also spread to other parts of your body if you touch your feet and don’t wash your hands.

How is athlete’s foot treated?

Although athlete’s foot doesn’t usually cause serious complications, it also seldom goes away on its own. Treatment for athlete’s foot consists of oral and topical medications.

If you have a mild infection, Dr. Pope may recommend an over-the-counter antifungal ointment, lotion, spray, or powder. Many patients, however, need prescription antifungal medications that are either applied topically or taken by mouth.

Don’t let a potential infection spread. At the first sign of athlete’s foot, call or use online booking to schedule an appointment.