Athletes foot (tinea pedis) is the most common fungal infection. Athlete’s foot is a fungus infection of the area between the toes. Fungi grow best in warm, moist areas of the skin such as between toes. It is very common in older children and may occur on only one foot or both.
Signs of Athlete’s Foot
Red, moist, scaly and cracked skin on the areas between the toes. Sometimes there are small blisters on the bottom of the foot or on the side of the foot. Itching, peeling rash between toes, sometimes with an unpleasant smell. It often comes back and has to be treated each time.
Care at Home
- Ask your pharmacist to recommend an over-the-counter product for athlete’s foot such as an antifungal powder or lotion. Use the product as directed on the package. Do not use cortisone on a fungal infection.
- Wash your child’s feet twice a day.
- Dry the toes well after washing them. Use a hair dryer on a cool or non-heat setting to get the skin completely dry.
- Use an absorbent powder. Put on clean socks after the feet are washed. Just wear socks when in the house.
- Don’t let your child wear someone else’s shoes.
- For stubborn cases, have your child wear white cotton socks to help keep the feet dry.
- Have your child where open, cool type shoes (sandals( so their feet “breathe,” stay dry and don’t sweat. Let your shoes dry 24 hours between wearings.
- Have your child wear rubber or sandals (flip flops) in or round a community shower, gym or swimming pool.
When to Call the Doctor
- If the rash becomes infected so that the feet swell, there is pus, or the rash is painful.
- The fungus infection spreads to the hands.
- If home treatment doesn’t clear up athlete’s foot after 7-10 days.
- Your regular doctor or pediatrician can treat athlete’s foot.