Fungi are present everywhere, in the air, soil, water, and on plant life. A fungus can be either beneficial or harmful to the human body.
At Calabasas Dermatology Center, we help patients who have developed certain types of fungal infections get treatment to eradicate the fungus and restore healthy skin.
Dr. Hal Weitzbuch – Award-Winning Dermatologist in Calabasas
Our award-winning, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hal Weitzbuch, has garnered a reputation as one of the area’s most qualified skin specialists. When living with a fungal infection, you need it treated quickly, effectively, and correctly. At our clinic, your skin condition can be resolved with advanced skincare treatments for superior, faster results.
About Athlete's Foot
With today's active lifestyles, along with constraints on time, athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is becoming increasingly common. It is a fungal infection that typically appears between the toes. For the condition to develop, athlete's foot requires a moist, warm environment. When hot, sweaty feet are confined in shoes, whether leather or athletic gear, it is common to develop the unsightly, uncomfortable symptoms of athlete's foot. The spores which cause the infection are found virtually everywhere.
How Athlete’s Foot Spreads
Athlete's foot is a contagious skin condition and can be spread by physical contact. This includes contact with a towel, sock, or floor which has already been exposed to an infected individual. The fungus may spread from the feet to other parts of the body, when the hands of an afflicted individual become contaminated, or to the groin by pulling underwear up over infected feet.
Diagnosis of athlete's foot is commonly made by a doctor based upon visual inspection. Sometimes it may require more, like taking a scraping of infected skin to view under a microscope or sending a sample to a hospital lab for analysis.
Symptoms of Athlete's Foot
- A red, scaly rash, which usually starts between the toes.
- Itching, which worsens after footwear is removed, bringing fresh air into contact with the infection.
- Scaling and dryness along the edges and soles of the feet, like the appearance of severe dry skin or eczema.
- Blisters or ulcers, although these do not occur in every case of athlete's foot.
Skincare Experts & Board-Certified Dermatologists in Calabasas
There are over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments to treat athlete's foot. This form of treatment can be effective in reducing symptoms, but the infection often returns. This is particularly true when the fungus has spread to other areas of a patient’s body.
Infections of the feet are more hazardous to one’s overall health than is widely understood. A person should see their doctor if they have a foot infection that does not respond well to self-medication with over-the-counter treatments.
Certain conditions merit real concern in a suspected case of athlete's foot. If one or more of these apply to you or a loved one, be sure to consult with Dr. Hal Weitzbuch or our expert providers rather than using over-the-counter medications to treat the condition:
- Athlete's foot affecting an individual with diabetes.
- Excessive drainage, swelling, redness or tenderness, indicating a possible secondary infection.
- Fever, indicating a possible secondary infection.
Why Do People Get Athlete’s Foot?
Generally, individuals with any of the following traits are at higher risk for the development of athlete's foot:
- Men are more prone to developing athlete's foot than women.
- Wearing damp socks and/or tight-fitting shoes on a routine basis.
- Those who tend to have sweaty feet.
- Sharing objects, such as workout mats or bedding with another person who has the infection.
- Routinely walking barefoot through communal areas where people go barefoot, such as locker rooms, gyms, or community swimming pools.
Complications: When Athlete's Foot Gets Serious
The most common complication of athlete's foot involves the spreading of the fungus to other parts of the body, which usually occurs through personal cross-contamination.
- Athlete's foot may occur on the hands, including between the fingers.
- The infection can affect fingernails and toenails, an ideal environment for fungus to flourish.
- The groin can be affected by the same fungus. Jock itch is caused by the same organism that leads to athlete's foot.
Treatment for Athlete's Foot: Calabasas Dermatologist
A variety of ointments, sprays, and other over-the-counter medications are available to treat athlete's foot. Dr. Weitzbuch may recommend a commercial product for very mild cases. This is most likely when the circumstances around the point of contamination are avoidable in the future, such as when the fungus was contacted and spread by attending a gym, sauna, or other communal area.
For more severe cases, prescription-strength medication may be necessary to treat the condition correctly. Some medications are applied topically, while other potent anti-fungal agents are taken orally in the form of a pill, but with more risks. At Calabasas Dermatology Center, we will evaluate your condition and provide you with a treatment plan that works.
Ringworm Fungal Infection Treatment
There are no worms in ringworm. It is a fungal infection of the skin that produces a circular rash that looks as if a worm has burrowed beneath the skin. While ringworm is not dangerous for most, it can be an uncomfortable and unsightly skin condition, and when on the head, can leave a bald spot. It can easily resolve and clear up with the correct treatment. Ringworm can appear in both adults and children. If your suspect your child has ringworm, contact us to schedule a pediatric consultation so it can be treated and resolved as quickly as possible.
Causes of Ringworm
Ringworm (tinea corporis) is closely related to other fungal skin infections such as athlete's foot and jock itch. Contact between the skin and a source of infection, such as a person or animal who also has ringworm, dirty clothing or furnishings, or even infected soil can cause ringworm to develop. Ringworm spreads more easily in warm climates and in hot, moist areas such as showers and locker rooms. Tight clothing that holds heat and moisture on the skin is also conducive to an environment perfect for the establishment of the fungus and the spread of ringworm.
Ringworm is not normally dangerous, but it is highly contagious. Leaving it untreated poses a risk to others in your household, and those you contact in your daily life. Ringworm, like any other infection, can prove to be a rare but serious health hazard to those whose immune systems are compromised, such as individuals taking certain medications or who are struggling with HIV.
Symptoms of Ringworm
Ringworm appears first as a circular, scaly, reddened patch on the skin. It may be itchy. Over several weeks, the edges of the circle expand outward into a wavy ridge, forming a ring. Some people develop multiple overlapping rings. The center of the ring may be normal, scaled, or marked by scattered red bumps. If it forms on the scalp, ringworm can lead to hair loss – an unsightly problem that should be resolved with the right treatment.
Treatment for Ringworm
Ringworm usually resolves with over-the-counter antifungal treatments. If it does not go away within two weeks, it is important to have your condition evaluated by our Calabasas dermatologist. Prescription-strength antifungal medicine may be the only way to resolve the condition. If the ringworm has developed in an area that is harder to treat, such as the scalp or beneath the nails, oral anti-fungal medicine may be used instead. Your skincare expert at the Calabasas Dermatology Center with help you resolve ringworm outbreaks with the correct treatment.