How are we going to identify if one is really suffering from athlete’s foot, dermatitis or eczema? Athlete’s foot, a fungal infection or the ringworm of the feet can have the same signs and symptoms of the other skin diseases. There are so many types of dermatological conditions that may affect all parts of the body and therefore include the feet.
Rodney Basler M.D., assistant professor of Internal Medicine from Nebraska Medical Center says ” A lot of people who think they have athlete’s foot actually have another condition”. These conditions can be one of the any of these: eczema, dermatitis or some sort of an allergic reaction to their socks or shoes, or even foot care products.
He added, that one good way to surmise if it is really an athlete’s foot or not is to look at the toe web in between the fourth and the fifth toe. If the itchiness and soreness is not there, then most probably, the problem is usually not an athlete’s foot.
Here are the tips that may indicate that the foot problem is less likely an “Athlete’s foot”.
- Try to examine both the right foot and the left foot. If the infection signs such as redness, soreness, itchiness, some inflammation are present on both feet especially not in between the toe webs, then most likely these are caused by a allergic reaction to the shoes, socks or foot products. This is less likely to be an athlete’s foot.
- Another is when the lesions are present only on top of the toes not affecting the smaller sulci and toe web spaces. Most probably, this is a form of a “contact dermatitis”, an inflammation of the skin brought about by an unwanted contact with an irritating shoe material.
- Athlete’s foot is more common on people who have reached adolescence through adulthood. If the lesions occur before the age of puberty and adolescent, most likely, these are not athlete’s foot but a simple type of dermatitis or eczema.
- Lastly, upon examination of the foot, if the foot is red, swollen, blistered and sore, the more likely condition is a severe form of dermatitis and not a fungal infection such as an “athlete’s foot”
Although these ideas provide you with the tips to tell whether you are suffering from an athlete’s foot or from another dermatologic or infectious condition, fact remains that the best way to know and be sure what to do with the foot problem is to seek consult from the doctor or the podiatrists to be advised correctly and more appropriately.
The risk of self medicating is that it may not resolve the foot problem and worse, may aggravate it more. It may also be costly as the products or medications that were used may be ineffective and should it get aggravated, may be advised to do some other laboratory procedures and take a different and may be more expensive class of drugs.