Athletes Foot (tinea pedis)

Do your feet burn, itch, or flake?   You may have athlete’s foot.  Athlete’s foot is a fungal skin disease that often occurs between people’s toes. It causes discomfort due to scaling, itching, and cracking.  Scratching the feet and touching other parts of the body can also cause it to also spread to those areas.  The most common areas for a secondary infection are the groin and the underarms.

The fungus that causes athletes foot thrives in warm most areas.  So wearing closed toe shoes and socks create a perfect environment for fungal growth.  When your feet sweat from athletic activity it exacerbates the problem…hence the origin of the term “Athlete’s Feet”.  The fungus can also be found growing in damp areas like showers, swimming pool decks, or locker room floors, and these are common areas where people acquire the infection.

Picture of Athletes Foot

colorado foot institute Athlete’s Foot

Athletes Foot Symptoms

Athlete’s foot can cause a variety of symptoms including itching, pain, scaling, inflammation, cracked skin, and swelling.  Secondary bacterial infections may also occur where the skin has cracked open.

Other fungal conditions like ringworm or eczema may appear similar to athletes foot.  Other sweat gland conditions or allergies to dyes or adhesives in shoes may also present similar problems.


To avoid athlete’s foot, keep your feet as dry as possible.  Avoid being barefoot in moist, public areas where you may come in contact with the fungus.  Never walk barefoot.  Wear shower shoes in public showers!  If your feet perspire, use talcum powder.  Wear open shoes. Change your socks often if you perspire heavily.  Wash your feet daily and dry them thoroughly…especially between the toes.

Athletes Foot Treatment

Treatment varies depending upon the severity of the infection.  Topical fungicidal drugs are the first option.  However in severe cases these may fail to reach the fungus in the thick external tissue.  In such cases oral antifungal drugs may be prescribed.  During treatment it is important to keep the feet dry, and avoid contact with sources of reinfection.

Athletes Foot Cure

Athletes foot can be hard to cure.  The fungus can linger in a residence on sheets, bathmats, and carpet causing a repeated cycle of reinfection even after external symptoms have subsided.  Effective treatment requires that you break the cycle of reinfection, and then adopt good foot hygiene practices going forward.

We Can Help

If self care and proper foot hygiene do not alleviate a problem within two weeks, you should call our office to schedule an appointment. Dr. Mechanik can help you determine if the problem is athlete’s foot, another problem, or maybe a combination of problems.

As director of the Colorado Foot Institute, Dr. Mechanik is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Board Certified in Reconstructive Rear Foot and Ankle Surgery. He has the medical and surgical skills to treat your foot conditions.

Dr. Mechanik received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from the the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine which is part of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a national leader in medical education.

Dr.Mechanik then went on to complete a twenty-four (24) month post-graduate residency training program in Foot and Ankle Surgery. Dr. Mechanik further advanced his surgical training when he completed his twenty-four (24) month fellowship in Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Surgery.   During his fellowship, Dr. Mechanik worked side by side with an orthopedic surgeon, when he tackled the most complex and challenging foot and ankle conditions and surgeries.

Dr. Mechanik is Dual Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and a  Diplomate, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.

Dr. Mechanik is one of the few podiatrist in the United States with his extensive training.  Dr. Mechanik sees patients from all over Colorado, the United States, and Internationally.  Dr. Mechanik treats adult and pediatric foot and ankle conditions.

His training encompasses all of the intricately related systems and structures of the foot and lower leg including neurological, circulatory, skin, and the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.

Where indicated, Dr. Mechanik can prescribe a comprehensive treatment plan consisting of prescription topical and/or oral medications, instruction on foot hygiene, and guidance on environmental decontamination and avoidance.  This kind of multifaceted approach is much more effective than over the counter products alone, which often fail because they do not break the cycle of reinfection.

Dr. Mechanik and his family are natives of the Denver area.  Call us today at 303-333-3383.  We can help you with this or any other foot related problems.

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Dr. Joseph Mechanik is Certified by

American Podiatric Medical Associations
American Professionals Wound Care Association
American Board of Podiatric Surgery
American Collage of Foot and Ankle Surgeons