Common Foot Problems

This is the first in our serious about common foot problems. Our we aim is to provide you with information about these conditions plus hints and tips on how to avoid and treat them. If you have any problems with your feet that you are particularly concerned with then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Athlete’s Foot

What is Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot, as the name suggests, affects your feet and is a common fungal infection. It can usually be treated with creams, sprays or powders from a pharmacy, but it can keep coming back.

Symptoms include:-

  • Itchy white patches between your toes
  • Sore and flaky patches on your feet
  • Your skin can look red and sometimes the skin may become cracked or bleed
  • It can also affect the soles and/or sides of the feet.
  • In some instances it also causes fluid-filled blisters.

If left untreated it can also cause a fungal nail infection.

These are the things that help to keep infections to a minimum: –

  • Keep your feet clean and dry
  • Dry your feet thoroughly especially between the toes after washing them. Dab the area between your toes dry rather than rubbing them
  • Make sure to use a separate towel for your feet and wash it regularly
  • Take your shoes off when at home
  • Wear clean, preferably cotton, socks every day


  • Scratching the affected skin as this can cause it to spread to other parts of the body
  • Walking around barefoot – wear flip-flops in places like changing rooms and showers
  • Don’t share towels, socks or shoes with other people
  • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes for more than 2 days in a row
  • Avoid wearing shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty

Keep following this advice after finishing treatment to help stop athlete’s foot coming back.

Contact your GP if:-

  • The treatments from the pharmacy don’t stop the infection
  • You are in a lot of pain/discomfort
  • Your foot or leg is hot, painful, red and possibly swollen – this could be a more serious infection
  • You notice it has spread to other parts of your body such as your hands
  • You have diabetes – foot problems can be more serious if you have diabetes
  • You have a weakened immune system

Your GP may:

  • Check you have athlete’s foot by sending a small scraping of skin from your feet to a laboratory
  • Prescribe an extra steroid cream to use alongside antifungal cream
  • prescribe antifungal tablets – you might need to take these for several weeks
  • refer you to a skin specialist (dermatologist) for more tests and treatment if needed

How do you get athlete’s foot?

  • You can catch athlete’s foot from other people with the infection.
  • Walking barefoot in places where someone else has athlete’s foot, especially changing rooms and showers
  • Touching the affected skin of someone with athlete’s foot
  • You’re more likely to get it if you have wet or sweaty feet, or if the skin on your feet is damaged.


There are over the counter preparations available from the pharmacists which are antifungal medicines. They normally take a few weeks to work. Check the labels carefully as these treatments are not suitable for everyone. You may also need to try a few different ones to find the one that works for you.