What Happens If You Let an Athlete’s Foot Go Untreated?

Untreated Athlete’s foot, what’s the worst thing that can happen?

Well, first, let’s answer what Athlete’s foot is, to begin with.

An athlete’s foot is a fungal condition affecting the skin on the feet. Also known as tinea pedis, it can spread to your hands, groin, and toenails. According to the NCBI, 49 million Americans (15%) suffer from Athlete’s foot at any given time.

While it’s mostly diagnosed among athletes it’s not localized to them because of its highly contagious nature. It’s not a strictly serious condition, however, it can pose a greater risk in those who are immunocompromised and those with diabetes.

Athlete’s Foot Common Causes

Tinea pedis is caused by a fungus. This fungus thrives in warm and wet environments such as locker room floors, showers as well as swimming pools. A person can get Athlete’s foot through contact with a surface contaminated with the fungus or by direct contact with an infected person. Stay safe by:

  • Avoiding walking barefoot in public spaces such as swimming pools
  • Avoiding sharing socks and shoes with others
  • Avoiding wearing closed-toe, sweaty and tight shoes
  • What are the symptoms of an Athlete’s foot?

Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot can present itself in a variety of ways, the most common being:

  • Itching or burning between your toes
  • Itchy blisters on your feet
  • Peeling and cracking skin on your feet, particularly your toes
  • Soles with dry skin
  • Feet with raw skin

Now, to answer our original question, what happens to an untreated Athlete’s foot?

Untreated Athlete’s Foot Here’s What Can Happen

While it’s not inherently fatal if left untreated, the fungus can lead to the following:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Bone infections
  • Cellulitis
  • Foot ulcers
  • Thickened toenails

Those who are diabetic and suffer from a compromised immune system should see a doctor the minute they suspect Athlete’s foot. That’s because you’re at a higher risk of developing secondary infections.

Think You Have Athlete’s Foot?

Do you suspect you have Athlete’s foot? Get in touch with a podiatrist or request an appointment today.

Looking for more insight? Check out our previous posts:

Disclaimer: Any information provided in this blog is not intended to replace medical advice given by qualified professionals.