Most people do not consider athlete’s foot to be a serious condition. In fact, many people will buy an over-the-counter antifungal treatment for use on an itchy or blotchy foot without even going to see a Phoenixville foot specialist to make sure that’s what they’re dealing with. Unfortunately, a spray-on remedy may not be effective—especially if they’re not suffering from a fungal infection.
Since athlete’s foot is fairly common, a good foot and ankle doctor in Philadelphia will probably be able to diagnose the infection just by looking at it. However, the doctor might want to run a few tests to confirm the diagnosis. These tests can include:
- A skin culture. Your doctor may want to collect a sample of the rash using a cotton swab or microscope slide. A lab analysis will be used to confirm your diagnosis.
- A skin lesion biopsy. If your have lesions on your feet, your doctor may want to do a biopsy of the lesion to rule out a more serious condition. This may require a shave biopsy, where the outermost layer of skin is removed for analysis.
- A skin lesion KOH exam. In this procedure, the sample taken from your foot is placed in a vial containing potassium hydroxide, or KOH, which destroys all nonfungal cells. When the sample is examined under a microscope, only the fungus will be visible.
If you need advice on how to clear up athlete’s foot, the experienced doctors at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates are at your service. Call us today for a consultation in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644.