Athlete’s foot may not always have the same appearance. In some people, the skin between the toes (especially the last two toes) peels, cracks, and scales. There may be redness, scaling, and even dryness on the soles and along the sides of the feet. Athletes foot may also produce itching and burning of the feet. A few individuals may develop a single small patch of intensely itchy blisters. These skin changes can also be caused by other medical conditions like contact dermatitis and psoriasis. Fungal infections of the toenails can also occur and be difficult to treat. Toenail infections cause scaling, crumbling, thickening, and even partial loss of the nails. These changes can also result from other conditions such as psoriasis, injury, and aging.
Because all rashes on the feet are not athlete’s foot, using over-the-counter antifungal preparations on a rash that is not athlete’s foot may make your condition worse. You should see a dermatologist if over-the-counter medications do not clear the condition or if it becomes worse. Your dermatologist can correctly diagnose the condition and prescribe an effective medication. Untreated, athlete’s foot can result in blisters and cracks that may lead to secondary bacterial infections.