Athlete's Foot (cont.)
Is athlete's foot contagious?
If athlete's foot is caused by a fungus, it is potentially contagious. Some people do not develop infection of the skin after exposure to the fungus. The exact cause of resistance or susceptibility to fungal infections is frequently unknown.
What else causes foot rashes?
There are many possible causes of foot rashes. Additional causes include irritant or contact dermatitis, allergic rashes from shoes or other creams, dyshidrotic eczema (skin allergy rash), psoriasis, yeast infections, and bacterial infections. Since they can be visually indistinguishable, it is important for your doctor to do his best to identify the precise cause. Since fungal infections are potentially curable, it is important not to miss this diagnosis.
Your physician can perform a simple test called a potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation for microscopic fungal examination in the office or laboratory. This test can be used to confirm the presence of a fungal infection. This test is performed by using a microscope to examine small flakes of skin from the rash. Many dermatologists perform this test in their office with results available within minutes. Rarely, a small piece of skin may be removed and sent for biopsy to help confirm the diagnosis.