It may surprise you to know that athlete’s foot has the power to strike anyone – you don’t have to be a jock to contract this common fungal infection. Although its name stems from the fact that it’s easily spread in locker rooms, you can acquire it from just about any moist, public place.
Athlete’s foot is an uncomfortable foot fungus that creates flaky skin that cracks and itches. Your soles, toenails, and the area between the toes suffer. However, a few simple steps can keep your feet healthy, and help you avoid catching athlete’s foot.
About athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is a common type of foot fungus that strikes up to 25% of people at some point in their lives. The fungus loves warm, moist, dark places – such as inside your shoes. The fungi enter your body through tiny cracks in your skin, and can easily spread from person to person.
One easy way you can combat athlete’s foot (and keep your feet healthy) is by wearing shoes that fit your feet properly. Tight-fitting shoes and high heels leave your feet vulnerable to inflammation. And even if you have one really comfortable pair of shoes, it’s best not to wear them every day. You should always rotate your shoes to give your feet and shoes a break and ensure your feet stay dry.
Going barefoot, especially in moist, public places such as a locker room, hotel room shower, or swimming pool deck also invites athlete’s foot in. Flip flops keep your feet protected when you’re in these spaces. If you recently got rid of athlete’s foot you should still wear footwear in the shower and on your carpet. The fungi can linger for long periods of time and reinfect your feet.
Wash your feet daily
Keep your feet clean by washing them daily with warm water and soap. Make sure you dry them thoroughly, too, to prevent creating a moist environment where athlete’s foot thrives. Be especially careful about drying the spaces between your toes. Foot powders can also help keep your feet dry inside your socks and shoes, by sealing out moisture.
After washing your feet, put on a fresh pair of socks, preferably ones made of natural fabrics or quick-dry fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin. And remember: change your socks every day and anytime they come in contact with water.
Stick to your own stuff
Don’t share shoes, especially athletic shoes that can become sweaty and damp. Sharing towels and linens can also cause athlete’s foot to spread. Try and keep your stuff separate, especially in public areas. If you know someone in your house has contracted athlete’s foot, be extra vigilant about keeping your towels and shoes separate from their laundry.
If you love pedicures, consider bringing your own files and clippers to the salon to ensure there’s no sharing of unclean tools. Improperly cleaned instruments at a nail salon can easily spread athlete’s foot.
At Go Feet, we want to help people in the Hammonton and Mays Landing areas keep their feet as healthy and functional as possible. If you have a stubborn case of athlete’s foot or are struggling with any other foot health concerns, call our office, or schedule an appointment using this website.