Summertime is here, and the livin’ is easy … unless you have athlete’s foot. Then the living is rather itchy, with some pain, dryness and scaling involved.
Because you have better things to do this summer than deal with athlete’s foot, Dr. Jeff LaMour, a top podiatrist in Austin and Pflugerville, Texas, has some recommendations to prevent you from getting athlete’s foot. Let’s start by talking about what athlete’s foot actually is.
What is athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that can spread to anyone. Most people contract it from walking barefoot in a warm, moist environment like a locker room or swimming pool area. You can also get it if your feet stay sweaty (i.e. if you wear tight socks with no ventilation in your shoes).
The infection commonly results in a rash or itchy skin on the soles of your feet and between your toes. It can also cause small, red blisters, dryness, scaling, and can even cause your toenails to become discolored and pull away from the nail bed.
How can you prevent athlete’s foot?
Wash your feet often
Use soap and water. When you’ve finished washing, make sure you dry them well, especially between your toes. This will keep the fungus from finding an easy place to grow.
Wear footwear in wet public places
Whether you’re near a pool, in a gym or locker area, or in a hotel, make sure you wear sandals, flip-flops or some sort of shoes. The fungus can live on floors, so you want to avoid it as much as possible.
Keep your feet dry
Wear socks made of natural fabric or a fabric that wicks away moisture from your skin. Also, make sure your shoes fit properly and are ventilated. Wear shoes of a breathable fabric, such as canvas. You can even alternate the shoes you wear every day to ensure they’re dry when you put them on.
If your feet, socks or shoes do get wet, dry them off and change them as quickly as possible to keep the fungus from finding a home.
If you live with someone who has athlete’s foot, don’t share shoes, towels, linens, or socks, and don’t walk around the house barefoot.
Athlete’s foot is no picnic, but if you follow these prevention tips, your summer should be free of fungus. Stay diligent as the summer progresses, and if you need any sort of treatment for athlete’s foot, contact Dr. LaMour on the phone or through his website.