How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot
Summer is here, which means you are probably spending more time outdoors by the pool or at the beach, enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. But these fan-favorite summer activities don’t come without their foot health risks. In fact, you may be at risk for contracting a common fungal infection — Athlete’s foot.
What is Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is a fungal infection often transmitted in public spaces that thrives in warm and moist environments like locker room floors, public pools and public showers.
This irritating infection often appears as an itchy rash between your toes. You may also experience red blisters, scales or flaking skin on the sides or soles of the foot. In severe cases, you might even experience oozing red sores.
In order to avoid putting a damper on your summer, here is what you can do to avoid this pesky condition.
Practice Proper Foot Hygiene
The key to preventing athlete’s foot is keeping your feet clean and dry. Wash your feet with soap every day, including between your toes. Be sure that you also dry your feet and in between your toes to eliminate any excess moisture.
Cover Your Soles
In the peak summer season, it can feel natural to go barefoot in public areas like pools, spas, and showers. But, it is important to be mindful that in public spaces, you are at a high risk of fungal infections like athlete’s foot. In order to prevent athlete’s foot, make sure at least the soles of your feet are covered. Yes, even in showers, it is a good idea to wear flip-flops or water shoes.
Choose Appropriate Footwear
Choose shoes that are made from breathable materials that do not trap heat and moisture. Also, choose socks made from natural materials. Wearing sandals can also help to keep your feet dry and prevent sweating.
Additionally, avoid sharing shoes with others. If you live with other people who have athlete’s foot, it is recommended to wash your laundry separately to prevent potentially spreading the infection.
Disinfect Gym Shoes
Another good practice is changing your shoes after you exercise if you are not able to shower immediately afterward. Additionally, you can use disinfectant sprays on your shoes in between uses, in order to prevent infection.
When to See a Physician
When in doubt, take action promptly if you believe you are experiencing athlete’s foot. There are many over-the-counter treatments that should resolve the condition. However, in some cases, if you do not treat athlete’s foot right away, it can be harder to treat and sometimes even have complications.
If you have questions regarding athlete’s foot, consider chatting with the podiatrists at Triad Foot & Ankle Center. Request an appointment.
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