Athlete's foot is one of the most common fungal infections of the skin and is frequently seen in our office. Whether you've had it or not, it's important to understand how you can avoid and treat this highly contagious infection if you do contract it.
The fungus that causes athlete's foot thrives in damp, moist environments and often grows in warm, humid climates, such as locker rooms, showers and public pools; hence the name "athlete's foot. " This infection can itch and burn causing the skin on your feet and between your toes to crack and peel.
Tips For avoiding Athlete's Foot:
- Keep your feet dry, allowing them to air out as much as possible
- Wear socks that draw moisture away from your feet and change them frequently if you perspire heavily
- Wear light, well-ventilated shoes
- Alternate pairs of shoes, allowing time for your shoes to dry each day
- Always wear waterproof shoes in public areas, such as pools, locker rooms, or communal showers
- Never borrow shoes due to the risk of spreading a fungal infection
A mild case of athlete's foot will generally clear up on its own with over-the-counter antifungal creams and sprays. But since re-infection is common due to its contagious nature, many people require prescribed anti-fungal medication to effectively treat the infection. Generally, it's always best to consult with your podiatrist before choosing a treatment.
Mild cases of athlete's foot can turn severe and even cause a serious bacterial infection. If you notice your rash has become increasingly red, swollen and painful or you develop blisters and sores, call our office right away. Athlete's foot left untreated could eventually spread to other body parts and infect other people around you.
With the right treatment, you'll be cured of your athlete's foot in no time, which means the sooner you can enjoy the activities you love without pain and irritation!
Simple tips and proper gear can help prevent sports injuries
Tips on Good Foot Care
1. Take care of your diabetes.
2. Check your feet every day.
- Look at your bare feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling.
- Use a mirror to check the bottoms of your feet or ask a family member for help if you have trouble seeing.
3. Wash your feet every day.
- Wash your feet in warm, not hot, water every day.
- Dry your feet well. Be sure to dry between the toes
4. Keep the skin soft and smooth.
- Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.
5. Smooth corns and calluses gently.
- Use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses.
6. Trim your toenails each week or when needed.
- Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.
7. Wear shoes and socks at all times.
- Never walk barefoot.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
- Feel inside your shoes before putting them on each time to make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
8. Protect your feet from hot and cold.
- Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement.
- Wear socks at night if your feet get cold.
9. Keep the blood flowing to your feet.
- Put your feet up when sitting.
- Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day.
- Don't cross your legs for long periods of time.
- Don't smoke.
10. Be more active.
- Plan your physical activity program with your doctor.
11. Check with your doctor.
- Have your doctor check your bare feet and find out whether you are likely to have serious foot problems. Remember that you may not feel the pain of an injury.
- Call your doctor right away if a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot does not begin to heal after one day.
- Follow your doctor's advice about foot care.
12. Get started now.
- Begin taking good care of your feet today.
- Set a time every day to check your feet.
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