Athlete’s foot is the term for a very common fungal infection — and you don’t have to be an athlete to get it.
The fungus that causes athlete’s foot is prevalent in dark, damp places like the floors and showers of public pools and recreational locker rooms (which is why you should always wear sandals in these places). When left untreated, athlete’s foot can spread and affect your toenails and the soles of your feet, causing the toenail to thicken and crumble.
Our dedicated podiatrist Francine Rhinehart specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide array of issues that affect your feet and ankles, including athlete’s foot. Dr. Rhinehart can help you get rid of athlete’s foot so that your feet look, feel, and function better.
We’ve compiled five practical tips on how you can prevent athlete’s foot this summer.
Damp, dark environments are fertile ground for the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Whether you plan to splash in a public pool or your neighbor’s pool, it’s important to protect your feet from fungus that may be lurking.
Wearing appropriate shoes when walking on wet, damp surfaces such as shower rooms or pool decks is the best way to keep your feet safe. It’s also important for you to avoid sharing footwear with others. Athlete’s foot is highly contagious and you can easily get it from an infected person.
Showers and pools are not the only moist, wet environments you may encounter this summer.
Summertime heat can cause your feet to sweat and leave your shoes warm and moist — a recipe for athlete’s foot.
During hot and humid weather, it’s good practice to wear breathable cotton socks and well-fitting shoes. Taking your shoes off as soon as possible and drying damp shoes can go a long way in protecting you from the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
The fungus that causes athlete’s foot is invisible to the naked eye. Remaining free of athlete’s foot means using caution to keep your feet safe. If you live with someone who has athlete’s foot, keeping your feet covered will help reduce the chances of picking up an infection.
Wearing shoes and socks and avoiding sharing towels with an infected person can also help you keep the fungus at bay.
Wearing clean, dry socks at all times this summer will help protect your feet. If you notice your sneakers are moist at the end of the day, give them a full 24 hours to dry out before you wear them again. Moisture soaks down into the padding of the sole and provides an ideal environment for fungus.
If possible, alternate your shoes so they have time to air out between uses. When you’re exercising or running errands during the hot summer your shoes are bound to have some moisture.
In addition to making sure your socks are made from breathable fibers, changing them often is key to preventing athlete’s foot. One of the worst things you can do is go for a run only to come home, remove your shoes, and leave your moist socks on.
Antifungal foot powders protect you from athlete’s foot in three key ways. First, the ingredients in them fight against the fungus that causes itching, burning, and redness.
Second, antifungal food powder reduces friction, allowing your feet to breathe and move without rubbing together. Lastly, foot powder absorbs moisture to help keep your shoes and socks dry throughout the day.
It’s possible to get athlete’s foot this summer even when you take precautions. If that happens, it isn't the end of the world. Dr. Rhinehart can treat the fungus with prescription medications and have your feet back to normal in a few weeks. The sooner you start treatment, the better.
For more information on preventing and treating athlete's foot, contact our office in Dallas, Texas, by phone or online to schedule an appointment today.