Athlete’s Foot is a common fungal infection for the feet, especially for those who use communal showers, where you may be barefoot at some point (think: gym or dorm showers and locker rooms). It is caused by a virus that spreads from person to person by direct touch, or by sharing a moist surface like a shower or locker room floor. The virus enters through any breaks in the skin, including cracks in dry skin or cuts and scrapes.
The resulting symptoms include itchy, red bumps and sometimes dry, cracked skin between and around the toes. It can spread to the bottom of your feet as well, and if it is not controlled, could make the skin on your whole foot peel!
Tips to prevent contracting Athlete’s Foot:
- Wash and dry your feet completely each day and directly after exercising and sweating – especially in activities where you may be barefoot. Plus, dark and moist environments like your sweaty socks and shoes encourage fungal growth so have a fresh pair of socks and shoes to wear after washing your feet.
- If possible, invest in some moisture-wicking socks. If you tend to sweat a lot, have an extra pair with you so that you can change them mid-day.
- Allow your shoes to dry completely between wears. Keep in mind that drying them out overnight may not be enough.
- ALWAYS use flip-flops in locker rooms and communal showers. Going barefoot in any shared floor where there may be shallow standing water or even moisture increases the chances of spreading and contracting the virus.
If you have symptoms of Athlete’s Foot, try to treat it earlier than later. You should wash and dry your feet every day and use over-the-counter antifungal creams. Don’t forget between the toes! Additionally, take precautions so that you do not spread it to other people in your house or at the gym.
Still having issues with Athlete’s Foot? Make an appointment today at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can help you find the best way to deal with your Athlete’s Foot issues at our Jonesboro, AR office.