Believe it or not, but summer is just around the corner…and what comes with the higher temperatures and increased humidity? More sweat. Moisture is the enemy of healthy feet and you should always take preventative measures to ensure that you are taking care of your feet in the best way possible. And no feet ailment is more pervasive and difficult to control than the dreaded Athlete’s Foot.
Athlete’s foot is extremely common. In fact, more than 3 million cases of this fungal infection are reported around the world annually – even renowned athletes like soccer sensation Christiana Ronaldo has been rumoured to have suffered from it. As the name suggests, the infection is often found on the feet of athletes and runners, and it be difficult to avoid and treat.
So, if you’re a runner, athlete, or have kids who play sports, how can you avoid itching, burning, and stinging toes and feet? These tips can help you prevent athlete’s foot, so you and your kids can keep running and playing sports without any discomfort.
This may be a no-brainer, but one of the easiest ways to keep your feet healthy and infection-free is to thoroughly wash them with soap and water every day. It’s easy to skip over the feet and toes when washing in the shower, but taking the extra minute or two to wash between your toes can prevent athlete’s foot and help wash the Tinea fungus away if your feet have caught the infection.
If you play sport or have kids who do, you know how easy it is to take off your sweaty socks after practice, throw them into your bag, and completely forget about them. This bad habit gives the fungus another place to spread, leading to athlete’s foot. Get your kids into the habit of cleaning out their sports bags and throwing their dirty socks into the wash when they get home from practice.
It’s also helpful to walk around barefoot after showers and baths to let your feet air out and relax after a long day in uncomfortable shoes.
Locker rooms, public showers, and pools are the most common places people contract athlete’s foot because the fungus spreads like wildfire in these warm, moist environments.
If you take showers at your gym before heading to work or take your kids to the local pool often, make sure to wear sandals to avoid direct contact with the ground where the fungus may be lurking.
Besides locker rooms and public showers, the Tinea fungus likes to also grow in your own shoes and socks. Think about it. If you’re a distance runner, your feet naturally begin to sweat and turn your socks and shoes into a warm, welcoming environment for the fungus to thrive.
Luckily, you can avoid this as much as possible by wearing running shoes made from porous material and socks made out of synthetic fibers that easily get rid of moisture. Make sure that your exercise footwear is appropriately cushioned, water resistant, and prevents heat and friction, as this help to keep your feet healthy and dry.
If your feet tend to sweat often or you’ve had a history of foot infections, anti-fungal powder is another powerful preventative measure. When used correctly, antifungal powder, spray, and cream keep your feet dry and relieve symptoms like itching and burning. Antifungal foot powders will do the trick if you want to take extra measures to prevent athlete’s foot.
If you or a member of your family is already suffering from athlete’s foot, continue to follow the preventative measures above and invest in an over-the-counter anti-fungal medication. If the infection persists or returns after treatment, visit your doctor to receive a prescription-strength anti-fungal medication.
Don’t let Athlete’s Foot keep you from enjoying the sports and activities you love-
Good foot health is a vital aspect of your general health and well-being. If you have any issues or general enquiries, get in touch with the team at Cannington Podiatry today!