Athlete’s foot is the most common type of fungal foot infection. Since fungus grows best in warm, wet places, the shoes of most athletes are quite inviting.
What does athlete’s foot feel like? The skin around and between your toes will itch and sometimes burn, peel, crack, hurt, blister or become infected. The skin around your heel and the bottom of your foot may thicken and crack. It can even spread to your toenails, which may become thick, yellowish and start to flake or crumble. It’s not pretty.
Athlete’s foot spreads really easily – direct skin-to-skin contact, walking barefoot on contaminated locker room floors, showering after or sharing shoes with someone who has athlete’s foot. That’s all it takes.
It’s even possible to touch something that’s contaminated and pass it to another person without actually getting athlete’s foot yourself. That’s because some people are just more susceptible to it. And if you’ve already had athlete’s foot, you’re at a higher risk of repeated outbreaks.
The good news is that you don’t have to live with athlete’s foot. If you have recently noticed the signs of an athlete’s foot infection and it’s the first time you have had it, try one of the over-the-counter products for athlete’s foot. Along with the cream, lotion or spray, here are some other important tips:
- Stay away from infected areas! Guys, just wait till you get home from the gym to shower. (And make sure to sanitize the tub so you don’t pass it along to your significant other.)
- Apply foot powder to your feet and in between the toes before putting socks and shoes on.
- Avoid wearing cotton socks, which will just hold the excessive sweat against your skin.
- Give your shoes time to dry out by wearing different shoes every other day.
- Sanitize shoes that you wear frequently.
If you’ve had athlete’s foot for some time and the over-the-counter treatments aren’t working, or if this is a recurring problem, come in for an appointment. We can prescribe medications that will clear it up.
If your toenails have become infected and turn yellowish and thicken, call us right away. Toenail infections need to be treated separately from athlete’s foot, so your cream or spray won’t help. It can also lead to permanent damage and may spread to other parts of the body.
This is what the American Podiatric Medical Association says about Athlete’s Foot.
If you are experiencing athlete’s foot or a fungal nail infection, call our office to make an appointment.