Most mornings are the same for everyone. People tend to wake up, get dressed, and put on their socks and shoes. When it’s warmer outside, some decide to ditch the socks even though they were designed for protection. Protection from problems like athlete’s foot – a chronic infection caused by various types of fungus. Curious how your feet can be at risk? Read more for 6 tips to prevent athlete’s foot.
Avoid Going Barefoot in Public
When at a public pool or after showering in the gym locker room, it’s easier to walk around barefoot. This is especially true if you forgot your sandals and don’t want to deal with wet socks. Although, the more time you spend barefoot, the more time fungus has to collect on your feet. According to Harvard Medical School, “Athlete's foot breeds in locker rooms, swimming pool changing areas, or any place that combines dampness and a lot of foot traffic.” Instead, wear sandals in these areas to avoid infection.
Let Your Feet Breathe at Home
While you’ll certainly want to avoid going barefoot in public, take some time at home to let your feet breathe. After a long day of being inside socks and shoes, feet will perspire and create moisture. If your socks and shoes are wet, let them dry before putting them back on. Put your feet up, relax, and let them air out for your benefit and comfort.
Wash and Dry Your Feet Daily
Whether you’re using a community shower or a personal one, it’s incredibly important to wash and dry your feet daily. Use the same amount of care that you do with the rest of your body and use with soap. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Then use a towel to dry off while in the shower and when you step out. Keep that towel for yourself – because foot fungus can spread easily. Your roommate or partner could get it from you by using the same towel.
Change Socks and Shoes Consistently
It’s always important to make sure your feet are dry before putting them into your socks. Fungus grows when an environment provides it with moisture, warmth, and darkness. With you providing the wet feet, socks and shoes can be the perfect home for fungus. Now if you deal with sweaty feet, don’t worry too much just yet. Consistently change your socks and shoes to prevent the fungus from growing.
Practice Basic Foot Hygiene
It almost goes without saying, but make sure to practice basic foot hygiene and maintain your nails and skin. Longer toenails can leave more room for fungus to grow. Filing the skin on your feet is also important as removing dead skin cells and also prevents anything from growing.
Break Out the Spray
Antiperspirants are typically used on feet in spray form to prevent sweating. Using them between washing your feet and putting on footwear is the most effective method. Spray-on deodorant can also be an effective way to keep your feet dry and fresh. With these in mind, you will effectively decrease your chances of heavy perspiration and odor that may lead to athlete’s foot. There are many other life-changing products to help, too.
WebMD says that athlete’s foot is highly common among funguses and up to 25% of people will experience the infection in their lives. If you’re dealing with it, make an appointment with the friendly doctors at Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300.