02 Dec, 2015
Athlete’s Foot is a contagious fungal infection that primarily affects the skin on and around the feet. However, it may also affect heels, palms or the area between the fingers. Although known scientifically as Tinea Pedis, the infection is referred to as Athlete’s Foot due to the likelihood of catching it in public changing rooms, gyms or swimming pools.
The infection can result in burning and itching sensations, causing a significant level of discomfort for those who catch it.
Luckily, the condition is easily preventable by following a few simple guidelines:
Give your Feet a Thorough Wash
Ensure you wash your feet thoroughly each day, especially in between your toes. This will ensure any fungus is washed away before the infection develops.
To avoid or reduce foot perspiration, try using talcum powder on your feet to prevent sweat and moisture from becoming an issue. Remember, fungal infections are more likely to develop in warm, moist areas so it’s important to keep them dry.
Avoid Tight Shoes
Wearing tight shoes can cause an array of foot problems such as swelling or calluses, however, they will also encourage the feet to sweat, leading to the issues caused by perspiration.
Ensure your Feet are Dry before Wearing Socks
Avoid putting on any socks, stockings or tights before your feet have been thoroughly dried. The added moisture can heighten your risk of developing fungal infections such as Athlete’s Foot.
Change your Socks Regularly
Be sure to change your socks daily, or even more frequently if you take part in strenuous exercise or a long walk. Change your socks as you change out of your gym clothes, especially if you’re prone to excess perspiration.
Take Care in Changing Areas
As changing rooms, public pool areas and gyms are the most common places to pick up the infection, it’s especially important to take care whilst in such vicinities.
Pack a pair of slippers or flip-flops in your gym bag to wear instead of going barefoot. These are designed to be worn in public so don’t worry about looking out of place. Regardless of style, protecting your feet comes first!
Switch up your Footwear
If you wear the same shoes every day, they will begin to accumulate perspiration and dirt, especially if they’re worn for sports or running. Try to alternate between different pairs to ensure you have dry shoes each day.
Avoid Sharing Shoes
When borrowing someone else’s shoes, you may not know whether they have Athlete’s Foot or other fungal or bacterial infections. If you can’t be certain, it’s a good idea to stick to shoes of your own and eliminate the risk.
Wash Towels and Bedding Regularly
Fungus likes to hide out in towels or soft furnishings, so ensure they’re frequently cleaned to stop any accumulated fungus from spreading.
By taking these steps to prevent Athlete’s Foot, you’ll be at a much lower risk of developing the condition. After all, prevention is better than the cure!