How to Protect Against Athlete's Foot

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 28 Mar, 2017
Author/Blogger Reggie Simpson
  • 02 Dec, 2015

Prevention is Best

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.

Reduce Perspiration

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!

By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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