Summer is Almost Here! Is Your Athlete’s Foot at Your Doorstep?

Summertime is a season in which we want to enjoy different outdoor activities as much as we can. Whether you’re looking forward to lounging by the pool or feeling the warmth on your skin as you hike, bike, or run in your local area, you have a lot to look forward to. If your feet are often in damp, hot conditions, an athlete’s foot could be one of the things that may be in your future. Here, we offer a few ways that you can protect your feet all summer long. 

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection. It’s name can be deceiving. Many people who get athlete’s foot never play sports. The condition develops when the foot comes into contact with a surface that harbors the fungus. Common surfaces include shoes, towels, locker rooms, public pools and showers, and pretty much anywhere that is wet and warm. When the fungus gets on the skin of the feet, itching occurs. This often becomes relatively intense between the toes. If not treated appropriately, the fungal infection can result in uncomfortable sores and ulcers.

Tips for Preventing Athlete’s Foot

  • Keep the feet dry. Understandably, we cannot be expected to keep our feet dry all the time. Because fungi thrive in warm, wet places, though, it is beneficial to take steps to inhibit such conditions. This can be done by wearing moisture-wicking socks and, as much as possible, shoes that breathe. People who must wear work boots or whose feet sweat when they work can benefit from removing shoes and socks as soon as possible after work and remaining barefoot for the remainder of the day.
  • Wear pool shoes or sandals to the pool. When visiting a public pool, it is wise to wear sandals at all times, even when showering off before leaving. 
  • Wear shower shoes when visiting a gym or other facility in which a public shower will be used. 

Treating Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot can become challenging to treat conservatively if symptoms are not addressed quickly. At home treatment using antifungal powder or cream may reduce itching. For the infection to go away, though, one must keep their feet clean and dry. With these steps, it can still take weeks for symptoms to fully resolve. 

If athlete’s foot persists for more than a few weeks or it recurs frequently, it is necessary to seek medical attention. A doctor can prescribe an appropriate cream or other antifungal medication to resolve symptoms more quickly and help prevent recurrence. 

Northeastern Foot & Ankle offers friendly, professional care. Call our Passaic, NJ office at 973.473.6665 to schedule a visit.