Athlete’s foot sounds like a gym class horror story, but it is a common type of fungal infection that develops on the feet. The fungus thrives in warm, damp environments, so it is more likely to affect people with sweatier feet, like athletes. But this infection can affect anyone, regardless of their engagement levels with physical activity.
This contagious fungus can easily spread in environments that are also warm and moist, like public showers. And it can transmit from person to person and across different body parts quickly.
You should not ignore signs of athlete’s foot because the infection will not go away on its own. But you can better fight the condition when you know more about it. Read on to find responses from your podiatrist to frequently asked questions regarding athlete’s foot.
Do I Have Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot usually forms on the soles of the feet, but the fungus can also form between the toes. It can make the skin appear red, flaky, and cracked as the fungus eats away at the feet. You can also notice itching, burning, and other discomforts where the rash affects the feet..
This unpleasant rash will spread without intervention. So you should seek treatment for foot fungus before it worsens. It will be more difficult to treat if the infection advances.
How Do I Get Rid of Athlete’s Foot?
You will need to use anti-fungal medication to eradicate foot fungi like athlete’s foot. Over-the-counter topical creams, sprays, and powders can resolve many mild cases of athlete’s foot. However, if you use the products as directed and the infection persists, you might need to speak to your podiatrist.
Severe athlete’s foot might require a prescribed pill to get rid of for good. Make sure you continue with the medication as instructed, even if the condition seems to be improving. It can take two weeks to fully treat athlete’s foot.
Can I Prevent Foot Fungus?
Prevent athlete’s foot and other types of foot fungus by taking good care of your feet. Wash them daily and dry them thoroughly after a shower. You should also regularly wash towels, socks, and linens and avoid sharing these items with others.
Pay attention to your footwear, especially your socks. Choose socks that wick away moisture and offer breathability. If you notice your feet get sweaty, do not hesitate to change your socks.
Switch your footwear regularly so that you do not create moisture build-up in a single pair of shoes. Pick well-ventilated shoes, especially if you intend to engage in exercise that could make your feet sweaty.
Try not to walk barefoot in public spaces like gyms or showers. These spaces could breed fungus that your feet could pick up easily. If you tend to contract athlete’s foot frequently, ask your podiatrist for more preventative advice. They could recommend a spray you may use on your feet or footwear to lower your risk of this fungus.