When you’re feet are hot and sweaty, they may as well throw out a welcome mat to traveling fungi, which won’t mind at all stopping by for a visit—and will likely outstay their welcome! This is how athlete’s foot begins. These microorganisms set up camp between the toes and typically spread to the soles of the feet. The result is an itchy, red, burning rash that is highly contagious, but Shenandoah Podiatry can help with treatment for athlete’s foot, as well as prevention tips.
Why Fungi Love Feet
Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments such as inside shoes, on damp towels, and on the floors of saunas, public locker rooms, pools and showers. The condition, medically known as tinea pedis, got its name because athletes typically have sweaty shoes and frequent such places. However, anyone can get this infection if the conditions are right. You are also more prone to it if you have an abnormal PH level of the skin, or have a compromised immune system, like those with diabetes. The infection can spread form person-to person too, and even to your toenails and other parts of your body. So quick action should be taken to stop its migration.
Athlete’s foot is characterized by skin that is itchy, scaly, red, dry, and sometimes burning, blistering, and even oozing. Don’t let it get that far! At the first signs of trouble, invest in some anti-fungal ointment, powder, spray, or lotion and treat your feet, as well as your shoes where the bacteria can linger. If the rash is stubborn, treatment may need to include a visit to Shenandoah Podiatry. We can provide you with a prescription-strength medication to be applied or taken orally. In the meantime, following some preventative guidelines will help to avoid recurrence.
Put Out the No Vacancy Sign!
Don’t invite fungi in—take precautions to avoid its unwanted company! First, keep your feet clean and dry, especially between your toes. If you tend to sweat a lot, be sure to change your socks as often as necessary to keep them dry. Opting for a moisture-wicking material is a good idea. Shoes should also be made of breathable materials and alternated between uses so that they have ample time to dry out. Always wear shower shoes or sandals in public places, and never share footwear, socks, or towels. Also, apply anti-fungal powder to your feet and shoes daily for extra protection.
If you think you may have athlete’s foot, resist the urge to scratch unless you want to risk its spread. Don’t wait until it worsens, either. Instead, give us a call at Shenandoah Podiatry. Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn will be happy to help you fight the fungus before it gets out of hand! For an appointment at our Roanoke, VA office, dial (540) 904-1458, or to reach our Blacksburg location, call (540) 808-4343. You can also find us online, on Facebook, and on Pinterest as well as Google+.