We see it in patients of all ages who shower at the fitness center or spend time in a locker room, where it’s easily spread.
Once the fungus comes in contact with your skin, that warm, moist environment of your sweaty sneakers is like fungal heaven.
What does Athlete’s foot feel like?
The skin around and between your toes will itch and sometimes burn, peel, crack, hurt, blister or become infected. The skin around your heel and the bottom of your foot may thicken and crack. It can even spread to your toenails, which may become thick, yellowish and start to flake or crumble. It’s not pretty.
Athlete’s foot spreads really easily.
Direct skin-to-skin contact, walking barefoot on contaminated locker room floors, showering after or sharing shoes with someone who has Athlete’s foot is all it takes.
It’s even possible to touch something that’s contaminated and pass it to another person without actually getting Athlete’s foot yourself. That’s because some people are just more susceptible to it. And if you’ve already had athlete’s foot, you’re at a higher risk of repeated outbreaks.
You don’t have to live with Athlete’s foot.
If you have recently noticed the signs of an Athlete’s foot infection and it’s the first time you have had it, try one of the over-the-counter products for Athlete’s foot. Along with the cream, lotion or spray, here are some other important tips:
- Stay away from infected areas! Wait till you get home from the gym to shower. (And make sure to sanitize the tub so you don’t pass it along to your partner). We suggest wearing a protected flip flop like Vionic with Orthaheel Technology.
- Wash with antifungal soap daily. We recommend Doc Kelly’s Apothecary Sea Salt Soap because it’s all natural and gentle enough to use every day because it contains tea tree oil; a natural antifungal.
- Apply an anti-fungal cream, such as MacerRx, or Athlete’s foot cream and foot powder to your feet and in between the toes before putting socks and shoes on. We carry all these products in the office.
- Avoid wearing cotton socks, which will just hold the excessive sweat against your skin. We recommend copper thread or bamboo socks.
- Give your shoes time to dry out by wearing different shoes every other day.
- Sanitize shoes that you wear frequently with a Sterishoe or spray with antifungal Clarus Shoe Shield.
If you’ve had Athlete’s foot for some time and the over-the-counter treatments aren’t working, or if this is a recurring problem, come in for an appointment. We can prescribe medications that will clear it up. We also offer a full line of prescription-strength products in our office to help treat this condition, plus we offer the Sterishoe as a convenience item.
If your toenails have become infected and turn yellowish and thicken, call us right away. Toenail infections need to be treated separately from Athlete’s foot, so your cream or spray won’t help. It can also lead to permanent damage and may spread to other parts of the body.