Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common and irritating foot problem. It occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. The fungus thrives in warm, dark and moist settings such as shower or locker areas, public pools, gyms, and communal bathroom. This infection can lead to severe itching, scaling, redness and burning of the feet. If left untreated, the fungus can spread across other parts of the body due to its extremely contagious nature.
Most people tend to pick up fungal infections such as athlete’s foot during the summertime, but the truth is our feet are susceptible to these infections at any given time of the year. Our socks and shoes contribute the most to the development of athlete’s foot, as they provide a suitable breeding ground for fungus to thrive. At Joseph Stuto, DPM we encourage our patients to maintain good foot hygiene due to the recurring and contagious nature of athlete’s foot.
Here are some tips to help avoid this condition
- Wash your feet on a daily basis.
- Make sure to dry your feet thoroughly, especially the inside of your toes.
- Wear proper footwear to help protect your feet when walking in public places, such as communal bathrooms, locker rooms or swimming pools. Avoid going barefoot in public areas where the fungus may be lurking.
- Wear special socks that wick away moisture.
- Change socks regularly, especially if your feet get sweaty. This will help keep your feet dry and decrease the buildup of fungus.
- If you sweat profusely, apply foot powder or an antiperspirant on your feet.
- Spray some disinfectant inside your shoes to help kill germs.
- Due to its contagious nature, avoid sharing your personal belongings such as socks, towels, and shoes.
- Bathroom surfaces at home should be kept clean, especially bathtubs.
If you notice any early symptoms of athlete’s foot or if you are battling any fungal infections, have a foot doctor to inspect your feet. The key to prevention is to maintain proper foot hygiene.
At Joseph Stuto, DPM we treat a variety of foot problems including athlete’s foot. Our foot doctors Dr. Joseph C. Stuto and Joseph A. Stuto can help identify the degree of infection and devise a treatment plan accordingly. Contact us at (718) 624-7537 and schedule an appointment.