You notice peeling skin between your toes, itchy feet, redness and dryness on the bottom of your feet, and cracking skin. It looks a lot like athlete’s foot — but you aren’t an athlete… How could it be?
Athlete’s foot doesn’t just affect athletes or people who spend time barefoot in a locker room. Of course, you should see the expert podiatry team at Go Feet with offices in Mays Landing, and Linwood, New Jersey for a definitive diagnosis, but know that athlete’s foot can affect men, women, and non-athletes.
Here’s more information about how athlete’s foot spreads and what you can do about it.
Athlete’s foot can affect anyone
Athlete’s foot is a fungus, called dermatophytes, that also causes ringworm and jock itch. When it’s exposed to warm and moist environments, it can grow and spread.
Athlete’s foot got its name because it does tend to hang out in athletic areas like pool decks, locker rooms, and public showers. You can also get athlete’s foot from a hotel room shower or other public spaces in which you go barefoot. It doesn’t care if you worked out or won a game!
Sharing towels, sheets, or socks with someone who has athlete’s foot can spread the infection.
Plus, if you frequently let your feet get hot and sweaty in shoes and socks, it can irritate the fungus and cause it to spread.
That doesn’t mean athlete’s foot is the result of poor hygiene. You can be diligent about washing your feet with soap and water, but still get the infection. This is especially true if you don’t dry your feet completely after they’re wet and put them in non-breathable socks and shoes.
Athlete’s foot treatment
Over-the-counter antifungal remedies can help clear up mild cases of athlete’s foot. But, if you have a severe case that is causing severe itching and cracking skin, come see us at Go Feet.
We can prescribe stronger doses of topical or oral antifungals that clear up your infection quickly and effectively.
Use the entire recommended dosage of your medication to ensure the athlete’s foot clears up entirely. Don’t stop when you start to see symptoms clear up because the fungi may still be present and grow again.
Without treatment, athlete’s foot becomes worse and makes your feet feel even more miserable.
Preventing athlete’s foot
If you’ve had a case of athlete’s foot, take steps to prevent it from appearing again. If you’re lucky enough to never have had athlete’s foot — here’s how you can keep your winning streak.
- Wear breathable shoes or sandals as often as possible to let your feet air out.
- Change socks regularly, especially if your feet get wet or sweaty.
- Alternate shoes from day-to-day, particularly athletic shoes.
- Wash your feet with warm, soapy water and apply a medicated powder afterward.
- Wear flip-flops or other foot protection in public places like locker room showers or public pools.
- Don’t share towels, socks, shoes, or bedding with other people.
We here at Go Feet want you to experience premier foot health. If you suspect you or a loved one has a serious case of athlete’s foot, make an appointment at one of our locations. Call today, or use the online tool to schedule.