If you’ve been hitting the gym or enjoying outdoor exercise at a swimming pool, good for you! Keep up the good work in building aerobic exercise into your busy schedule.
However, watch out for fungal infections like Athlete’s foot that love warm, moist environments. Those who wear damp socks or tight shoes, or walk barefoot in public areas like swimming pools, locker rooms and saunas are at a higher risk of picking up this contagious condition.
Athlete’s Foot Can Be Itchy and Painful
The Athlete’s foot fungus thrives in warm, humid conditions. If your foot becomes itchy or burning with a scaly red rash especially between the toes, you probably have picked up this infection. Sometimes blisters or ulcers will appear, or it can resemble dry skin or eczema.
For some reason men are more prone to Athlete’s foot, but anyone can get it from public areas or from an infected person’s towel or shoes.
Left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body like your hands and even under the fingernails. Jock itch is caused by the same fungus.
Treating Athlete’s Foot
Diagnosing and treating Athlete’s foot is best left up to the foot doctors at Your Next Step. We may suggest over-the-counter remedies like antifungal lotions, powders, sprays or ointments. However, use of these products comes with a risk of the infection recurring.
If the infection doesn’t respond to over-the-counter products, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board certified or qualified podiatrists, will prescribe a topical medication or even an oral prescription for severe cases.
Prevention is Key
Since Athlete’s foot is contagious, take precautions to prevent getting the fungus in the first place:
- Keep feet dry. Change socks when they become wet or damp and let your feet air out at home.
- Avoid shoes made of synthetics as they don’t “breathe.” Choose light, well-ventilated shoes.
- Alternate shoes so they can dry between wearings.
- Don’t go barefoot in public places like pools, fitness centers and showers. Wear shower shoes or waterproof sandals to protect feet.
- Powder your feet regularly to avoid perspiration, including between the toes.
- Don’t share shoes to avoid picking up a fungal infection.
If you or a family member suffers from a foot itch like Athlete’s foot, visit our office for an assessment. Call us at 610-642-8837 for an appointment. You can find more information on Athlete’s foot and other foot and ankle conditions on our website.
It only takes a phone call to our Ardmore or Paoli, PA office to stop the itch today!