Ah summer…you spend a great day at the town pool, enjoying time in the sun with family and friends. After, however, your foot starts itching between your toes. Then you feel it on the bottom of your feet. Before you know it, the itching is driving you crazy and the skin on your feet is getting red and scaly. Chances are you’ve contracted a case of athlete’s foot, a condition we treat more frequently during the summer months here at Paul Klein, DPM FACFAS.
Athlete’s foot (or tinea pedis as it is known in the medical world) is a fungal infection that occurs on the foot. Fungi love moist, dark, warm environments and they are passed on by direct contact. That’s why the pool (or seaside bathroom, gym locker room or public showers) are all places where people are likely to come in contact with the fungus. Afterwards you put on your shoes and socks, creating the perfect warm, dark atmosphere for the fungus to grow.
Fortunately, there are several precautions you can take that will greatly reduce or eliminate your risk of athlete’s foot:
- Always wear flip flops or shower shoes when you are in public places where people are walking around barefoot.
- Don’t share any items that may touch someone else’s foot. This includes: shoes, socks, towels, nail clippers.
- If you get professional pedicures check to make sure your salon is properly licensed and follows safe sanitizing procedures for tools and foot baths.
- Keep your feet as dry as possible. That may mean changing your socks more than once a day or applying an anti-fungal or talcum powder to your feet if you tend to sweat excessively.
- Wash feet every day with soap and warm water and dry completely—paying particular attention to the skin between your toes.
It’s important to get athlete’s foot treated promptly or it can spread to other parts of your body and your toenails. It can also become infected. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, can diagnose a fungal infection and prescribe a topical treatment to get rid of athlete’s foot quickly. If you have symptoms, contact our Wayne office today for an appointment by calling: 973-595-1555.