At Paul Klein, DPM FACFAS we find that many patients tend to associate foot infections like athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, and warts with summer months, but there is just as much of risk of getting one in the winter. While the seasons may change, the way that these types of infections grow and are passed on remains the same, but you may not be as aware at this time of the year of the factors that raise your risk. Below are some tips for avoiding a fungal, viral or bacterial foot infection now:
Don’t go barefoot. Of course, you’re not at the town pool or strolling the beach at this time of the year. Instead, you may be working out indoors at a gym. The locker room and showers are prime areas for foot infections: warm, moist and lots of foot traffic. The karate studio and nail salon are two other examples of indoor environments that tend to see a lot of bare feet. Always wear shower shoes or flip flops in public settings.
Wash your feet daily. Hopefully this is part of your year-round foot care. Keeping feet clean helps prevent infections. Be sure to dry your feet completely as well, especially between your toes—that’s often the spot where athlete’s foot starts.
Keep feet dry. During the winter months, moisture comes not just from outside conditions but from being confined to heavy boots and shoes in warm socks. Change your socks as soon as you feel that your feet are damp. If you tend to sweat excessively, use a foot powder each morning.
Air out your shoes. If you are exposed to fungi, virus or bacteria, closed shoes provide a perfect breeding ground. Try to alternate your shoes and avoid wearing the same pair two days in a row. You can also use a disinfectant spray.
Know the symptoms of foot infections: dry, flaky, red and itching skin, changes in skin or nail color, and raised fleshy bumps should all be examined promptly by our foot doctor, Paul G. Klein. Make an appointment at our Wayne office today by calling: (973) 595-1555.