7 Dos And Don'ts For Recognizing, Preventing, And Treating Athlete's Foot

Health & Medical Articles

You don't have to be an athlete to develop athlete's foot, although it is commonly seen in those who participate in sports. Athlete's foot is a contagious fungal skin infection which commonly affects the feet and sometimes the toenails. In some cases, it can spread to the hands, although this is uncommon. If you are concerned about preventing this skin infection, or you want to learn how to recognize and treat the condition, familiarize yourself with the basics. Here is a list of dos and don'ts to follow pertaining to athlete's foot:

1. DO Recognize the Symptoms of Athlete's Foot

It's important not to confuse athlete's foot with another type of skin infection which may require a different type of treatment. Symptoms of athlete's foot are fairly easy to recognize. If you believe you've contracted this fungal infection, look for the following signs:

  • Intense itching, primarily between the toes: In addition, you may feel a stinging sensation between the toes or on the sole of the affected foot.

  • Skin peeling of the foot, especially between the toes. You may also notice the skin between the toes is cracked, dry, red, and raw.

  • Blisters between toes or on the sole of the foot.

  • Discoloration of the toenails (although this is not always present in all cases of athlete's foot). This discoloration often occurs when the infection spreads to the toenails.

2. DON'T Ignore These Symptoms If You Are A Diabetic

Diabetics are more prone to skin infections and left untreated, athlete's foot in a person with diabetes may spread or become more serious. As a diabetic, if you believe you've contracted athlete's foot, it's best to see your primary care physician or podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment. If the infection becomes more serious, visit an urgent care clinic like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc. so you don't waste any more time.

3. DO Learn the Risk Factors Involved

It's important to understand the causes of athlete's foot and what may put you at risk. For instance, if your feet tend to perspire, this may put you at risk. In addition, toenail and foot infections or injuries to the foot may also make you more susceptible. Even going to the gym or public swimming pool may place you at risk.

4. DON'T Walk Barefooted Around Locker Rooms, Shower Stalls, or Swimming Pools

The fungus that causes athlete's foot develops under moist or damp conditions. This typically involves dampened floors and showers. A simple way to prevent this skin infection is by protecting your feet by wearing some type of footwear while in public places.

5. DO Keep Your Feet Dry With a Few Simple Tricks

If you are prone to sweaty feet, wear cotton socks that allow your feet to "breathe." Moisture-wicking material will help keep your feet dry as well. Avoid nylon fabrics on your feet as this material does not allow free airflow and will trap the moisture. Also, after bathing or showering, it's important to dry your feet thoroughly before putting on your socks.

You might also want to use some type of medicated foot powder. This will typically prevent moisture buildup and prevent fungi from developing.

6. DON'T Share Towels, Shoes, and Socks

Athlete's foot infections will spread by sharing a towel, shoes, or socks with an infected individual. If you are unsure of the another person's foot health, play it safe and don't share these items.

7. DO Treat Your Athlete's Foot Promptly

It's important to treat athlete's foot promptly to prevent complications and spreading the infection. There are over-the-counter remedies you can use, such as a topical ointment or cream used to kill fungus. Some of the ingredients are the same found in many diaper rash preparations.

If you develop pus or drainage from blisters or a fever, see your health care provider at once. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to be taken orally if blisters become infected. 


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