Here’s a scenario: it’s the New Year, and you are finally making a resolution to start going to the gym more often! You have signed yourself up for a new health club and the gym seems upscale enough, and in clean enough condition. You walk the tiles and showers of the locker room without much thought for hygiene. Then, a couple weeks later, you are met with an itchy, stinging feeling on your soles. Additionally, there is an unsightly, discoloured, cracking appearance between your toes. The discomfort mixed with the embarrassment, is enough to derail your New Year’s plans to get fit! It is likely that you have contracted a common foot condition that we will discuss in this article.
Tinea Pedis, known colloquially as athlete’s foot, is no picnic. It is easily transmissible and can be enough of a nuisance that it keeps sufferers from being active. While it is true that anyone can catch it, there are certain steps you can take to avoid it. In the interest of encouraging the public to Learn about common foot conditions we here at Feet First Clinic have put together a short guide to athlete’s foot: what it is, how to avoid it, and what to do if you get it.
What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a contagious fungal infection Caused by Dermatophytes. This is a type of fungi notorious for causing skin diseases in people and animals. It often thrives in moist environments, such as gym floors, locker rooms, showers, or even inside very sweaty shoes. It is the nature of these breeding grounds that gives it the name athlete’s foot, although the term is a misnomer, as anybody can get it. Symptoms include:
- Red, scaly rash between the toes
- Nagging itchiness
- Dry, scaly soles
- Burning sensation in the rash
How to Avoid Athlete’s Foot
The first and most obvious way to avoid athlete’s foot is to always maintain a barrier between your feet and the floor of public places, especially wet ones. If your feet have come in contact with a wet floor, do your best to clean them and then immediately dry them. Furthermore, you can avoid athlete’s foot by following these guidelines:
- Orthopaedic footwear is highly recommended for physical activity. It is breathable, protective against foot conditions, and tailored exactly for your needs.
- Try wearing sweat-wicking socks.
- Thoroughly wash (then dry) your feet daily with soap and water.
- If you really want to stay safe, you can apply anti-fungal powder to your feet every day.
- If you must use a public shower, wear shoes or flip-flops.
How to Treat Athlete’s Foot
Despite doing your best to avoid this pesky foot problem, you may still contract athlete’s foot. If you exhibit the symptoms of athlete’s foot, you should seek help from a qualified Chiropodist. They have the tools and knowledge to properly assess and diagnose the condition. It is possible for the condition to go away on its own, but proactive treatment is usually always the answer. Your chiropodist may recommend:
- Topical anti-fungal medications. These are crucial if your chiropodist or doctor suspects a bacterial infection caused by broken skin.
- Oral anti fungals.
- Again, a thorough foot hygiene routine: avoid socks made from material that don’t dry easily, ensure feet are dry, avoid public showers and swimming pools.
- Avoiding scratching. Scratching increases risk of further irritation and bacterial infection.
- Over-the-counter anti-fungal creams.
Don’t let something as small as a fungal spore mess up your goal of staying active! We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortable as possible. Call anytime to ask about your specific concern and we’ll make sure to provide actionable steps towards getting your feet as happy and healthy as possible!
Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!