Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that typically affects the skin of the foot, particularly between the toes. And if left untreated, it can extend to other body parts. This type of infection usually appears during the spring or summer months when the feet get sweaty, providing the perfect growing environment for the fungus. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing his top 8 tips to prevent Athlete’s Foot this summer.
1. Don’t wear tight shoes. Tight shoes tend to squeeze your feet, making them predisposed to getting a fungal infection because your feet are crowded into a warm, moist environment, with no air to dry them out.
2. Choose quality shoes. Avoid shoes that use plastic as the main material. Plastic shoes heat up faster than their canvas and leather counterparts, and they also have poor breathability.
3. Avoid bare feet on surfaces in gyms and around swimming pools. The bacteria that produce athlete’s foot thrive in humid and warm environments like gyms and public swimming pools.
4. Keep your feet dry. For athlete’s foot bacteria to thrive, it requires warmth, darkness, and moisture. So when your feet are dry, regardless of the temperature outside, you reduce your risk of developing the fungus.
5. Take off your shoes after you exercise. Immediately after you finish exercising, take off your shoes and clean your feet with antibacterial soap to kill the bacteria.
6. Never share footwear, not even with family or friends. The fungus that produces athlete’s foot flourishes in sweat, so even a small amount of it can lead to an infection.
7. Wear socks constructed of breathable fabrics. Silk and cotton socks might be more costly, but they’re worth it because they are also breathable. They decrease your chances of getting athlete's foot and help your skin feel cooler, dryer, and more comfortable.
8. Boost your immune system. If you experience frequent fungal infections but are otherwise healthy, you may want to add more vitamins and antioxidants to your diet. See your podiatrist, ensuring a correct diagnosis.
Athlete's foot is usually easy to treat. If you are not getting relief using over-the-counter medications, it's time to contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, to schedule a checkup. You may schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.