Athlete’s Foot: 12 Myths and Facts

Smothered inside socks and shoes all day, feet can become sweaty, stinky, and the perfect carriers for all sorts of germs that can cause a red, itchy condition called athlete’s foot. Today our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing what you need to know about this contagious condition.

Read on to learn more about these common myths
Myth 1: Only athletes can get athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot earned its name because the fungus that causes it typically hangs out in places that athletes frequent, like locker rooms and showers, not because it’s limited to athletes.

Myth 2: Athlete’s foot is different from jock itch. While jock itch and athlete’s foot are caused by the same fungus, the conditions are named by the part of the body where they occur.

Myth 3: Athlete’s foot can be prevented by regularly showering. Showering alone won’t clear up the fungus that causes athlete’s foot but keeping them clean and dry can help prevent this fungus from coming back.

Myth 4: Only people with poor hygiene habits get athlete’s foot. You can wash your feet several times a day with soap and water and still get athlete’s foot. This is especially true if you don’t dry your feet fully after each washing.

Myth 5: You can only get athlete’s foot if you walk barefoot in areas where the fungus is living. You can get it if you share socks, shoes or towels with someone who has athlete’s foot.

Myth 6: With athlete’s foot, there’s always peeling between the toes. This condition can look different in each person. Some people experience cracking or peeling skin between their toes while others suffer from dryness or redness on the bottom of their feet.

Myth 7: Athlete’s foot only affects the feet. Athlete’s foot can extend to other places if you scratch the area and then touch other parts of your body or through contaminated sheets or clothing.

Myth 8: If you wear shoes and socks all day you can’t get athlete’s foot. Wet socks and shoes are the perfect environments for this fungus. Your feet are safe, as long as you keep them dry.

Myth 9: Athlete’s foot will heal on its own. Without treatment, your feet we become even itchier and result in a more serious infection. Antifungal creams and pills are the best treatment options.

Myth 10: You can stop treatment as soon as your symptoms are gone. To stop athlete’s foot from returning, continue using the medicine for as long as recommended.

Myth 11: Once you treat athlete’s foot, it won’t return. Even after treatment, athlete’s foot can return if you neglect to take steps to prevent its return.

Myth 12: You can’t get athlete’s foot if you wear cotton socks. The opposite is true. Synthetic fiber socks are the best option due to their better absorption of moisture.

Wondering if your itchy feet are being caused by athlete’s foot? Don’t hesitate – call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today to schedule a consultation to determine if your condition is being caused by athlete’s foot and to discuss options for treatment.

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