Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection of the skin, and sometimes nails, usually characterized by itching, redness, and the formation of small blisters. The most common affected areas are the bottoms of the feet and in between the toes. The fungus has the potential to spread to the toenails, causing them to become thickened, discoloured and on rare occasion painful. While this infection is common among athletes, it is important to keep in mind that it can affect athletes and non-athletes alike.
Fungus tend to live in warm, dark, moist environments. Feet are especially vulnerable to this by being inside of shoes or boot all day long. Athlete’s foot and/or fungal toe nails can also be contracted by walking barefoot in public showers, dressing rooms, gym locker rooms, and swimming pool or hot-tub decks, to name a few.
What can you do?
Keep shoes and socks dry as a preventative measure. Practice good foot hygiene:
- Daily washing of the feet;
- Drying feet carefully and thoroughly, especially in between the toes;
- Changing shoes regularly;
- Wearing clean wicking acrylic or cotton socks daily.
What will a podiatrist do for you?
- Provide routine nail care and foot inspection.
- Prescribe topical or oral anti-fungal medications, when indicated.