Athletes Foot Prevention

What is athlete’s foot? It is called “tinea pedis.” It occurs when fungi begin to grow and affect the area between your toes. Like other bacteria, fungi like warm, moist places.

Once you have an infection, it will take the use of an antifungal agent to get rid of it. Topical creams like Lotrimin usually do the trick. Follow package instructions for how often to treat each day and the length of treatment. When the itching and redness disappear, it may not be the end of the infection. Following the entire treatment regimen is the only way to make sure that the infection is gone.

Some doctors also prescribe antifungal pills to combat the infection. As with creams, take all of the pills to end the infection. Stopping too soon can see you re-infected within a few days.

So, how can you avoid this uncomfortable problem in the first place? Here are some pointers.

* Dry your feet – Even at home, before you put on socks or leave the bathroom, be sure that your feet are dry and that includes between the toes. Any moisture can attract bacteria.

* Change your socks – The inside of socks can be a sweaty place. After sports or other physical activity, socks can be pretty wet. Don’t walk around in wet socks. Remove them and dry your feet if you aren’t taking a shower right away. Even better, choose socks that are made of material that wicks or pulls moisture away from your feet. Your feet stay drier.

* Take precautions at the gym – When you shower at the gym, always wear shower shoes. These are simply a pair of flip flops that keep your feet off of the tiled floor. If someone else has athlete’s foot, they can leave it behind in the shower. You don’t want to pick it up off of any surface. After showering, dry your shoes completely before storing them.

* Dry your feet last – Your towel drags along the ground sometimes as you dry off. To avoid any contact with fungus or bacteria, stand on a towel. Dry the rest of your body and then your feet. This way if you have come in contact with athlete’s foot fungus, you won’t be spreading it to other warm moist areas like around the genitalia (ouch!).

* Go shoeless – Inside, wear your socks but forget the shoes. If you don’t need to wear them, then don’t. Wearing shoes all the time can heat up the feet, causing them to sweat. Also, try sandals or flip flops indoors without socks to keep feet dry.