Despite what its name suggests, athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, does not only affect those who play sports. It is a common fungal skin infection that presents as a rash on the foot or between the toes. It can make the skin burn, itch, peel, or crack. Several types of fungi are responsible for causing athlete’s foot, but in general, these fungi spread easily and prefer to inhabit dark, warm, and wet spaces. Athlete’s foot is often acquired in the summer months, when people are most likely to be walking barefoot in damp areas like pools, locker rooms, or showers.
Take the following precautions to protect your feet from a fungal infection like athlete’s foot:
- Wear flip-flops or shower shoes in public areas instead of walking barefoot. This might be important for children at summer camp or for college students who share a bathroom with others!
- Thoroughly wash your feet and toes with soap and water and dry them completely before covering them with socks or closed-toe shoes.
- Change your socks after you have completed an activity that caused your feet to sweat.
- Add some foot powder inside your socks to help keep your feet dry.
- Choose footwear that allows your feet to “breathe”— shoes, socks, or stockings that constrict your feet and trap moisture create favorable conditions for fungus to grow.
If you do end up with a case of athlete’s foot, several over-the-counter creams or powders are available to treat it. However, only a doctor can determine the fungus responsible for the infection and decide which medication will target it most effectively. Board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico of Syracuse Podiatry can do just that for patients of all ages. Dr. D’Amico is Central New York’s go-to podiatrist for all foot and ankle issues, including heel pain, sports injuries, and plantar fasciitis. He can also provide nutritional advice or suggest stretches to help keep your feet and ankles healthy. Dr. D’Amico and his stellar staff would love to hear from you! Please contact us or call our Fayetteville office at (315) 446-3668.