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Nothing Shall Be Impossible

6 steps to prevent athlete's foot

Have you ever experienced an itching or burning sensation between your toes?  If so, you may have had athlete’s foot and not known it. 

Athlete’s foot occurs when fungi grows between toes, causing an itching, stinging, burning, irritable sensation. It’s known as “athlete’s foot” because this type of fungi grows in close, damp environments and thrives in thick, tight shoes. Warm and damp socks are also a breeding ground for athlete’s foot. 

However, if you notice the onset of athlete’s foot and you haven’t been active lately, you may have contracted it from someone else. 

“Athlete’s foot is highly contagious and can be spread through personal contact,” said Dr. Jessica Butts, family and sports medicine physician with Middle Tennessee Medical Group. “Coming in contact with a towel, the floor, or shoes worn by someone who is already infected can also lead to athlete’s foot.” 

Treatments for athlete’s foot include over-the-counter antifungal topical ointments in the form of lotion, spray, or powder. If athlete’s foot is severe enough, doctors may even recommend prescription ointments or oral medications. Most athlete’s foot can simply be fought by making sure your feet are clean and dry at all times. However, in some cases athlete’s foot can be a reoccurring problem. In this case your doctor may advise you to use topical ointment on a regular basis. 

You can prevent athlete’s foot by following these helpful tips: 

  • Go with natural materials. Cotton or wool socks are great because they tend to draw moisture away from your feet. 
  • Wear light, well-ventilated shoes. Avoid thick, tight shoes whenever possible. 
  • Keep your feet dry, especially between your toes. Allow your feet to air out by going barefoot or wearing sandals. 
  • Do not share shoes. It is important to steer clear of all possible objects that may have already been exposed to athlete’s foot. 
  • Change your socks regularly. If you experience constant moisture in your socks, make sure to change them as much as possible to keep your feet clean and dry. 
  • Avoid going barefoot in public areas. Wear flip-flops in the locker room or at public pools. 

Athlete’s foot is typically a minor infection, yet it’s smart to know the causes and treatments beforehand so you can combat the issue. 

For more information about Saint Thomas Health, please visit www.sths.com. Don’t have a primary care doctor? Call 1-800-Doctors for a free physician referral.

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