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Athlete’s Foot is Not Just for Sports Lovers

Oct 17, 2019 | Skin and Nail Conditions

Ever get that itchy, flaky feeling on your feet? You’re not alone!

Far from being a plague just for the sports-lovers, about 70 percent of Americans will experience athlete’s foot at least once in their lives. We’ve even seen estimates that suggest as many as 1 in 10 people have it at any given time! (Crazy, huh?)

And though most cases are pretty easy to treat, we want to help you deal with this annoying skin condition as quickly and effectively as possible to minimize discomfort and keep you from spreading of the infection to other areas – or even other people.

So let’s get right to it …

Getting to Know Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is caused by a contagious fungus that thrives in warm, wet, dark environments, like the inside of a shoe or locker room floor. Exposure to contaminated surfaces (think going barefoot at the pool or sharing a towel) can lead to an infection, especially if you aren’t rigorous about washing your feet every day.

Typical symptoms of athlete’s foot include dry, red, itchy skin that may look flaky or scaly. In some cases, you may even feel a burning sensation.

This unsightly condition often makes its most impressive displays on the top of the foot and between the toes. But the fungus can spread to other parts of the foot and even other parts of the body, too! In fact, the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot can also infect your toenails (toenail fungus), your groin (jock itch), or under your arms, transferred as a result of scratching or even contaminated clothes or bedsheets.

Clearly, this condition is highly contagious. And as such, there are plenty of sources from where you can catch a case of athlete’s foot. So you shouldn’t feel ashamed if your feet are starting to show signs of infections. While there are plenty of steps you can take to minimize your risk, there’s no way to protect yourself with 100 percent certainty.

So instead of hiding your feet from the world, come visit our office to get the treatment you need to finally kick athlete’s foot once and for all.

Treating Athlete’s Foot

The good news is the vast majority of cases can be resolved with simple, at-home care. Over-the-counter antifungal creams from your nearest pharmacy will usually do the trick, as long as they’re combined with an overall effort to improve foot hygiene.

That said, you should pay close attention to the instructions and be sure to follow the complete recommended treatment course, which usually takes about 4-6 weeks. (We know – it can be tempting to stop using the cream after a week or two, especially if you notice symptoms improve or even disappear, but that doesn’t mean the fungus is gone!)

Now, some particularly stubborn cases may persist, failing to respond adequately to home treatment and proper hygienic care. And in those cases, we’ll be happy to give you a hand.

When you come to our office looking to find relief from your symptoms, we will start by determining if fungus is, in fact, the problem. If we find that it is – and we know standard treatments aren’t working – we may prescribe stronger topical or oral antifungals to eradicate the infection.

Keep in mind that in rare cases the problem may not be fungal at all, but bacterial. No matter what is plaguing your feet, however, we’ll be able to nail down the problem and provide whatever help you need to control it.

Preventing Athlete’s Foot

As we already mentioned, there’s no way to guarantee you will never catch a case of athlete’s foot.  But with these helpful tips, you can certainly minimize your risk:

  • Wash your feet every day with soap and water, and dry thoroughly. Pay special attention to the areas between the toes.
  • Don’t walk barefoot in public places, especially warm, dark environments like gyms, pools, and locker rooms. Always wear sandals or shower shoes.
  • Use talcum powder on your feet or in your shoes to help you stay dry.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks and change them out whenever they get wet – more than once per day if necessary.
  • Rotate pairs of shoes every day so that each gets at least one full day to dry out between uses.

And if you start feeling that itchy feeling on top of your feet and between your toes, then make sure you get serious about stopping the infection before it spreads – the longer you wait to do something about it, the harder it will be to get rid of it for good.

If at-home treatment measures do not clear up symptoms within a month, however, make sure you give Wilks Advanced Foot Care a call at (541) 673-0742 today. You can also take advantage of our online request form to have a member of our staff reach out to you.