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As the new year rolls around, more and more people are flocking to their local gyms and setting new fitness goals to achieve their new year resolutions.
If you’re one of those people who have recently signed up to the gym and are ready to get your sweat on, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind to prevent getting athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot is not only downright irritating, but it can sometimes be painful, too. However, with our top tips and tricks, you can easily prevent athlete’s foot when hitting the gym this year. And if you do end up getting a nasty case of it, we’ve included athlete’s foot treatment options as well to help you banish it for good.
Kick Athlete’s Foot to the Curb
What is Athlete’s Foot?
First things first, let’s cover what athlete’s foot actually is.
Also known as tinea pedis, athlete’s foot is an infection caused by a fungus, which results in itchiness, redness, and even cracking skin on the bottoms of the feet and toes.
Athlete’s foot is very common and contagious, spreading between people through direct contact or contact with the same surface, such as a locker room floor. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot — dermatophytes — thrives in damp and moist environments, making places like showers and locker rooms, moist feet, warm gym shoes, and sweaty socks, the perfect place to grow.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
There are a few distinct symptoms that make athlete’s foot easy to spot. The most common symptoms of athlete’s foot are itching and burning between the toes of one or both feet.
Additionally, you may notice a new smell wafting from your feet or changes to the skin between your toes, like scaly skin or a rash. Painful blistering, especially in the spaces between the toes, can also occur with athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s Foot Prevention Tips
Despite the name, athlete’s foot can happen to anyone — not just athletes. However, it’s often easily prevented with a few simple steps.
Our board-certified dermatologists at Brentwood Dermatology recommend you take the following precautions to reduce the chances of you catching athlete’s foot:
- Keep your feet nice and dry. As mentioned earlier, the fungus that causes athlete’s foot flourishes in damp and moist environments. So to prevent athlete’s foot, it’s essential to keep your feet dry.
- When walking around the gym, shower, locker room, or pool area, wear proper shower shoes or flip-flops. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot may be on the floor, and it’s essential to cover your feet to prevent contracting it.
- Wash your feet daily. And ensure your feet are completely dry afterward.
- Opt for natural fabrics. Choose socks made from breathable cotton or synthetic material that wicks away moisture. Additionally, make sure to change your socks every day (more often if your socks are damp).
- Utilize antifungal powders. In addition to keeping your feet clean and dry, use antifungal powders if you’re prone to athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s Foot Treatment
When it comes to treating athlete’s foot, there are four main types of antifungal treatments:
These antifungal treatments all work similarly — killing the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, giving your skin the chance to repair and recover from the infection.
Many athlete’s foot treatments can be found over-the-counter (OTC) at your local drugstore, which is what most dermatologists will initially recommend. If you have a recurring athlete’s foot infection or a stubborn case, prescription-strength antifungal medication may be needed for clearing it up.
Find an Effective Athlete’s Foot Treatment at Brentwood Dermatology
Our dermatologists at Brentwood Dermatology are skin experts and are here to help you treat a troublesome case of athlete’s foot! If you have any questions about the infection or need a professional diagnosis, make an appointment online today or by calling us at (615) 455-0046.
Brentwood Dermatology is a leader in skin health and wellness, including minor infections or something more serious, such as skin cancer. If you notice a suspicious spot that’s concerning or need a more effective athlete’s foot treatment plan, give us a call at (615) 455-0046 to schedule an appointment right away.