Winter is here, which means that athlete’s foot is on the rise. This contagious foot condition is caused by a fungus that grows in dark, warm and poorly ventilated areas like your socks and shoes. During the colder months, athlete’s foot thrives because we tend to wear unventilated shoes that can end up wet from outside moisture and weather conditions. Feet can also become hot and sweaty, which further encourages this pesky fungus to grow.
The good news is that there are several ways to decrease your risk of developing athlete’s foot. It may be winter and your feet might be stuck in poorly ventilated shoes, but preventing this annoying foot condition isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Practicing the following habits will keep your feet in good health this winter by warding off athlete’s foot.
Wash Your Feet Daily
Dirty, sweaty feet are the perfect breeding ground for fungal infections. Washing your feet everyday wards off fungus and keeps your feet looking and feeling fresh. It is also important to thoroughly dry your feet after washing, including between the toes. Moisture also encourages athlete’s foot to grow.
Avoid Walking Barefoot In Public Places
Athlete’s foot spreads quickly in places like locker rooms, public pools, and common shower areas. It is best to avoid walking barefoot in areas where fungus can be present. Wear sandals to protect your feet, especially in damp or heavily used facilities.
Alternate Your Shoes
Continually wearing the same shoes don’t allow moisture to evaporate. Athlete’s foot thrives in areas that are damp, dark, and warm, so wearing the same shoes every day is just an invitation for foot fungus. Winter shoes are usually unventilated, so give your shoes a chance to dry out by switching up your footwear every day.
Keep Your Feet As Dry As Possible
Letting moisture accumulate in your shoes is just a recipe for a foot fungus disaster. You should always wear moisture-wicking socks that keep your feet dry. Avoid socks made from materials like cotton and stick to synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon. Change your socks if they get wet and use powder on your feet to reduce perspiration. Keeping your feet dry is essential when it comes to athlete’s foot prevention.
Do Not Share Towels Or Shoes
Athlete’s foot is very contagious and sharing items like towels, clothing, socks, and shoes increase your risk of developing a fungal infection. If you know that someone in your household has athlete’s foot, make sure you avoid sharing anything that could be contaminated and always take steps to prevent the fungus from spreading. Wash all laundry in hot water and regularly disinfect laundry baskets. Make sure floors are sanitized often and avoid walking barefoot on shared surfaces.
Get Routine Checkups
Visiting a facility that specializes in foot issues when you notice something unusual is always a good idea. The Arlington Podiatry Center is dedicated to treating various foot ailments and is well equipped to handle any podiatric conditions you may have. If you are prone to foot and ankle issues, it’s also a good idea to receive routine checkups. Stopping issues before they start is always the best way to prevent infections and diseases.