According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), athlete’s foot is a fungal condition that typically occurs in between the toes. The condition is characterized by redness, itchiness, cracked and flaky skin, and sometimes blisters or sores. The fungus spreads rapidly in environments that are warm, wet, and dark. Most shoes provide ideal environments for this fungus to grow and spread.
It is crucial to know that when you treat a case of “Athlete’s Foot,” you are treating not only the infected foot, but the shoes themselves. If you treat your feet with an over the counter antifungal medication or spray, but do not treat your shoes, then all you are doing is treating your feet and re-infecting them every time you put them back into your shoes.
Simple tips for effectively and efficiently treating “Athlete’s Foot”
- Wear flip flops or sandals whenever in a locker room / public showering environment to reduce your risk to exposing your feet to a fungal infection.
- Take the time to fully dry your feet after showering or swimming. Remember that “Athlete’s Foot” loves wet environments.
- A good recommendation is using a hair dryer or the neck of your sock between your toes (this is a part of the sock that does not come in contact with your feet or toes and is on the outside of the shoe).
- Use an over the counter antifungal spray to treat an existing case of “Athlete’s Foot.”
- Change socks if you sweat a lot, or if they become wet during the course of an athletic event or because of rain, etc.
- TREAT YOUR SHOES!!
- Take the inserts out of your shoes everyday when you take them off and if possible place them in direct sunlight
- Spray the insides of your shoes with the same anti fungal medication you use on your feet
- Open them up as much as possible by pulling back the tongue to allow as much light and air into the shoe
- An optional approach that can be helpful is the purchase of a UV lamp for shoes. These lamps allow you to put your shoes over them after a day’s use and will help keep your shoes from re infecting your feet the next time you put them on.