Whether you have Athlete’s foot yourself or you’re worried that your partner’s fungal foot infection may spread to you (which there is a significant risk that it might), Athlete’s foot fungal infections can be tricky to treat and prevent if you don’t know what it is or how you (or they) came to have it.
So, today, our podiatrists at South Burnett Podiatry are sharing what you should know about getting rid of and preventing Athlete’s foot fungal infections.
Quick Rundown: What Is Athlete’s Foot And How Do Your Feet Become Infected?
Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that affects the bottoms of your feet and between the toes. It is not a deep infection, only affecting the outermost skin layer. It can cause a lot of discomfort, however, causing redness, itchiness and white skin bubbles around the feet.
Being a fungal infection, it develops when you come into contact with fungal spores under the right conditions. When it comes to conditions, places that are dark, warm and moist create the perfect environment for fungus to thrive - which is why athletes that spend a lot of time in sneakers and with sweaty feet from exercise, and use gym changing rooms and showers, tend to suffer from this problem more often than those that don't.
The fungus is usually contracted by sharing a surface with someone that has the infection. From gym changing rooms to public swimming pools, places like these are where this fungus is often present. Don't mind the name, either. You do not need to be an athlete or even participate in any sports to develop this infection - you just need to come in contact with the fungus. This is why couples often both end up with Athlete's foot over time - from sharing beds, showers and floors.
Getting Rid Of Athlete’s Foot
Treating an Athlete's foot infection can be tricky because there's a big difference between merely treating the fungus, and keeping it gone and preventing re-infection from any fungal spores that are still present in your environment - like your shoes, socks and home.
Our podiatrists will recommend the best anti-fungal products for your feet, which may come in the form of a cream, powder or other ointment. We then need to control your environment and eliminate those favourable conditions that the fungus loves. Here is where you'll want to:
- Dry your feet very well after every shower, swim, beach trip - even after coming inside on a rainy day. Dry thoroughly between your toes where moisture is often trapped and left behind
- Wear socks that wick moisture away from your feet as opposed to keeping it trapped
- Letting your feet air and wearing open shoes where possible, while your infection is being treated
When treating your Athlete's foot infection, remember to be careful - the skin on your feet will be damaged and in a fragile state. This is why we recommend treating it together with your podiatrist, especially if you have other conditions that put you at risk like diabetes.
Just like how you can get multiple stomach bugs, you can get multiple Athlete's foot infections - though it's also possible that you'll pick up the same infection from inside your home, so make sure you take care to disinfect and clean your environment.
- Always wear thongs or protective footwear when using public showers and changing rooms
- If a family member develops an Athlete's foot fungal infection, treat it right away.
- Disinfect your shoes, socks, showers, sheets, floors, bathmats and other high-risk surfaces - we'll teach you how at your appointment.
- Treat any fungal nail infections if they arise.
If you want to treat your Athlete’s foot infection, we’re here to help. Book your appointment with our podiatrists in Kingaroy by calling us on 07 4162 7633.