Yes! Summer has approached, temperatures are at a peak, so it is officially sandal season. Now, some of you may get quite excited about the thought of sandals and flip flops, however, others may be dreading it. Do not fear, as foot health is not as complicated as you think! I will be talking about foot health and especially touching on athlete’s foot in this blog.
When we talk about foot health, the most common types of problems people face are …
Tinea pedis commonly known as athlete’s foot, a form of fungal infection that affects the skin generally between the toes or on the bottom of the feet. It appears like a rash and can be very itchy. The affected skin may be itchy, red, scaly, flaky, dry, cracked, blistered or sore. It may also look cracked, white or soggy. It is very unlikely to get better on its own but it can be easily treated using antifungal treatments available from pharmacies over the counter without needing to see a GP.
They come in creams, sprays, liquids and powders. Please speak to our pharmacist for further advice as not all types are suitable for children, older people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
It is also possible to purchase medication that contain an antifungal agent with a mild steroid. This is usually recommended for very sore or itchy rashes.
How do you get athlete’s foot?
You are more likely to catch athlete's foot if you:
- don’t keep your feet clean and dry
- wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
- walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
- share towels, socks and shoes with other people
- have a weakened immune system
- have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes
This is because athlete’s foot is caused by fungus growing on your skin. Fungus like to grow in warm and moist places. Athlete's foot can easily spread to other people by touching infected skin or coming into contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
It can easily be prevented by following the steps below:
- dry your feet thoroughly especially between the toes
- wear cotton socks
- wear a fresh pair of socks, tights or stockings every day
- change your shoes every couple of days
- don’t walk around barefoot in public showers and locker rooms
- don’t share towels, socks and shoes with other people, and ensure your towels are washed regularly
- use talcum powder on your feet to stop them getting sweaty
- don’t use moisturizer between your toes, as this can help fungi multiply
Please note that athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections are different and must be treated separately.