As summer moves in, we at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM start to see more cases of athlete’s foot or, as it’s officially known, tinea pedis. Why is this, you may wonder. Fungi love warmth and moisture—two conditions that tend to increase during the summer months. As temperatures rise, feet tend to sweat more, helping to create favorable environments for fungi to grow and thrive. You can help prevent these annoying infections, however, by taking a few simple precautions:
- Don’t share socks and shoes. Fungal infections are transmitted by direct contact. Anything that touches someone’s foot who has athlete’s foot can pass on the infection. This goes for nail files, clippers and towels too.
- Use shower shoes and flip flops in public places. Community pools, gyms, locker rooms, changing rooms and the floor at the nail salon can all be potential places where fungi lurk. Not going barefoot in these settings will go a long way to preventing athlete’s foot.
- Keep feet dry. Excessive perspiration + socks + shoes = the perfect breeding ground for fungi (and bacterial infections too). Change your socks whenever you notice they are damp. Use a foot powder to help keep the moisture level down.
- Have a foot hygiene regimen. Wash feet every day with warm water and soap. Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly, paying particular attention to the spaces between your toes—a common starting point for athlete’s foot.
- Check your salon. If you like to get professional pedicures, ask your salon what sanitizing procedures they follow for tools and foot baths. Consider bringing your own tools to minimize contamination risk.
The symptoms of athlete’s foot include dry, scaly itchy red skin, particularly between the toes and on the soles of your feet. If you notice these symptoms contact our Somers Point office immediately so that our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco can examine your feet and prescribe the correct treatment. Left untreated, athlete’s foot can progress and lead to painful cracks in the skin and even infection.