What were your New Year’s resolutions? Are you still keeping up with them? I heard that by January 8, most resolutions have been broken. That is not an encouraging statistic.
Maybe it wasn’t your resolution but the winter chill has chased you inside for your workouts. And there you are working out, showering, and feeling great. And then you notice that your feet have started to itch and look a bit scaly around and between your toes.
Could it be the dreaded athlete’s foot?
It could be. The fungus that is causes Athlete’s foot loves certain things. It loves warm, dark, wet spots. It therefore loves public showers. If you have not been wearing shower shoes in a public shower that is a good way to pick up the fungus.
Also in winter, our feet can get really dry. If you don’t moisturize then small cracks or fissures can form in our feet. These skin breaks can allow fungus to take up residency in your skin.
And then if you don’t thoroughly dry your feet, the moisture there can break down the skin between your toes and that is another way for you to be infected.
Or do your feet sweat a lot and either you don’t wear socks or you wear cotton socks that absorb the moisture? Remember the warm dark places that the fungus likes to live? Your shoes are one of those places.
I am sure you don’t do this (because, really?)but if you share socks or shoes, that is another way to have athlete’s foot arrive like a bad guest in your life.
Here is what you need to do if you have a case of athlete’s foot. First of all, head to your local drug store or supermarket and pick up an athlete’s foot treatment that contains miconazole, clotrimazole or tolnaftate. Start using that product and continue to use it for a week or two after the infection seems to have cleared up. Please follow the directions on the package.
Then make sure when you take a shower or clean your feet that you completely dry them. Speaking of cleaning your feet, you might want to put in a little extra time cleaning them with soap and water. If you can, cleaning them twice a day would help.
Also, make sure you put clean socks on each time your change your socks or put on clean socks if your socks are damp. The idea is to keep your feet clean and dry. To that end, you should also make sure that you give your shoes at least 24 hours to dry out between times you wear them. Do not wear the same shoes every day because your shoes do not have time to completely dry out. Also, plastic shoes or plastic lined shoes do not let your feet breathe the same way leather shoes will so they should be avoided.
Athlete’s foot can usually be cured with home care and an over the counter product. If you find that that your feet are getting worse or the infection is just not clearing up then it is time to see your friendly local podiatrist. The doctor can give you some stronger or longer term medication.
If your foot is swollen and you can see streaks or it is warm to the touch then you need to proceed to the doctor or ER immediately. Those red streaks are an indication of a serious infection. Also, if you have diabetes, you might want to go to the doctor right away.
In the future, always pack and use your shower shoes!
The Foot Blogger Chick
We are so excited to announce that we have new physical therapists in our office to help those patients who would benefit from physical therapy treatments! Yes, the Doctors of Physical Therapy sharing some of our space. They understand and agree with our philosophy of treating the patient as part of our family. Please stop by and meet them!