Although many people associate athlete’s foot with bare feet and summertime, at Lansdowne Podiatry, we see just as many cases of it during the winter months. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot (like all fungi), thrives in warm, damp places. It spreads by direct contact and in winter that means gym locker rooms and showers, pedicure salons, and indoor public pools. In wintertime, our feet spend much of their time in warm socks and shoes, the perfect conditions for the fungus to grow.
Athlete’s foot is characterized by severe itching and burning. It is particularly common between the toes but can also occur on the sides, soles, or arches of the feet. Left untreated, the skin can become scaly and painful and blisters may form. There are multiple types of fungi that can cause athlete’s foot and although there are many over-the-counter sprays, creams, and powders available, our podiatrist, Monique Renee Rolle, D.P.M., will be able to identify the fungus causing the infection and prescribe the most effective treatment. In severe cases, the foot doctor may prescribe a topical or oral medication.
Preventing Athlete’s Foot
There are several steps you can take to prevent athlete’s foot in the first place, including:
- Don’t share socks or footwear
- Wear flip flops or shower shoes at the gym or other public places where people tend to walk barefoot
- Check pedicure salon procedures for sanitizing tools and foot baths
- Wash feet daily and dry thoroughly, especially between the toes, before putting on socks and shoes
- Choose socks and shoes made of breathable fabrics and change socks if they become damp or sweaty
- Use foot powder to keep feet dry