Athlete’s foot can be a nagging, painful problem. It can even make walking and running difficult. The symptoms of athlete’s foot may range from itchy patches on your foot to deep slits or cracks between the toes. The skin on your feet may become red and appear moist. Blisters may form and spread on the feet.
Athlete’s foot is most commonly found between the toes, but can be found on the sole of the foot or the toenails. In advanced cases, pus may be present and there may be a distinctive odor to the foot. Athlete’s foot can usually be treated at home with good foot hygiene and over-the-counter medications. Follow these tips and you will lessen your chances of getting athlete’s foot.
Keep your Feet Dry
One of the best ways to avoid getting athlete’s foot is to keep your feet dry. Always wear sandals or shower shoes when you are in a public shower or pool area. Always dry your feet extremely well after a bath or shower. If your socks and shoes get wet during the day, change into dry socks and shoes as soon as you can.
Pedicure instruments can cause infection if they are not properly cleaned. If you go to a salon, either bring your own pedicure instruments or ask about the salon’s disinfection procedures.
If you already have athlete’s foot, wearing shoes and socks all day long can make it worse. By going barefoot part of the day, your feet will be able to air out. If you can’t go barefoot, try to wear sandals or light canvas shoes that will let your feet breathe.
There are many products available to treat athlete’s foot. If you have a mild infection, without redness and itching, keep your feet extremely clean and dry. Wash them several times a day and dry them very well before putting your shoes and socks on. Apply anti-fungal cream between your toes and on any other affected areas. You can also sprinkle anti-fungal powder on your shoes and socks. The most effective anti-fungal products contain ketoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole or oxiconazole.
See Your Doctor
If you have been keeping your feet clean and dry and applying anti-fungal products for two weeks and you are not seeing any improvement, it may be time to see your family doctor or podiatrist. If you get athlete’s foot and you have diabetes or a circulation problem, see your doctor right away.