How To Prevent Athlete’s Foot Using Right Footwear?
Athlete’s Foot is a contagious fungal infection that spreads from one to another. It develops on the feet between the toes, begins with skin cracking, and progresses to peeling. Athlete’s Foot, also known as Tinea Pedi, is one of the common conditions affecting millions of people. It is not limited to geography and is most prevalent during the spring, summer and rainy seasons when the environment is damp. The fungus is known to thrive in warm regions like shared showers, gardens, locker rooms, pools, etc., where there is moisture or wetness. Choosing proper footwear can help prevent infections.
Although it is not life-threatening, it can be pretty troublesome—timely treatment and preventive measures, including wearing appropriate sandals for the Athlete’s Foot. To help you, we present complete details for preventing Athlete’s Foot.
What are the leading causes of Athlete's foot?
Athlete’s Foot is caused by fungi called dermatophytes which also cause diseases like jock itch and ringworm. The leading cause of the ailment is damp feet. Thus it occurs to people who are prone to sweaty feet. For instance, it is common among athletes who experience sweaty feet and those whose feet turn sweaty confined inside tight footwear.
The Common Signs & Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete foot is contagious and tends to affect one or both feet. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Redness of skin and itchiness
- Dry and scaly skin which starts from the bottom of the foot and spreads to the side
- The skin may appear purple or grayish
- Peeling and cracked skins between the toes
- Open areas between the toes
- Discolored toenails
- Burning or stinging sensation between the toes
How to prevent Athlete’s Foot Contracting?
An athlete’s foot can infect anyone, and it is contagious. Here are a few precautions to prevent an Athlete’s foot from contracting.
- Always wash your feet with soap and dry them completely.
- Wear socks made of natural fabrics that dry quickly or pull away moisture from the skin.
- Ensure to wear shoes that are dry from the inside. Thus keep changing shoes every day. Always keep the footwear dry.
- The fungus thrives in moist areas and is common during summer and spring. Hence, ensure never to go out barefoot and keep your feet dry.
- Do not wear closed shoes when exercising as it can trap sweat and lead to the Athlete's foot.
- Remove your shoes after exercise and clean your feet with soap.
- Avoid using somebody else’s footwear especially who are suffering from Athlete’s Foot.
- Do not wear sandals made of synthetic materials like rubber or plastic that cause more sweating.
- Wear sandals and flip-flops meant for athlete’s foot and shower shoes when walking around gyms, pools or hotel rooms where the floor is moist.
How To Prevent Athlete’s Foot Contracting Using Right Footwear?
Wearing tight footwear causes sweating on the feet. It is also spread through damp and warm environments, and wearing the wrong shoes and socks leads to the development of fungi infection.
Here are few remedies and tips to prevent Athlete’s Foot are:
- Choose breathable footwear which does not cramp your toes
- Use appropriate size of footwear which is airy during summer and keeps your feet warm during winters
- Do not forget to wash your footwear(flip flops or sandals) after each use.
- Dry your footwear after use and ensure it is completely clean.
Choosing the best footwear for Athlete’s Foot contracting no infection of fungi is imperative. Tight binding footwear cramps the toes together, restricting heat and moisture from evaporating. Prolonged sweaty feet cause Athlete’s Foot.
Some of the best footwear for Athlete’s Foot include:
- Flip-flops – Try to wear flip-flops when walking into public areas. These are open and do not cramp your toes together, in addition to providing an extra area for your toe and keeping it naturally warm.
- Vegan Sandals – Vegan Sandals are lightweight and offers breathable space.
Risk factors of Athlete's Foot
The athlete’s foot is caused due to fungi that cause infection between the toes. It begins with cracking of the skin and progresses to skin peeling. Hence, it is necessary to take precautions on time to avoid its spreading to another leg and other parts of the body where you touch.
Here are few tips to avoid the infection turning contagious:
- Do not enter into a pool that can make the disease contagious
- Refrain from wearing shoes of the infected person or coming in contact with them
- Walk with a shower when in locker rooms or near the pool
Failing to get timely treatment can lead to complications which are as follows:
- Mild complications begin with an allergic reaction to fungi leading to blisters spreading on hands or feet
- It can cause hyperhidrosis and maceration
- Individuals with athlete's foot using community pools or bathing can increase the risk of infection
- Severe infections can lead to swelling in the affected area along with pus and fever
- Sharing your footwear with anyone else has a chance to spread the fungus.
Best Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot
There are multiple self-treat remedies to eliminate fungal infections. Understanding the reason for the condition is integral and finding ways to get rid of the infection. Furthermore, it will take an average of 2 to 4 weeks to show results.
Here are some home remedies and treatment for Athlete’s Foot:
- Do not use usual talcum powders, which may contain chemicals and increase the infection. Use only medicated anti fungal powders
- Wash your feet twice a day with a soap and wipe the region between your toes using a towel
- Soak your feet in salt water to eliminate the blisters. Adding 1 part of vinegar and 2 parts of water will dry the blisters.
- Change your socks twice a day and restrain from wearing soaked socks
- Apply antifungal medications to calm the burn and pain
- Pour hydrogen peroxide directly onto the affected portion. It helps to kill the fungus effectively.
- Wear light, breathable footwear.
- Do not share your footwear.
Athlete’s Foot is not life threatening and is easy to treat. However, special care and immediately seek a doctor’s help if you have diabetes, are pregnant or have a weakened immune system. Besides, it is recommended to take expert advice if the condition is not responding to over-the-counter antifungal medicines.