With the 10-day forecast predicting summer-like weather many of you are chomping at the bit to get outside for some exercise and fun. Whether that includes a long walk on the Brook Gilman Trail, swimming at the beach or burning off extra energy at the Greenlake playground, summer is the perfect time to get yourself and those Energizer-bunny kids off the couch and out of the house.
Along with summer, however, comes increased heat and humidity, which turns out to be a potential breeding ground for an invisible enemy—fungus. Of particular concern is a fungus called Tinea, which is the cause of fungal foot infections known as Tinea Pedis or Athletes’ Foot.
This fungus can be found in warm, moist environments such as wet shoes and socks, public showers at the pool or health club, or alongside the swimming pool. If you notice any cracked, flaking, peeling skin on the feet or in between the toes that becomes red and itchy or if you notice your toenails become thick, brittle, or turned a yellowish color, you may have picked up this very common and very treatable fungus.
Here are some treatment and prevention ideas to keep this intense itching away this summer:
Apply an over-the-counter powder or cream to the affected areas as directed on the label for up to 1-2 weeks. Effective creams include Lotrimin AF, Lamisil, and Tinactin.
Contact Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City immediately at 206-368-7000 to schedule an appointment with us if:
- your symptoms do not subside after 2 weeks of self-treatment
- the red, itchy area gets bigger or spreads to other areas
- the area becomes warm or swollen
- you are a diabetic and develop a fungal foot infection
- you have any questions or concerns regarding this or any other foot or ankle issues
- Wear shoes or shower sandals in all public showers, locker rooms and swimming pool areas
- When hiking or exercising, bring extra changes of shoes and socks to keep your feet and toes dry at all times
- Wash your feet and in between your toes with soap and water twice a day (especially any cuts or abrasions anywhere on your feet, as these areas are more prone to infection)
- Make sure you keep the area in between your toes dry at all times
- Use anti-fungal sprays at the health club or swimming pool if available
- Use anti-fungal powders in your shoes if you are prone to these fungal infections
- Wear shoes that are well-ventilated (avoid plastic-lined shoes), and make sure your shoes have dried entirely before you wear them again
- If infected, DO NOT use the same towel to dry infected areas and other non-infected areas of your body, as Athletes’ Foot can be spread by contact.
The best prevention to any foot problem is to inspect your feet regularly and to call me at 206-368-7000 for any questions or concerns!