Avoiding the fungus that causes athlete's foot is the key to preventing the itchy, uncomfortable fungal infection. Our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Mukesh Bhakta of Prince William Foot & Ankle Center, treats athlete's foot, along with many other foot and ankle conditions.
What's the best way to prevent athlete's foot infections?
The fungus responsible for athlete's foot is very contagious. It can survive for weeks on surfaces and is often found around public pools and in public shower and locker rooms. If you swim at a public pool or work out at a Gainesville area gym, you can reduce your risk of developing athlete's foot by wearing sandals or shower shoes at all times.
Other ways to avoid athlete's foot, include:
- Decreasing Moisture: Sweaty socks and shoes provide the dark, moist environment the fungus needs to thrive. Adding talcum powder to your socks, spraying antiperspirant on your feet, wearing socks that wick away moisture and changing your socks throughout the day will help keep your feet drier.
- Alternating Footwear: Moisture can become trapped. Materials that breathe, such as canvas or leather, are a better choice than shoes made of synthetic materials.
- Washing Clothing, Bedding, and Towels in Hot Water: The athlete's foot fungus will survive a trip through the washing machine if you use cold water to clean your clothes. In fact, it only dies if clothing and other items are washed in 140F water. If someone in your home has athlete's foot, prevent the infection from spreading by washing bathmats, washcloths, towels, bedding, and socks on your washer's hottest setting.
How is athlete's foot treated in Gainesville?
An athlete's foot infection won't go away on its own, even if you keep your feet clean and dry as soon as you notice symptoms. Although over-the-counter anti-fungal creams can be helpful, the topical products may not be able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skins. If your infection doesn't go away or worsens, your foot doctor can prescribe topical medications that can reach the fungus deep inside your skin or oral anti-fungal medication if topical treatment isn't helpful.
Are you tired of living with athlete's foot? Call our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Bhakta of Prince William Foot & Ankle Center, at (703) 753-3338 to schedule an appointment.