5 Steps to Prevent Athlete’s Foot

When you think of Athlete’s foot, you may be thinking of sweaty, slightly unhygienic athletes that spend more than half of their time in a uniform or working out. The reality is, Athlete’s foot is just a nickname for “tinea pedis” which is something that can affect anyone with feet.

If you’ve had Athlete’s foot before, you know the last thing you want is a repeat infection. After working for days, weeks or maybe even months to get rid of your itchy, irritated skin, the worst feeling is when you realize that you’ve now got to do the whole process all over again. Here are a few things you can do to prevent athlete’s foot from constantly coming back.

  1. Wash your feet and change socks/shoes OFTEN – If you feel like your feet are starting to get sweaty or even have a hint of an odor, wash your feet, change your socks, then change the shoes you were wearing. This may sound very tedious like overkill, but it’s one of the best ways to prevent athlete’s foot from recurring.
  2. Weekly foot soak – Try to sit down at least once a week to soak your feet in any of the following solutions: lemon water, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, tea, or mustard oil. There are also other options, but these are the best known and most easily found in the supermarket.
  3. Wipe your feet last – This is just a precaution in case you haven’t fully gotten rid of your Athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot anywhere else on the body is called jock itch and it is not pleasant to have anywhere on your skin. If you wipe your feet last, you won’t spread the infection to the rest of your body.
  4. Bleach – Anything that touches your feet should be bleached regularly in the wash. This includes parts of your shoes that are washable. Warm wash cycles are not strong enough to kill the bacteria. Also, wash your socks separately from your underwear just in case. (Athlete’s foot is pretty stubborn and will spread at any chance it gets.)
  5. Continue medicating after the symptoms are gone – This is key since your feet will look normal before the infection is fully cleared. Use your medicine (if you were prescribed any) exactly as the directions state to make sure that you are fully healed and not harboring any last bits of fungus/infection.

Athlete’s foot is a very common issue. If you are having trouble getting rid of your Athlete’s foot, or have any other foot or ankle related issues, visit Clifton Foot & Ankle Center and see Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm. You can call our Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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