How To Prevent Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot gets its name from its origins. You easily catch it from walking barefoot in football locker rooms, strolling on swimming pool decks, or from shared showers at the gym. Up to 25% of people will suffer athlete’s foot at some point in their lives.

But really, anyone can catch it. Do you walk barefoot in a hotel room? Rinse off at a public pool? You’re at risk of developing athlete’s foot. The expert podiatry team at Hoosier Foot and Ankle want to help you prevent this frustrating, irritating fungal infection. With locations in Carmel, Indianapolis, Franklin, Greenwood, and at Indiana University, rest assured your feet and ankle questions can be addressed and serious concerns treated.

Although athlete’s foot isn’t usually serious, it is annoying. Read on to learn how you can prevent it from affecting your feet.

Make flip flops part of your shower fashion

Wear those flip flops when you’re walking around pools, any locker room, or a hotel room. Athlete’s foot is contagious. The fungus can linger in moist, warm environments. Wearing shower shoes, such as flip flops, creates a barrier between your skin and the fungus. It’s a best practice to always wear shoes in public places.

Prevent foot sweat

Each of your feet has 250,000 sweat glands. Athlete’s foot just loves the moist environment found in hot, sweaty shoes. Keep your feet in breathable shoes. Sandals and flip flops are smart choices in warm weather. Avoid shoes made from plastic or rubber, which only hold in heat and cause foot sweat. Your socks matter, too. Choose types made with natural fabrics or wicking fabrics. Change your socks every day, and take off socks that get wet as soon as possible.

Include your feet in your hygiene routine

Wash your feet with soap every day. Use a towel to dry them, too. Pay particular attention to the space between your toes, which can retain moisture. And when you do dry your toes, use a fresh towel. Don’t borrow one from your family member or roommate. This goes for sock and shoe sharing, too.

Switch up your footwear daily

Alternate the shoes you wear each day. This allows for shoes that have gotten sweaty or wet one day to thoroughly dry between wears. Have a Monday pair, a Tuesday pair, and then go back to the Monday pair on Wednesday, for example.

Do your research on your nail salon

Pedicures are generally safe, but it’s a good idea to ask your salon about their cleaning procedure for shared tools. If it seems suspect, take your own tools to the appointment. This is truly the only way to ensure you won’t catch a fungus in the salon.

Beware of spread

Athlete’s foot usually starts between your toes, but it can spread to the soles of your feet and to your toenails. If you aren’t mindful and touch other parts of your body after scratching your foot, the fungus can spread to areas such as your armpits and groin.

If you feel like athlete’s foot isn’t resolving even after adopting smart habits and trying over-the-counter antifungals, call the nearest location of Hoosier Foot and Ankle, or make an appointment using the online tool. We’re here for all your foot and ankle needs, including athlete’s foot. 

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