Athlete’s Foot

ATHLETE’S FOOT

If it’s really itchy between your toes, it kind of stings and stinks… There’s a good chance you’ve got athlete’s foot. Even if your version of athleticism only involves a couch and a gamepad, you may have the common ‘locker-room’ infection!

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection that thrives in an environment of warmth and dampness. It’s the most common fungal infection of the skin and seems to afflict more men than women. The fungi live off the dead skin cells and calluses of the feet, especially that pesky-to-dry skin between the toes. Symptoms include inflammation, burning, itching, scaling, cracking, and blistering. It’s especially prevalent and highly contagious in warm, damp places such as gyms and swimming pool changing rooms, hence the reason for its common name ‘athlete’s foot’!

Some tips to help prevent the condition include:

  • After showering, dry carefully between your toes and if the infection is present, make sure to use your towel only once before washing to reduce the risk of re-infection.
  • Wear absorbent cotton socks.
  • Air your shoes and change socks daily.
  • Wash socks, towels, and anything that comes into contact with the infected area with hot water.
  • Take care to protect your feet from direct contact with floors in communal areas such as locker rooms. Don’t wear shoes made of rubber or vinyl material and where possible, opt for well-ventilated shoes like sandals.
  • Use natural high potency anti-fungal herbal cream like Kolorex Foot and Toe Care cream.

Renee Leonard-Stainton, Naturopath

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