Now that it’s New Year’s Resolution time, we have a suggestion for you: resolve not to get athlete’s foot in 2015! This itchy, irritating skin condition can be quite a bother and may take a month (or more) to fully eradicate, so prevention is the best strategy.
Athlete’s foot is typically caused by a fungal infection. These fungi crave locations where warmth, wetness, and darkness prevail. They’re also highly contagious, and can live on surfaces or inside shoes long enough to easily spread from person to person. Preventing an infection, then, is principally about defending your feet against the kind of conditions that lead to transmission, depriving the fungi of a hospitable environment.
Here are some top tips:
- Whenever possible, wear moisture-wicking socks and breathable shoes.
- Change your socks regularly. If you have especially sweaty feet, you may have to do this multiple times per day. You don’t want to wear damp socks for an extended period of time.
- Let your feet air out a bit by going barefoot while you’re at home, or wearing supportive sandals when the weather allows.
- Have at least two pairs of shoes and alternate between them regularly. Allowing a full 24 hours between uses gives your pair a chance to fully dry out before you put them back on.
- Dry your feet fully (including between the toes) after showering or swimming.
- Never go barefoot in public, particularly places where fungus is likely to live and spread—pool decks, locker rooms, fitness centers, etc. Always wear sandals or shower shoes in such situations.
- Don’t share shoes, socks, or towels with anyone else.
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