Research shows that exercise is good for us in many ways. Regular exercise can help control weight, fight disease, promote restful sleep and even boost our mood and energy. So if you’ve been a steady customer of your local gym or swimming pool – congratulations!
Unfortunately, visiting public pools, gyms and showers increases the risk of developing fungal infections like athlete’s foot. This contagious fungal infection loves moist, warm environments including damp, sweaty socks and shoes.
Athlete’s Foot Can Be Painful as well as Itchy
If you notice an itchy or burning rash between your toes, you probably have contracted this fungus. Sometimes the skin can be dry with eczema symptoms, or ulcers or blisters may appear.
Men are more susceptible to athlete’s foot but, because it’s contagious, anyone can pick it up at a public spot or from an infected person’s shoes or towel.
Left untreated, the infection can spread to your hands or other locations. The same fungus causes jock itch.
How to Treat Athlete’s Foot
You may recognize the symptoms of athlete’s foot, but Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM can make an accurate diagnosis and recommend effective treatment. Over-the-counter products like antifungal powders, sprays, lotions or ointments may work temporarily but there is a large risk of a recurring infection.
If your condition does not respond to these products, we will give you a prescription for topical medicine and even oral medication in severe cases.
Preventing Athlete’s Foot
Because it’s contagious, take steps to avoid picking up the athlete’s foot fungus:
- Keep feet dry by changing socks and shoes when they are damp or wet.
- Let feet air out at home.
- Alternate between pairs of shoes to let them dry thoroughly.
- Choose shoes that “breathe” and are well-ventilated.
- Wear shower shoes or flip flops in public places like fitness centers, pools and showers.
- Avoid sharing shoes and towels.
- Apply powder to feet regularly to prevent perspiration, including between the toes.
We Can Help!
If you or a family member has a persistent itchy or painful skin condition, call Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist in Chicago at 773-561-8100 for an evaluation. You can also contact us through our website. Don’t wait to relieve the painful itch of athlete’s foot – call today!