As anyone who’s been afflicted with foot fungus can attest, contending with this condition is anything but pleasant. While generally not outright painful, athlete’s foot can be itchy, uncomfortable and outright embarrassing.
Furthermore, if it’s not treated in a timely and effective manner, it’s liable to spread to other parts of your body.
Luckily, keeping foot fungus at bay is much easier than many long-time athlete’s foot sufferers may think. So, if you’re ready to send athlete’s foot packing, simply put the following pointers to practical use.
Change Your Shoes on a Regular Basis
While having just one or two pairs of shoes may seem like a good way to keep things simple, wearing the same shoes on a daily basis can sometimes prove conducive to the formation of foot fungus.
The more time your feet spend in the same shoes, the more exposure they’ll have to the various germs that exist therein.
Conversely, purchasing several pairs of shoes and alternating them on a regular basis ensures that your footwear has sufficient time to air out after each wearing.
Furthermore, since some shoes contain more sweat than others, take care to give your sweatiest ones the most time to air out. For example, if you work out a lot, make sure that you have special pairs of shoes specifically for exercise.
Wearing sweat-drenched workout shoes as sneakers is not only unsanitary, it can also increase your likelihood of developing foot fungus.
For good measure, you should also seek out shoes, socks and other activewear developed with antimicrobial technology. You should also change your socks at least once per day.
For instance, changing socks before going to bed can help ensure that your feet don’t spend every night exposed to all the sweat they’ve built up throughout the day and prevent you from bringing assorted outside germs into bed with you.
Never Share Footwear
In addition to owning numerous pairs of shoes, you’ll need to avoid sharing footwear with friends and family members.
No matter how close you are to the other party, willful exposure to their sweat and assorted foot germs is never something you should seek out.
With this in mind, avoid loaning any shoes, socks or other footwear to others – especially if they haven’t been thoroughly cleaned.
The sharing of personal items can result in various types of fungal infections. So, not only should you avoid sharing shoes and socks, you should also abstain from sharing towels and clothing – particularly if they’re unwashed.
By extension, reusing towels or re-wearing clothing that hasn’t been properly washed is liable to result in the spread of germs and the formation of such fungal infections as jock itch.
Wash Your Feet Daily
Even people who make a point of keeping clean tend to neglect their feet. For example, when many of us bathe, we often regard our feet as an afterthought.
Instead of scrubbing them as vigorously as we scrub the rest of our bodies, we figure that the soap and water we use on our legs will automatically carry over to our feet.
While this logic is somewhat understandable, there’s no getting around the fact that feet that are caked in dirt, sweat and bacteria are particularly prone to fungus.
And if you truly wish to rid your feet of these elements, you’ll need to wash them every time you bathe.
In addition to helping prevent foot fungus, washing your feet on a regular basis can reduce your odds of staph infection, cut back on unpleasant foot odor and keep your feet properly exfoliated.
So, whenever you take a bath or shower, take care to thoroughly scrub your feet with soap and water.
When cleaning your feet, make sure to pay special attention to the areas between your toes, as these are prime spots for the formation of athlete’s foot.
There’s no denying that foot fungus is an unpleasant condition to be afflicted by. The burning, itchiness and peeling synonymous with athlete’s foot can cause considerable discomfort and make you afraid to show your feet.
Fortunately, foot fungus is not only easy to treat – it’s easy to avoid altogether. A few small-scale lifestyle changes and a willingness to recognize harmful behaviors can go a long way in keeping your feet fungus-free for the foreseeable future.