As an athlete, it is of utmost importance that you keep yourself physically and mentally well. Most injuries can be treated, but the golden rule is to prevent the injury before it even happens. One of the most common infections is the athlete’s foot. It is a fungal infection also known as tineapedi and the ringworm of the foot. It usually affects the upper layer of skin of the foot especially when it is warm, moist and infected. The skin becomes dry, flaky, red and scaly. It can also start to itch in particular between the toes, and there may also be a burning or stinging sensation.
The easiest way to prevent the infection is to keep your feet dry and don’t keep them in closed shoes all the time. Wear sandals or flip flops and dry your feet with a towel after swimming or taking a bath. Wear socks when you are indoor but change them twice a day as they absorb a lot of sweat, and don’t wear closed shoes. Allow your shoes to air for at least 24 hours before wearing them again.
Don’t share any shoes and do not walk in swimming pool areas barefoot as it is the main spot for picking up a fungal infection. Make sure to wash your sheets and towels regularly as they absorb sweat and can be humid. Pets can also get athlete’s foot, so if it starts losing hair take it to the vet, it is contagious for humans. Wear well-ventilated and loose-fitting shoes, such as canvas or leather shoes especially in the summer.
If you already have athlete’s foot then be careful because it can spread to the groin area as well. After you take a bath or a swim, dry the groin area before your feet. Socks should be put on before you put on your underwear so that it does not touch your bare feet. This can prevent jock itch as well. Fungi can also latch onto your clothes so use hot water and bleach to kill it. Start using powder or lamb wool to keep your feet dry.
Make sure to finish the full course of the antifungal medicine you were prescribed (about 1-6 weeks). Just because the symptoms are gone doesn’t mean that the fungi have as well. There are different types of nonprescription antifungals that you can choose from, such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin), miconazole (Micatin), terbinafine (Lamisil) and tolnaftate (Tinactin). These medicines are solutions, creams, sprays, lotions gels, swabs, powders, ointments that are applied to the skin.
Make sure to treat your infection as soon as possible since it can lead to severe bacterial infections as well as blisters and cracks in the skin. Make sure that you don’t walk around barefoot or share shoes with anyone as it will spread to other people as well. Rest assured, it is a very mild infection and usually does not have any severe symptoms. Just take a few precautions and use whatever cream or pill your doctor describes for the full course and everything will be fine.