Itchy, uncomfortable athlete's foot doesn't have to become a permanent part of your life. Effective prevention and treatment options can help you clear your infection and avoid a new case of the common fungal infection. The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center, serving the Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon, and McLean/Great Falls, VA, area, offer a range of podiatric services, including athlete's foot treatment.
What can I do to prevent athlete's foot?
All fungi, including the athlete's foot fungus, thrive in moist, dark places. Your shoes meet both criteria, particularly if you sweat heavily. Although your supervisor may frown on you walking around the office in sandals, exposing your feet to light and air can help when you're at home. You might have to wear shoes during the day, but that doesn't mean that you can't take a few steps to reduce your athlete's foot risk, such as:
- Using Powder: Apply powder to your feet before you put on your socks to help keep them drier.
- Alternate Shoes: The insoles of your shoes trap moisture, even though they look perfectly dry. If you wear the same pair of shoes every day, the fungi will continue to grow and multiply, making it hard to get rid of athlete's foot.
- Change Your Socks: Bring a clean pair of socks to work and change into them during your lunch break. Wash your feet first or use moist wipes to clean off your feet. Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly before putting on your socks.
You can also reduce the likelihood of an athlete's foot infection by wearing shower shoes or sandals when you visit public pools or use public locker rooms or shower rooms.
If athlete's foot is a frequent problem, wash your sheets, towels, bath mats, and socks in water that is 140F or hotter. If you use cold water, the fungi won't die.
How can my foot doctor help me?
Over-the-counter preparations may not be strong enough to treat your infection. During a visit to your podiatrist, they may recommend prescription-strength topical medications that are more effective. Oral anti-fungal medication may be an option if your infection doesn't respond to the prescription topical medication.
A visit to the foot doctor can help you finally relieve your athlete's foot symptoms. Schedule an appointment with podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center by calling (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax/Burke office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn/Leesburg office, (703) 556-8637 for McLean/Great Falls, (703) 723-2719 for McLean/Great Falls.