Athlete's Foot: Prevention is Part of the Cure

Most dermatologists believe that those who are infected with athlete’s foot need to undertake multiple preventive measures to ensure that the infection doesn’t spread aggressively. Athlete’s foot often begins in the form of a small patch of slightly-inflamed skin. However, if due preventive measures are not taken, the rash can quickly spread to the other digits of the foot.

Why Prevention Is Essential

Medicines can reduce the degree of inflammation and subdue the infection for some period. However, if proper preventive measures are not taken, the infection can become deep-seated in areas such as the toenails. The drying of skin caused by athlete’s foot allows the infection to spread quickly, as flakes of dry skin are dispersed every time the rash-inflicted area is scratched. In fact, this rash can even spread to the hands in the form of another fungus called Tinea manuum that is catalyzed by an unresolved case of athlete’s foot.

Among common fungal infections, athlete’s foot is often quoted as the most prevalent problem since it is highly contagious. This is largely because the fungi causing athlete's foot can survive on nearly every medium that makes contact with the affected individual. This includes bathroom surfaces, footwear and clothes besides a host of other, commonly-used things. This is also a major reason why athlete’s foot is often recurring; it occurs repeatedly among some individuals despite taking prescription medications.

Avoid Contact with Fungus

Avoid walking barefooted. This is particularly applicable when using common showers, gymnasiums, walking public places like parks, and at home. Walking barefooted means increasing chances of making a direct contact with the Taenia pedis fungus. Ensure that clothes of people with athlete’s foot are washed separately. Ideally, the clothes should be rinsed in water mixed with a disinfectant. Using bleach is an easy way of killing the fungal spores. Don’t share footwear and preferably, clothes, with a person diagnosed or suspected of having athlete’s foot.

Eradicate Possible Means of Contamination

When under treatment for athlete’s foot, ensure that you properly dispose the bandages or soaks. Failure to do so allows the fungus to spread across other household surfaces leading to recurrent episodes of athlete’s foot.

Reduce Sweating

Sweating is responsible for aggravating athlete’s foot symptoms. Ensure that you minimize the effect of sweating in the foot by washing the feet a few times during the day. Change your socks as often as possible and wear comfortably-fitting shoes. Try to minimize the use of shoes and socks, as uncovered feet inherently perspire less. Don’t use socks and footwear made of materials that tend to induce more sweating. Use a high-absorbent powder for dusting the feet.

Enhance Foot Hygiene

Ensure that your feet don’t provide easy sources for the athlete’s foot to spread. This includes dried or dead skin on the foot. However, don’t scrub your feet with hard scrubbers. Instead, rub your feet with a dry towel to dispel the outermost crusts formed around the edge of athlete’s foot rashes. Moisturize the feet with solutions or ointments recommended as a part of athlete’s foot treatment.

Ensure hygiene of your toenails. Dry, dust and clean the insides of your shoes repeatedly to ensure that flakes of dry skin are systematically removed. Drying the shoes under bright sunlight for a few minutes is a good way of doing this.

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