While athlete’s foot generally isn’t considered a serious affliction, it can certainly be cumbersome to deal with and cause tremendous discomfort. Although everyone is technically at risk for athlete’s foot, some of us are more prone to developing it than others. So, if you have a penchant for coming down with athlete’s foot, it’s important to be extra-mindful of certain behaviors. In the interest of keeping your feet fungus-free, put the following pointers to good use.
Make Sure Your Feet Stay Clean and Dry
A lack of proper pedal hygiene can pave the way for the formation of aggressive athlete’s foot. So, if your regular grooming routine completely ignores your feet, don’t be surprised to see foot fungus rear its head. Fortunately, keeping your feet nice and clean shouldn’t require a tremendous amount of effort on your part.
To start with, take care to wash your feet at least once a day, paying special attention to the spaces between your toes. This can be done in the bath or shower and quickly become a regular part of your daily cleansing. Furthermore, once you’ve finished washing your feet, make sure to dry them as thoroughly as possible. Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections tend to thrive in moisture-rich environments, so when it comes to preventing such afflictions, you should aim for maximum dryness. Washing and drying your feet is particularly important for people who regularly engage in activities that generate a fair amount of foot-based sweat.
Consistently Change Your Socks
Changing your socks on a consistent basis is among the core tenets of keeping your feet fungus-free. In addition to being gross and unhygienic, wearing dirty socks for multiple days in a row can be highly conducive to the formation of athlete’s foot. The longer you wear a pair of socks, the longer your feet will be mired in sweat and bacteria – and the more likely they are to develop a fungal infection.
That being the case, take care to change your socks at least once a day. Furthermore, make sure to change your socks after engaging in strenuous workouts or other activities that cause you to sweat.
Avoid Tight-Fitting Footwear
While tight-fitting footwear may look stylish, it can also act as a major contributor to athlete’s foot. The less room your feet are given to breathe, the more mired in sweat and bacteria they’re likely to be. With this in mind, make sure to seek out socks, shoes and other footwear that fit comfortably and don’t squeeze your feet. For example, if you spend a fair amount of time exercising outside, take care to invest in breathable activewear and antimicrobial outdoor gear.
Never Share Clothing or Towels
Sharing unwashed clothing, towels or other personal items can result in athlete’s foot, as well as a variety of other fungal infections. So, if you have a habit of sharing footwear – or any other clothing-related item – with others, you’d be wise to correct this behavior posthaste. No matter how well you know someone or how confident you are in their commitment to proper hygiene, you should never share the above-mentioned items with them.
Be Selective About Where You Go Barefoot
While giving your feet room to breathe is certainly important, you should be very mindful of where you go barefoot. For example, being barefoot in such public spaces as gyms, swimming pools or locker rooms stands to expose your feet to assorted bacteria and fungi. As such, make sure to keep a protective pair of footwear on hand whenever you’re in such areas. A good pair of flip-flops, for example, can be an invaluable tool for pools and locker rooms – not to mention locker room showers. You should also try to avoid going barefoot at home if you share a living space with someone suffering from athlete’s foot.
There’s no question that athlete’s foot can be annoying – not to mention unpleasant to look at. Furthermore, if left untreated, this condition is likely to spread, resulting in even more itchiness, irritation and peeling. That being the case, we should all strive to avoid athlete’s foot, especially those of us who are prone to developing it. Luckily, this is far from a difficult undertaking. A little bit of mindfulness and a willingness to change certain behaviors can go a long way in preventing the formation of athlete’s foot.