Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer is unofficially here. Time to hit the Carmody, Glennon Heights or Morse Park outdoor pools in the Lakewood, CO, or visit the Ray Ross Splash Pad or the new Surfside Spray Park. These are fun places to cool off, but they and other places can also be prime sources of a nasty athlete’s foot infection if you don’t take some precautions.
What other places, you ask? Here’s a short list: pool decks, gym showers, locker rooms, sidewalks at the beach, your bathroom floor, the tub or shower. All have one thing in common: people walk barefoot there, and one of them may have the infection or carry the fungus that causes it.
Your risk is compounded when you wear shoes that don’t breathe and your feet stay hot and sweaty for long periods of time. It also increases if you don’t practice good foot hygiene, or if for some reason your immune system is more susceptible to an infection. Guys have a worse time of it than women or children, and the older you are, the bigger the chance of a problem, too.
So what is the solution? Never go to a pool or splash pad? Stay away from workouts at the gym? That wouldn’t be much fun. A better alternative is just to use some common sense and good habits. Here’s what you should do:
Wash your feet every day, and dry them well.
Keep your feet as dry as possible by wearing clean socks every day (change more often if you sweat a lot).
Wear breathable shoes and let them dry thoroughly before wearing again. It also helps to remove your shoes or wear sandals part of the time.
Wear foot protection in public places. A pair of flip flops or shower shoes can make a difference.
Use antifungal products in your shoes if you are more prone to athlete’s foot.
These habits should help prevent problems, but if you get an infection and can’t seem to clear it up with over-the-counter products, call the foot doctors at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center and set up a time to come in. We’ll evaluate your skin rash and see what is best to be done. You can also request an appointment through our website.