At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we find that many patients are surprised to learn that toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, and other fungal infections are just as prevalent in the fall as in the summer. In fact, for some people, the risk is actually increased as workouts move indoors and footwear styles change for cooler weather. Below are five ways to help you avoid these irritating and annoying disorders.
- Keep your Feet Covered-- If your cold-weather fitness routine involves a gym or health club, be sure that you pack flip-flops or shower shoes in your gym bag. Fungal infections are spread by direct contact, and that means any place that tends to see a high volume of barefoot traffic is a prime pick-up location for infections.
- Stay Dry—closed shoes, heated cars, offices and stores mean your feet are going to be perspiring more than they do with open-air shoe styles in the summer. It’s a smart idea to keep an extra pair of socks with you and change them when you notice your feet feel damp. Moist, dark and warm conditions are the perfect breeding ground for fungi.
- Don’t Share—yes, we know that’s not what Mom taught! But when it comes to items that touch feet, such as shoes, socks, nail clippers and files, towels, etc., it’s risky business because it can pass on fungal infections so easily.
- Air it Out—alternate your shoes—don’t wear the same pair multiple days in a row. If you are an avid athlete, consider having two pairs of sports shoes so one can dry out for 24 hours while you use the other. Also, when choosing shoes, look for natural materials like leather and canvas that allow feet to breathe.
- Keep it Clean—it may sound basic, but simply washing your feet every day with soap and water can go a long way to keeping fungal infections at bay.
Don’t ignore rashes, blisters and itchy, red skin on your feet. Make an appointment at one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices so that one of our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M.