Fall is a busy time for Illinois high schools, especially with regards to athletics. There are nine different IHSA-sanctioned seasons currently in session. Thousands of high school athletes are playing football, soccer, tennis, and volleyball, along with those who are running cross country and golfing. Each of the teams currently competing are guided by rules of conduct – including ones dictating appropriate locker room behavior!
Now, it’s rather unlikely that a player would face disciplinary action for contracting a fungal infection, but we have some rules to be followed if your student-athlete (or anyone in the family!) wants to reduce the risk of toenail fungus.
Toenail fungus is a fairly common problem. Unfortunately, it’s also a rather stubborn problem – one that won’t go away on its own. Much like preventing the other team from scoring a touchdown or goal, the best course of action is to play a little defense against fungal nails.
When coaches develop game plans, it always helps to know about the opponent. In this case, you need to know that fungus thrives in warm, damp places. Locker room and showering area floors, and indoor pool decks, are prime real estate for this particular microorganism. Keeping that in mind, a starting point for your fungal toenail prevention plan is to keep feet as dry as possible. Let’s take a look at some specific “plays” so you can be victorious! These include:
Wash feet every day and dry them thoroughly before putting on socks and shoes.
Wear socks that are sweat-absorbing or moisture-wicking and choose footwear constructed from breathable materials.
Wear clean sandals or shower shoes when walking in high-risk areas (like the aforementioned locker rooms and pool decks).
Treat your shoes with an antifungal powder or disinfectant spray.
Following these tips will help you win against toenail fungus. Of course, sometimes opponents overcome even the best game plans. In the event you do sustain a fungal toenail infection, come see us here at Heartland Foot & Ankle Associates as soon as possible. These fungal infections are stubborn and will not go away on their own.
For more information, or to request an appointment, either take advantage of our online form or give us a call at (309) 661-9975. No matter how you want to contact us, one of our staff members will be happy to help!