Royal newlyweds Prince William and Kate Middleton recently did some horseback riding in Canada. The ultimate accessory for horseback riding is cowboy boots, of course! Cowboy boots may be one of the most dangerous shoes one can wear. They are moist are dark, which can breed fungus leading to athlete’s foot. And, if you’re wearing cowboy boots in this heat, your feet are definitely sweating.
Athlete’s foot is an infection that affects many people in the summer. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that grows best in warm, moist, dark places – just like the inside of your shoe! Runners and people who go to the gym a lot get athlete’s foot more often because they are wearing the same sweaty gym shoes all the time and walking barefoot on the locker room floor. You do not have to be an athlete to get athlete’s foot, simply walking barefoot at the poolside, showering barefoot, or sharing shoes can cause you to contract the infection.
The signs of athlete’s foot are cracked, flaking, peeling skin between your toes. Your feet may be red, very itchy, and have an unpleasant odor. A burning sensation in your feet is also normal. If the fungal infection spreads to your toenails, your nails can become thick and turn colors.
If you have athlete’s foot for months, things can get more serious. The infection can spread to other parts of the body and it is also possible to pick up a bacterial infection too. Dr. Lockwood can give you a prescription for stronger medication and give you more specific information about how to prevent athlete’s foot. For instance, if sweating is your problem, we have shoes and socks that allow better air circulation and wick away the sweat. If you have diabetes, Dr. Lockwood should be the FIRST person you see if you think you have athlete’s foot. A fungal infection in a diabetic is especially dangerous- please come in immediately!
Below are a few simple things you can do to keep your feet fungal free:
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Wear comfortable shoes that have good air circulation.
- NEVER walk barefoot in public areas, including the gym, pool, and dorms.
- Do not share shoes and socks with others.
- Change socks if they get too sweaty during the day.
- Make sure your gym/running shoes are completely dry before putting them on each time.
- Clean your own bathroom floors regularly.
Summer is the time when we all want to have fun with our family and friends. Don’t let athlete’s foot ruin your plans- make an appointment to see Dr. Lockwood at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates.