In the cold days of winter your feet may actually be burning up from the irritation caused by athlete’s foot. Known officially as tinea pedis, athlete’s foot is often thought to be a summer time ailment, but it’s actually quite common in the winter.
The Right Conditions
Athlete’s foot is spread by direct contact and it loves a damp, dark environment. With all the new health club memberships that come with New Year’s resolutions to get fit, we at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists see lots of cases of athlete’s foot that stem from locker room floors and gym showers. Other prime areas to get this infection are indoor pools and even nail salons. Once your feet come in contact with the fungi that causes it, they are then usually put into warm socks and dark shoes—the perfect atmosphere for the fungi to breed and grow.
Symptoms and Treatment
The telltale signs of this skin condition are itchy, burning skin that is dry and inflamed and sometimes blisters will appear as well. Athlete’s foot most often attacks the skin between the toes but can also spread to the soles of the feet, the toenails and even other parts of your body. That’s why you want to make an appointment at either our Reading office to see one of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. and get treatment for this fungal infection when you first see symptoms. After examining your foot and confirming the diagnosis of athlete’s foot, the foot doctor will most likely prescribe a fungicide to treat the infection. In resistant cases, an oral or topical prescription antifungal drug may be required.
By taking a few precautions, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting athlete’s foot. Never walk barefoot in public areas where other people go barefoot, particularly areas that get wet, such as locker rooms, public pools and showers. Wear socks and shoes that breathe and change your socks frequently if you perspire heavily. Use talcum powder to help keep feet dry.
Start your New Year off right by taking good care of your feet. If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of foot or ankle health, contact New England Foot and Ankle Specialists today.