Foot infections, commonly through fungal infections, can be all too pervasive. Just visit a gym and chances are you’ll bring one home. Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a well-known foot fungus that spreads rapidly by shedding tinea fungus spores. This fungus leaves your feet cracked, stinging, and sore.
However, the gym is not the only place you’ll find fungi. The rains of autumn foster infections too, because fungi thrive in humid environments. More than 80 types of fungi have the ability to thrive on your feet. That’s more than anywhere else on or inside your body. How can you protect your feet and avoid possible infection? Let’s talk about a few preventive measures you can take this season.
Choose Your Socks Wisely
If your feet tend to get sweaty in your socks during the day, fungal growth is more likely. Invest in socks that allow your feet to breathe and aren’t very tight. When you get home, take your socks off and give your feet a chance to dry out.
Take Precautions at the Gym
The gym offers several humid environments where fungus likes to live. Pools, showers, saunas, and steam rooms are damp and wet, perfect for harboring fungus and spreading it to others. And since the weather is cooler, gyms are even more crowded. Don’t avoid the gym altogether but do take extra precautions. Wear shower shoes and sterilize your shoes regularly. Dry your feet as soon as possible after being in a humid environment. Never share shoes or towels with anyone.
Practice Basic Hygiene
It may sound funny but showering and washing with soap and hot water daily will do a world of good in preventing the contraction and spread of infections. Changing your socks won’t make a difference if you haven’t washed your feet recently. Make it your goal to keep your feet as clean and dry as possible. Use foot and nail cream to prevent cracks in your feet. These cracks provide the entryway for infections. Apply talcum powder regularly to keep your feet dry if they tend to get sweaty.
Handle Infected Laundry Carefully
Even if you haven’t contracted athlete’s foot or any other foot infection, handling contaminated laundry makes you susceptible. Learn how to properly clean the infected clothing and other objects the clothing touched. Keep contaminated clothing separate from other laundry. Wash it in hot water (140°F or 60°C), and if it’s white, use a little chlorine bleach. If it sat in a hamper, wipe the hamper down with a solution of chlorine bleach. If they were in a gym bag, sterilize the bag. Do everything you can to protect yourself and prevent the further spread of disease.
Don’t allow the possibility of fungal infections to keep you from hitting the gym or force you to stay inside the house. Fungal infections are widespread, but this doesn’t have to be true for you. Practice these principles, and you’ll make strides in preventing the contraction of foot fungus and keeping your feet healthy.