How to Stop Your Athlete’s Foot from Returning

Itchy feet

It’s August in Austin, which usually means lots of scorching-hot days. If you don’t happen to have air conditioning—or your work or hobbies expose you to the elements over the course of the day—it can mean a lot of sweaty feet, and that’s bad news if you’re struggling to keep your athlete’s foot from coming back.

Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection, and while it’s usually fairly simple to treat at home, the fungus is always itching to return. Follow these tips to help you prevent a re-infection:

  • Keep your feet dry—especially between the toes—and avoid long-term exposure to moisture. If it’s safe for you to go without wearing shoes at home, wear only socks or go barefoot to let your feet dry out naturally.
  • Keep your feet clean, too, washing with soap and water and drying completely at least once per day.
  • Focus on footwear. Wear socks made of moisture-wicking materials and change them frequently (ideally twice per day, or more if you sweat a lot). Choose well-ventilated shoes and rotate between pairs daily to give each pair time to fully dry out.
  • Use antifungal powders or sprays on your feet and in your shoes to keep fungus from re-establishing a home base.
  • Don’t go barefoot in public—at the very least, always wear shower shoes or sandal in public places, especially moist environments.
  • Don’t give up on treatment too early! Even if your athlete’s foot seems to have been eradicated after only a few weeks, always finish the full recommended treatment course (usually 4-6 weeks). Fungi can live on your feet even after symptoms subside.

The good news about athlete’s foot treatment is that over-the-counter topical products—available in any pharmacy—are usually effective at curing the outbreak, provided instructions are followed correctly and completely. However, if you’re struggling with a particularly stubborn case, or one that recurs often, visit Keith McSpadden, DPM for other treatment options. You can schedule an appointment either of our Austin-area offices—Cedar Park or Round Rock—by dialing 512-593-2949.

Posted on August 18, 2015 and filed under Skin Care.