If you’re like most people, you probably get more physically active in the summer, thanks to the return of warmer weather. And, when it comes to having fun in the sun, nothing beats peeling off those socks and shoes and digging out your favorite pair of sandals. Unfortunately, warmer weather and bare feet can also increase your chances of getting foot fungus.
Fungal infections ― such as athlete’s foot and toenail fungus ― are a common foot problem. While having a fungal infection isn’t serious, these infections are highly contagious and can lead to uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms. Plus, once you have a fungal infection, it can be difficult to cure.
Common signs of foot fungus include:
At Precision Footcare, John Jurcisin, DPM, brings more than 31 years of experience in podiatric medicine to the Midtown East neighborhood of New York City. He suggests taking these simple steps to protect your feet from fungal infections this summer and all year long.
Foot fungus comes from microorganisms that love warm, moist, and dark environments — which makes hot, sweaty feet the perfect breeding ground for infection. To keep your feet cool and comfortable, even when the mercury rises, Dr. Jurcisin recommends picking moisture-wicking socks and roomy, breathable shoes. You should also wear clean, dry socks every day and alternate between pairs of shoes. Having more than one pair of shoes can allow each pair to dry out completely between uses. You can also give your feet more opportunities to breathe by wearing sandals whenever possible.
Sometimes, wearing the right shoes and socks just isn’t enough when it comes to keeping your feet cool. To help protect your feet even more, try spraying or sprinkling an antifungal treatment inside your socks or shoes. These medications come in over-the-counter options that can help control sweat and prevent fungal growth. That means you can still beat foot fungus, even when facing hot weather or a sweaty workout.
Before you head to the nail salon or bust out your nail clippers, make sure to think about good foot hygiene first. Fungal infections are highly contagious. When getting a professional pedicure, bring your own tools or confirm their sanitation and disinfection practices for footbaths and tools. If trimming your nails at home, avoid giving yourself rounded toenails. Cut straight across instead. You should also keep your nails trimmed short to minimize your risk of breaking them and allowing debris to build up under them.
Who doesn’t love spending time at the pool under the hot summer sun? Unfortunately, fungus also thrives in this type of environment. Whether you’re hitting a public shower, locker room, or pool, play it safe and wear shower shoes, flip-flops, or sandals to reduce your chances of exposure. It’s also important to note that foot fungus can easily spread not only through contaminated floors, but also through towels and clothing. So always bring your own footwear and swimming clothes, too.
To learn more about foot fungus or to find out about treatment solutions, book an appointment online or over the phone with Precision Footcare today.