Know Your Risk for Athlete’s Foot

Memorial Day weekend is coming soon. It’s a chance for you to kick up your feet and enjoy a little extra time with your family, or maybe go on a mini-vacation. One thing is certain, though: you don’t want a fungal foot infection to disrupt your time off. Whether you’re heading out of town or pulling a “staycation” here, assessing your risk for athlete’s foot can help you avoid an uncomfortable infection.

Athlete’s foot is an unsightly and uncomfortable fungal problem on the surface of your feet that causes itching, peeling skin, and blisters. Because the pathogen that causes this condition exists in the environment around you, your feet can be exposed to it almost anywhere. There are specific things that can increase your risk for athlete’s foot, however.

Fungus is highly contagious and passes easily between infected feet and the surfaces they touch. Borrowing and using the shoes, socks, towels, and even sheets of someone with an infection exposes your toes to the pathogen. Walking barefoot in high-risk locations like public showers, bathrooms, locker rooms, gyms, saunas, and pools also increases your odds of picking up the problem.

The infection may not take hold of your feet, however, unless your lower limbs provide the right conditions. Fungus needs a warm, damp environment to thrive. Sweaty feet that spend most of their time trapped in shoes offer that ideal atmosphere. A weaker immune system is also more susceptible to the problem, so anyone with diabetes or other immune-impairing disorders has a particularly high risk.

Knowing the sources can help you prevent an infection. If you’re already aware that you’re prone to the problem, have been exposed to the pathogen recently, or have all the right conditions to develop an infection, you can take steps to avoid athlete’s foot. Don’t let a fungal infection ruin your Memorial Day plans. Instead, request an appointment with us here at Sierra Foot & Ankle; you can reach us by calling (775) 783-8037. If you want to keep updated on foot health, why not follow us on Twitter and Pinterest!

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