How To Prevent Athlete’s Foot

By David Baron
Other than your heart and your kidneys, your feet might be the hardest working parts of your body. They’re unsung heroes; maybe even the most neglected. Think about it. They carry around all 100 to 200 or more pounds of you, all day, every day, on a relatively small surface area, often on unforgiving surfaces like stone, hardwood or tile.
Feet can be the source of great pain, or great pleasure (ever had a foot massage?). For some, they’re a fetish. And for others, foul-ish. But most importantly, the majority of problems people experience with their feet are either self-inflicted, or altogether preventable. Consider the following a basic primer on how to treat your feet to avoid or resolve some of the most common foot frustrations.
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal skin infection that causes a red, itchy, burning, peeling rash usually of the soles and sides of the feet and in between the toes. Fungi like to live where it’s warm, dark and moist, e.g., sweaty feet. The fungus is pretty ubiquitous, but especially common in showers and old athletic shoes.
Keeping your feet dry is your main weapon against foot fungus (and throwing away those older sneakers, moccasins or loafers that smell kind of funky inside). Use an anti-fungal powder before putting on your shoes and socks (and do wear socks, preferably
cotton ones) if you’re prone to athlete’s foot. But if you think you already have it, the sprays and powders aren’t strong enough to get rid of it. Get an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream and use it every day, once or twice depending on the brand, for two full weeks.
Ingrown toenails and infections around the edges of the nails are caused by a combination of shoes that are too tight and squeeze the toes together, trimming nails or cuticles too aggressively (especially in the corners – cut nearly straight across to avoid this), and allowing all the bacteria that are lurking in the recesses around the nails to gain entry into the skin. Buy shoes that give your toes enough room to wiggle and a little space between the tip of the big toe and the inside front of the shoe. And it wouldn’t hurt to scrub your toenails with a nailbrush and some antibacterial soap once in a while if these tend to be recurring problems for you.
Finally, remember that healthy feet come in all shapes and sizes. It’s neither bad nor good to have flat feet, high-arched feet or in between. Certain kinds of feet do certain things better. So you may need to tailor your exercise to the things that feel best for you (they’re likely to be the things you seem to do best naturally). And you definitely want to choose your shoes to fit your feet comfortably. If your shoes make your feet hurt, I don’t care if they’re Manolo Blahnik or Skechers; they’re the wrong shoes. Find some that look good and feel good.
Most of all, take care of your feet like you do your face or hands. Keep them clean. Don’t ignore them. Don’t abuse them. And they’ll take you where you want to go.

At Primary Caring of Malibu we have returned to old-fashioned style family medicine to bring our patients the exclusive personal care and attention they deserve. It’s not a new idea — it’s just an old concept brought up-to-date, with modern methods and technology making it even better.

#DocMalibu, #DrDavidBBaronKNX, #DoctorHouseCalls, #ConciergeMedialPracticeMalibu

Primary Caring of Malibu | 22601 Pacific Coast Highway | Suite 240 | Malibu | CA | 90265