Posts for tag: athlete's foot
Find out the best measures you can take to prevent athlete’s foot.
Despite its name, anyone can develop athlete’s foot even if they aren’t athletes. This fungal infection creeps into the skin where it causes a nasty, itchy red blistering rash to appear on your feet, often between the toes. Whether this is an infection you face often or you just want to know how to safeguard yourself from it, our Clinton and Waldorf, MD, podiatrists - Dr. Larry Hotchkiss and Dr. Justin Pointer - have the answers you’ve been looking for.
How do you prevent athlete’s foot?
Fungus is all around us. Of course, fungus often thrives in environments that are damp, moist, warm, and dark. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that fungus can be found growing in locker rooms and communal showers, swimming pools and the gym. This is why it’s always a good idea to wear shoes or protective sandals in public bathrooms and showers. Not doing so could lead to a pretty nasty case of athlete’s foot.
Also, if you know someone who has athlete’s foot make sure you don’t share shoes, socks, or towels with them. Fungal infections are highly contagious, which is why it’s common for this infection to easily affect an entire family. While an infection is present in your household remove all bath mats and wash them in hot water. Keep all bath mats off the bathroom floor until the infection has fully cleared.
How do you treat athlete’s foot?
If you are a healthy individual then you may easily be able to treat this infection from the comfort of your own home. After all, there are over-the-counter anti-fungal medications available that can help treat and eliminate your fungal infection. Of course, if you have diabetes or a compromised immune system, or if you are dealing with a severe infection, then you’ll want to turn to our Waldorf and Clinton foot doctors right away for care. Also, if you find that at-home treatment isn’t reducing your symptoms or clearing the infection you’ll also want to see a doctor.
Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Waldorf and Clinton, MD, is dedicated to providing patients of all ages with the proper and thorough foot and ankle care they deserve. No matter whether you are dealing with athlete’s foot or you have questions about other services we offer, don’t hesitate to call our office to learn more.
A fungus is a common mold. It thrives in dark places that are moist and warm. The fungal infections that we treat most frequently at Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle are athlete’s foot (also called tinea pedis) and fungal toenails. Fungal infections are highly contagious and are spread by direct contact. In some cases infections develop because of environment (closed-in shoes, sweaty socks, heat, humidity) and in other instances a weakened immune system from diseases such as diabetes can increase the likelihood of contracting a fungal foot infection. The good news is you can take steps to help prevent fungal infections. Here are some tips:
Wear shoes made of natural materials that breathe and are designed to allow air to circulate around your feet.
If you sweat excessively, consider changing your socks more than once a day.
Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.
Avoid walking barefoot in public places such as gyms, locker rooms, community swimming pools, dorm showers.
Wash feet daily and dry completely, especially between your toes.
Don’t share socks, shoes, nail clippers or files.
If you get professional pedicures check to see that your salon follows proper sanitizing and disinfecting practices for foot baths and nail implements.
Dust feet with anti-fungal powder if you are susceptible to fungal infections.
If you notice itchy, red, scaly skin or toenails that appear discolored or thickened and crumbling, make an appointment at our Waldorf or Clinton office. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Larry J. Hotchkiss, will examine your skin and toenails and prescribe the appropriate treatment if it is determined that you do have a fungal infection. Left untreated, fungal infections can spread to other parts of the foot or body so if you see symptoms, don’t delay in seeking medical care.
Itchy, red feet that are scaly and even blistering can be the symptoms of several conditions including athlete’s foot, a fungal infection or a skin allergy. Another possibility, however, which is more serious than these other conditions, is psoriasis. August is Psoriasis Awareness Month and so we at Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle want to share some important information about this disease.
What’s Different About Psoriasis?
There are a number of elements about psoriasis that distinguish it from more common skin conditions. These include:
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect your entire body. In addition to making your skin itchy and red, it can affect your joints and lead to painful arthritis.
Psoriasis is not contagious.
Psoriasis on your skin will usually be characterized by a silvery-white or grayish scale on top of the irritation, although there are several different types of psoriasis with different appearances.
Your nails may also be affected by psoriasis and can look discolored and pitted.
Flare ups of psoriasis may be triggered by stress, certain medications, injury or infection.
Unlike more mundane skin irritations, psoriasis has a genetic component.
Psoriasis is often associated with other serious medical conditions, including heart disease, depression and diabetes.
If you have a persistent skin condition on your feet that isn’t going away or psoriasis runs in your family and you have questions, contact our Waldorf or Clinton office for an appointment. There are a number of treatment options available, as well as strategies for managing psoriasis. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, can evaluate your condition and help determine the cause and best treatment for whatever is causing your foot discomfort. Contact us at (301) 868-3899 or (301) 843-9581.
Besides golf shoes and hiking boots or strappy new sandals you may not give your feet much thought when it comes time to pack for your summer vacation, but at Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle we want to remind our patients that good foot healthcare never takes a holiday. By planning ahead and packing a few essential items you can help ensure that your feet will get the rest and relaxation they deserve too!
First Aid Basics—antibiotic ointment and bandages are good to have in case you get a small cut or scrape on your foot. Remember that bacteria have an easy entry if you have an open cut so avoid swimming in lakes and rivers if you have a wound. Take some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) with you too in case you overdo a sport or fitness activity.
Happy Trails—long walks and hikes are a favorite vacation pastime. If these are part of your summer travel plans be sure to pack the appropriate shoes or boots. Climbing a mountainous trail in flips flops is a shortcut to serious injury. Put some moleskin in your backpack too and apply to any spot on your foot or ankle where foot wear is rubbing and causing irritation. Hopefully you can head a blister off at the pass but if one does form, don’t pop it. Cover with a bandage.
Fun in the Sun—you may remember to pack sunscreen for the rest of your body but don’t forget to apply it to your feet too—tops and bottoms. Since your feet don’t see the sun most of the year, it’s a good idea to put it on even for a day of shopping or sightseeing if you’re wearing open shoes.
Dive In—the right place for flip flops is the beach changing room, hotel pool and gym locker room. Keeping feet covered in damp public places is the best way to prevent fungal infections from attacking your feet.
If you notice any signs of athlete’s foot or fungal toenails when you return from vacation or if you hurt your foot or ankle, be sure to contact either our Waldorf or Clinton office to schedule an appointment for an evaluation by our foot doctor, Larry Hotchkiss, DPM.
With warmer weather comes more time outside enjoying summer activities. At Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle we want to help our patients who have diabetes to have fun but also to be safe. Due to the nature of the disease, patients with diabetes have to be extra careful about injuring their feet or developing an infection, both of which can be difficult to heal and may quickly become a serious medical threat. Below are some ways to protect your feet this summer:
Always wear shoes. Yes, it’s tempting to kick them off and go barefoot but so many injuries can be prevented by your footwear. Whether it’s sharp shells or a washed up jellyfish on the beach or uneven concrete around the pool, shoes can help you avoid cuts and puncture wounds. Water shoes are suggested for swimming in lakes and the ocean.
Stay away from fungi. Wearing something on your feet can also greatly reduce your risk of coming in contact with fungi and bacteria that can cause athlete’s foot and fungal nails. However, never wear someone else’s shoes and keep your feet dry by changing socks frequently and using foot powder. If you get salon pedicures, make sure tools and foot baths are properly sanitized.
Use sunscreen. Your feet are just as susceptible to sunburn as the rest of your body. Even if you’re just out running errands in sandals, apply sunscreen to your feet. If you take your shoes off to sunbathe, apply to the bottom of your feet as well.
Choose proper footwear. In order to avoid fractures, sprains and strains, always wear the correct shoes for the activity you will be participating in—flip flops for beach volleyball could mean an early shut out for you.
Be sure to also keep up with your daily foot care regimen, including checking your feet for changes and calling our Waldorf or Clinton office for an appointment if you notice anything unusual or an injury does occur. Our foot doctor, Larry Hotchkiss, DPM will want to see you right away to treat any problem no matter how minor and prevent it from becoming a serious issue. Have fun in the sun and take good care of your feet!