Tips For Preventing Athlete's Foot This Winter

Between a pair of extra thick wool socks and snow boots that could keep your feet warm in the Arctic, you make sure your feet are warm during the winter. Unfortunately, while you're busy concentrating on preventing frostbite you're overlooking another common issue: athlete's foot. Athlete's foot is a fungal infection caused by the tinea fungus. It is common in athletes, which is where the infection got its name, but you can still catch it throughout the year.

Here are a few tips to help you prevent contracting an athlete's foot infection this winter.

Watch for The Early Signs of an Infection

An annoying itch or a patch of dry skin isn't always an annoyance, they could also be the first signs of athlete's foot. If you also notice burning between your toes, dry skin on the soles of your feet, or your toenails begin to change color, contact your podiatrist right away. The sooner you treat the infection, the more quickly it will go away.

Ignoring the early symptoms or waiting to treat them can cause the infection to become worse and spread to your other foot.

Clean Your Feet Daily

The best way to prevent an athlete's foot infection is to keep your feet clean and dry. Clean your feet every day with warm soapy water. Rinse off the soap and dry your feet well with a clean towel. If your feet sweat throughout the day, cover them with a layer of foot powder to help keep them dry.

Change Your Socks Daily

Those heavy socks you need to wear during winter will keep your feet warm. Unfortunately, they can also cause your feet to sweat and harbor athlete's foot fungus, both of which will cause the infection to spread. Never wear your socks more than one day between laundering. Avoid wearing socks made from synthetic materials, as these can trap moisture around your foot and cause athlete's foot.

Instead, choose socks made from breathable, natural fibers, including cotton and lightweight wool.

Care for Your Shoes and Boots Properly

Many people catch an athlete's foot infection from walking around a pool with no shoes on or sharing shoes with a person suffering from athlete's foot. Tinea fungus can remain dormant inside your shoes for several months and when you slip them on in the winter, your feet can become infected. Clean the inside of all your shoes before winter and allow your shoes to dry out completely before wearing them again.

From remembering to change your socks daily to keeping your feet clean and dry, there are several ways you can avoid athlete's foot this winter. Contact a local foot doctor to learn more.