You don’t have to be an athlete to have athlete’s foot. Learn what causes this common ailment and what you can do to prevent it.
What is athlete’s foot?
Medically known as tinea pedis, athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that typically affects skin between the toes. It can often manifest as small red bumps. Then, the skin in the affected area may become cracked, white and damp and start to scale and peel. It also causes itching and foot odour.
How to prevent athlete’s foot
Fungal infections generally develop in damp environments where dead skin is present. Having excellent hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent athlete’s foot.
In summer, closed shoes provide the ideal breeding ground for the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Try wearing open-toed shoes or sandals with removable, washable insoles.
Wear shoes and socks that let humidity escape. Choose materials, such as leather or canvas, which allow skin to “breathe.”
Regularly wash your shoes with a cloth soaked in a diluted bleach solution.
Keeping feet dry
When you finish your shower or bath, make sure you dry your feet well, especially between the toes.
How is athlete’s foot spread?
Athlete’s foot is contagious. To avoid it, never walk barefoot in public places, such as showers and locker rooms at public pools and gyms.
Treating athlete’s foot
If you think you have athlete’s foot, you will want to start with a topical antifungal product. It comes as a cream, gel or ointment. Ask your pharmacist about this treatment.
If the problem persists, you may need a doctor’s prescription for oral antifungal medication.
For sound advice, talk to your family pharmacist at a Uniprix store near you. You can get all the information you need about the product that will be right for you. Some Uniprix stores also offer foot care services. Ask about this option.