Athlete's foot, caused by the fungus Tinea pedis, is that reddish, crackled, flaky skin seen usually between the toes. It thrives in warm, moist places and is contagious. It can be contracted through contact with infected skin particles at home in the bathroom or in public places like locker rooms, showers or around public swimming pools.
One of the important things you can do to combat athlete's foot is to keep the feet dry at all times since the fungus needs moisture to grow. Here are some suggestions to help prevent and treat athletes foot:
- Wear absorbent socks, preferably cotton, and wash them in hot water with bleach
- Keep your shoes well ventilated, and give them ample time to dry before wearing again
- Open-toed sandals are good to wear as they allow the feet to dry
- Before applying any medication, wash and dry your feet, removing any loose skin to allow better penetration of the agent into the infected area
- To avoid reinfection, wipe white vinegar or spray a disinfectant on the inside of your shoes
- Antiperspirants may also be used, if needed, on your feet to reduce sweating
- Dry your feet thoroughly after a shower either with a towel or even a hair dryer.