Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that results in flaky skin cracking and itchiness on the soles of the foot and between the toes. Most people get it by walking barefoot in a public place like a swimming pool deck or locker room. To reduce the chance of catching athlete’s foot, dermatologists recommend that you take the following precautions. Wear shower shoes flip-flops or sandals when walking around pools, gyms shower or locker areas and hotel rooms, the fungus that causes athlete’s foot may be on the floor even when taking a shower in a gym, it is important to wear shower shoes or flip-flops even if you have not gone barefoot in public areas. Keep your feet dry, this fungus thrives in warm moist areas such as the one created inside hot sweaty shoes, wearing sandals or flip-flops helps when it’s hot outside. Shoes that are made from synthetic materials like plastic and rubber are more likely to cause sweating, wash your feet every day with soap and completely dry them after washing. Wear socks made of natural fabrics or fabrics that dry quickly or wick moisture away from the skin, be sure to change your socks every day and more often when your socks get wet. Alternate what shoes you wear each day, if possible to ensure shoes are dry when they’re put on if you live with someone who has a Thwaites foot, don’t share towels, linens or shoes. Wear shoes in areas where people with infected feet have been, if you think you have athlete’s foot, consider using an antifungal cream you could buy at your drugstore. If your athlete’s foot is not improving or is worsening see a board-certified dermatologist, a dermatologist can make sure what you have is really athlete’s foot and can prescribe effective treatment.

If you get athlete’s foot, then you may notice the following symptoms on your feet or between your toes:

  • Itching, stinging or burning
  • Blisters
  • Cracking, peeling and dry skin
  • Raw skin
  • Discolored and weak toenails
  • Toenails that break away
  • Ulcers/sores with fluid

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