Prevent and treat Athlete’s Foot
Don’t let the name deceive you – Athlete’s Foot is not only a skin condition that impacts athletes.
The rash, caused by a fungal infection, is very common among older adults who are less able to keep their feet clean and dry.
Though not a serious condition, untreated it can be stubbornly persistent and impact your quality of life – itchy, burning feet, particularly if bending and reaching is difficult, can be irritating indeed.
First, a quick overview of what Athlete’s Foot is.
Simply put, it’s a rash caused by fungus that usually first appears between the toes and can spread to the nails and bottom of the feet.
Affected skin can be itchy, red, dry, cracked or blistered. Scratching the infected areas and touching other parts of the body can cause it to spread. If the area becomes infected with bacteria, it can lead to cellulitis, where the skin will become hot, red and swollen.
Treating Athlete’s Foot
The good news is, treating and preventing Athlete’s Foot is fairly straightforward. Typically it is treated using antifungal creams, sprays or liquids, which you can get from your local pharmacy without a prescription. Your pharmacist may also recommend a mild steroid cream to ease discomfort.
If the problem persists, visit your GP – they may want to test a small skin sample or prescribe a stronger antifungal medicine.
Preventing it in future
- Dry feet thoroughly – After a bath or shower, make sure your feet are thoroughly dried, particularly in between the toes where Athlete’s Foot tends to form. If bending or reaching makes this difficult, try using a hair dryer on a low setting to make the process easier.
- Choose cotton socks – Natural fibres are best for absorbing moisture, so choose cotton socks to help keep your feet dry. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks twice a day.
- Make an antifungal foot spray – You can make your own antifungal foot spray to use once a day after showering. Combine 125ml of apple cider vinegar with 10 drops of lavender oil and 10 drops of tea-tree essential oil. Put into a small spray bottle and apply a light layer daily to help prevent fungus from growing.
- Avoid heavy moisturiser – Avoid using heavy moisturisers between your toes where excess lotion can help fungi multiply. Focus instead on applying lotion to where it’s most needed, such as heels or the tops of feet.
- See a podiatrist – If you struggle to look after your feet for mobility reasons, consider seeing a podiatrist, who can help treat infections and give you strategies to alleviate foot problems as well as provide medical pedicures.
Do you have any tips to help with Athlete’s Foot? Let us know in the comments below.
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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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