I HAVE to talk about athlete's feet and personal hygiene today. I was at the gym this morning, and I saw what I always see:
About 50% of the men taking showers were barefoot. While I understand that someone can occasionally forget to bring their sandals or flip flops, these guys NEVER wear them.
Not to the showers, not to the bathroom.
This is the perfect way to get Athlete's Foot, a fungal infection of the skin. Wet and humid floors near a bathroom where hundreds of people walk is exactly what you think it is: a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus and viruses. So here are the rules for treating athlete's feet.
1. Mind where you walk. If you are at the gym, a pool, or any place where your feet can be exposed to humid or wet conditions then wear slippers or sandals.
2. Keep a close eye on your shoes. If your foot has fungus then your shoes have fungus in them as well. Make sure to rotate your shoes to allow them to dry. Lysol spray your shoes after every use. One of my attendings in residency recommended bunching a paper towel and spraying it with Lysol spray. You can pack the inside of the shoe with the paper towel and leave it overnight.
3. Keep your floors clean in your house. This includes the shower. I recommend a bathroom cleaning spray after your shower.
4. WASH YOUR FEET. Actually wash your feet with soap and your hands or a washcloth. Soap trickling down by your feet during a shower does not count. Wash in between your toes as well. Afterwards, dry your feet, especially between your toes.
5. Antifungal cream: If you have fungus there are some pretty good over-the-counter creams on the market. I recommend Lamisil AT cream twice a day to my friends. I have better prescription creams, but that's for after a visit with an evaluation.
6. If your feet sweat then I would recommend using an over-the-counter antifungal powder before putting your shoes on.
If these recommendations don't help, then I recommend coming to see me or your local podiatrist.
Keep those sandals on!
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