The funny bone is actually a nerve. Panama hats come from Ecuador. The Battle of Bunker Hill was mostly fought on nearby Breed’s Hill. Koala bears are marsupials, not bears. These are some classic examples of misnomers (an incorrect or unsuitable name), but we have another in the field of podiatry – athlete’s foot. Sure, athletes can certainly contract this fungal infection, but they are not the only ones. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt them to practice our athlete’s foot prevention tips to stay fungus-free!)

Although athlete’s foot might not impair your ability to perform daily and favorite activities, it can certainly have a negative effect on your quality of life. The itching, burning sensation is quite bothersome. On top of that, no one likes to know they have contracted a fungal infection, even common ones like this. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent the issue from happening to your feet! Take advantage of the following prevention tips to reduce your risk of getting athlete’s foot:

• Dry your feet, and especially the areas between your toes, every time after either swimming or bathing.
• Choose shoes constructed from breathable materials (or wear sandals or open-toed shoes) and socks with moisture-wicking properties. These kinds of footwear will help keep your feet cool and dry.
• Do not wear shoes indoors (unless you are diabetic, when we recommend you always wear something on your feet for protection).
• Use over-the-counter antifungal products (sprays, powders) on your feet.
• Rotate between at least two pairs of shoes in order to give each pair at least 24 hours to dry completely before they are worn again.
• Wear sandals or shower shoes in public pool and showers to prevent picking up the offensive fungus.

As with many health concerns, preventive care for athlete’s foot can decrease your risk of contracting the infection, but completely eliminating all risk is often difficult. Fortunately, most cases are treated easily at home with the use of over-the-counter products, though severe or stubborn fungal infections may require professional care.

The Kansas Foot Center is committed to providing exceptional podiatric services for all conditions affecting the lower limbs, including skin and nail conditions. When athlete’s foot prevention and treatment are not enough, come see us at one of our three Kansas offices (located in Wichita and Newton). Call us at (316) 283-4330 for additional information or assistance in scheduling an appointment.