This Fourth of July weekend is bound to be full of fun times for people across Lemont with activities such as barbecues, out-of-town travel and trips to beaches or pools.
And while summer weekends are when people tend to go barefoot while they’re having fun outdoors, keep in mind that doing so has potential to lead to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
As podiatrists at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Michelle Kim and I have treated countless patients for fungal infections in the feet or toenails. Unfortunately, conditions such as athletes foot are often spread in places where people go barefoot, such as public showers or swimming pools.
The condition ranges from mild scaling and itching to painful inflammation and blisters. It often starts between the toes or on the arch of the foot and may spread to the bottom and sides of the foot.
Depending on the type of infection you have, there are different kinds of medication that may be used in treating athlete’s foot.
One of the main goals of treatment is making the infected area a place where it’s hard for athlete's foot fungus to grow. In short, that means keeping the feet clean and dry.
Certain shoe materials, such as vinyl, allow feet to stay moist – the perfect breeding ground for fungus. In addition, you should wear dri-fit socks that wick moisture from the feet.
Meanwhile, if your condition is mild, over-the-counter and prescription powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat scaling, itching and inflammation. However, please consult our office before taking any medications.
Also, foot soaks may help dry excessive perspiration, but you should contact our office first. If your athlete's foot doesn’t improve, we may prescribe stronger medication.
Don’t forget that the fungal infection can spread to the toenails, and if that happens, they must also be treated. This can come in the form of creams or pills, and in our office, we also offer laser treatment for fungal nails – which comes with a high success rate.
Even after treatment, those with fungal infections are also prone to re-infection. You can avoid this by keeping your feet clean and dry, avoiding moist environments, wearing socks in airport security lines, removing shoes and avoiding going barefoot in public places such as pools and gyms.
We hope you have a safe, fun holiday weekend, but should you need our services for a fungal infection or any other issue, call our office right away.
By Diana Emini