Ways to treat athlete's foot

Ways to treat athlete's foot

 To keep it at bay, dry your feet properly, and try not to make them sweaty — wear cotton socks and don’t keep tight trainers on all day as they make your feet hot and encourage the fungus to grow.

There are different types of athlete’s foot, the most common causing white, flaky, sore skin between the toes, which can be satisfying to pick off but you shouldn’t (if you can’t help yourself, wash your hands afterwards). It can also cause a dry, scaly, reddish rash over the soles of the feet.

You can buy antifungal creams from a chemist but if you are not sure if you have athlete’s foot, see your doctor.
Antifungal creams (imidazoles such as clotrimazole or econazole) should be applied once a day for at least a week (often more to make sure it has gone) in small amounts. There is no evidence that tea tree oil works. If you have been using antifungal creams to no avail, then you should see a doctor. Athlete’s foot can become infected by bacteria, and can spread to toenails, making them crumbly.

Blisters: Should you burst them?
Sweaty feet, bunions, flat feet and new or ill-fitting shoes can all increase the friction that causes blisters.
How can I avoid them?
Make sure your shoes fit properly. You should be able to get the width of your thumb between the top of your big toe and the shoe. Before exercising in new trainers, break them in by walking around the house in them.
There are specialist athletes’ insoles and socks that can reduce the risk of blisters, and runners’ websites give good tips on how to keep feet dry and reduce friction.

Treating a blister
It really is best to leave a blister alone. The skin over the blister protects against infection so don’t pick or try to squash the fluid out with dirty fingers. Put some gauze over it, secured (lightly). It will heal on its own and the skin underneath will get hard. If you don’t have any problems such as diabetes or poor circulation and you feel compelled to burst your blister and it is small, do it in a sterile way. Swab the blister with a medi swab or alcohol from the chemist, sterilise a sharp needle with alcohol and then pierce the blister a few times at its edge. Then cover with gauze and tape.

When should I consult a doctor?
If your blister gets red and throbs, or shows any other signs of infection, see your doc.

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