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How to prevent athlete’s foot and other fungal infections



Image: © Piotr Przeszlo / Fotolia

It is very easy to get a fungal infection when walking barefoot or visiting public areas. Mycosis and dermatomycosis are viral infections of the skin and nails. The immune system usually protects us from such infections, but they affect mostly people over the age of 30 whose immune system is not as active.

When on vacation

Don’t:

Walk barefoot on sidewalks and around pool area.

Do:

You can walk barefoot on the hot beach sand. The risk of infection is minimal there. You can also walk barefoot in your hotel room if it is thoroughly disinfected.

Prevention:

Treat your feet with special powder or spray daily. This will not only remove the unpleasant odor, but will also form a barrier against the fungi and viruses, who seek out moisture. On the other hand, these products will also prevent callouses.

In the sauna

Don’t:

Never walk barefoot in the sauna or pool. They are ideal environment for fungi.

Do: you can walk barefoot in a hot dry sauna.

Prevention:

Apply an anti-fungal product to your feet before going into the sauna. This can be either gel or lotion. Doctors recommend anti-fungal lotions to all patients with active lifestyle, who often use public showers after sports or going to the pool.

Going to the gym

Don’t:

Never train barefoot. This is the place where the risk of fungal infections is at its highest. Even if the gym is disinfected, this is hardly done several times a day.

Prevention:

Try not to step barefoot on the floor when changing. Never walk into a shower or sauna without slippers. Always bring disposable plastic slippers. Carefully dry the feet after a shower, not forgetting the spaces between the toes. Wear only dry socks and shoes.

How to tell if you have a fungal infection

What do fungal infections look like? What do infected areas look like? If you have such an infection your nails will become cloudy with yellowish, greyish or white spots. There may be an inflammation between the skin folds of the toes, the skin becomes red and begins to itch. The heels become callous and sometimes crack. If fungus is untreated for a long time, the foot becomes yellow and the skin begins to peel.

Treating fungal infections

Modern medicine offers a variety of treatment methods. Some types of fungi are treated with special lotions; others can be removed only with therapy. Professional treatment may take up to a few weeks.

Fungal infections are very stubborn and subtle. If they are not completely eradicated, they can remain hidden and undermine your overall health by weakening your immune system. They can make asthma, dermatitis, colitis and allergies more acute. Mycosis can be diagnosed only by a professional after special tests are done. If you have suspicions of mycosis, then go straight to a dermatologist, do not attempt self-treatment.

Self-treatment is almost always futile!

Who is more prone to and at risk from fungal infections?

If you have had a fungal infection before, be twice as careful. The probability of you catching it again is high.

At risk are also people suffering from chronic illnesses, such as flat-footedness, varicose veins, diabetes, cracked heels, etc.

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