Athlete’s Foot Stop the Infernal Itching

don’t make the mistake of thinking that athlete’s foot is some sweaty, smelly guy problem. The fungi that cause trouble (there are about six of them) are equal opportunity organisms whose idea of a great place to hang out is in the damp skin between toes and on the bottom and sides of feet, male or female. Worse yet, these fungi can get around and possibly give you-surprise! vaginal infection. Taking a bath instead of a shower can increase your risk of developing this problem.

 FIRST, TACKLE THE FEET

Women pick up athlete’s foot the same way men do: in swimming baths, changing rooms and showers–even in their own bathrooms if a family member has it. The unsightly white flakes, cracked and peeling skin, and stubborn itch can drive you crazy. So, athlete or not, you’ll want relief. And that calls for an all-out effort-to eradicate the fungus on your feet and banish it from your footwear and house, permanently Here’s what to do

Powder up and dry out. Athlete’s foot fungi can’t survive without moisture, so the best thing that you can do is keep your feet desert dry   another podiatrist. She recommends an over-the-counter medicated powder-Miconazole (Daktarin)-applied twice da directly to your feet. “This is the most absorbent foot powder Avada without a prescription.”

Cream the germs and don’t quit. Used properly, over-the-counter

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR 

If you’ve done everything , but your feet still itch and burn after 10 to 14 days of at-home treatment, see podia trust (a doctor specializing in foot care) or your family physician. A skin culture can determine the type of fungus and the proper anti-fungal medication to use. Or you may not have fun Gus at all, but a bacterial infection that will only be beat with antibiotic cream. Sometimes, say doctors, allergic skin reactions are mistaken for athlete’s foot.

fungus-killing creams such as tolnaftate (Tinder or Mykel) and miconazole nitrate can work, says Dr  . “Most people stop using a cream as soon as all the white, flaky areas on their feet clear she says. “But to permanently eradicate fungus, you must continue using the cream for 50 per cent longer than took to clear up the problem.” If it takes a month to knock out entrenched fungus, for example, use the cream faithfully for an additional two weeks to really get the last of it.

The drier, the better.

Fungus-ridden feet may crack, peel and look dry. But you’ll want to avoid using moisturizing creams or petroleum jelly on your feet, since these products trap moisture and can actually promote fungus growth. Stick to anti-fungal creams.

Wear cotton when you can.

“When it comes to the proliferation of athlete’s foot, nylon tights are the biggest offenders. “Wear cotton socks or all-cotton tights instead.” Nylon seals moisture in, while cotton absorbs it. If your job dictates you wear tights and court shoes during work hours, Dr   suggests wearing cotton socks instead of tights to and from work.

Or buy polypore socks and tights.

Wicking fibers-polypropylene and the draw moisture away from the skin and release it into the air also keep the feet dry, even more than cotton. “And unlike cotton, these fabrics air-dry quickly.” Look for polypropylene socks and other foot-friendly fiber socks at sports shops.

Change your socks.

It’s important to change your socks once day, Otherwise, you re-expose your feet to trapped moisture and fungus. Wash socks with disinfectant. When laundering socks and tights,

add a capful of liquid Dettol disinfectant to the final rinse to help destroy fungus. Or soak them in a disinfectant solution for a few minutes before drying them.

Crank up the heat.

Drying your socks on a hot setting will also help destroy fungus, says Dr

Socks first, then undies.

Anti-fungal strategies don’t stop with your socks. “If your feet are actively infected, pulling your pants on over your bare feet is a sure way to transfer the fungus to your groin,” says Dr  . Avoid this potentially maddening problem by getting dressed socks-first. If you wear tights: (1) Shield your feet with socks, (2) pull on your pants, (3) remove the socks and (4) put on your tights.

Fumigate your footwear.

The same fungi that enjoy nibbling away at your tootsies also find refuge in your footwear. The best way to destroy them, once and for all? Blast the insides of your shoes with a disinfectant spray, Dr   says. Let your shoes dry overnight before wearing them. If you have an active infection, do this every day with whatever shoes you wear. Don’t forget to treat your house slippers too.

Air your shoes.

“If it’s a nice sunny day, I tell people to loosen the laces and put their shoes out to air-dry,” Dr   says. If it’s not a sunny day, stuff your shoes with newspaper, which will absorb moisture, and let them dry indoors, says Dr . She also recommends alternating shoes so that at no time would you be wearing wet ones.