Fight Foot Fungi
And particularly in the summer, that cozy place can unfortunately be on your feet.
With more than 250,000 sweat glands in the foot, maintaining the
kind of ventilation necessary to prevent fungal growth can be a
challenge. Failure to do so can lead to such problems as foot odor,
fungal nail infections, athlete's foot and other skin infections, warns
the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
Signs of infection can include dry skin, itching, scaling,
inflammation and blisters that can break and lead to pain and swelling.
Common areas of fungal growth are the soles of the feet and between the toes.
If you find your feet plagued with such problems, you're
probably not alone in your community -- infections such as athlete's
foot are contagious and can be spread not only at warm, humid places
such as swimming pools, but even through the sharing of towels.
To prevent fungal infections of the foot, experts recommend
changing your shoes daily to let each pair air out. When it's hot or
you're working out frequently, socks should be changed even more often,
and try to avoid walking barefoot at public pools or locker rooms.
There are a number of over-the-counter anti-fungal foot powders
that can be effective in preventing or treating athlete's foot, and
even soaking your feet in vinegar and water can help prevent foot odor,
says the APMA.
If you do find yourself with an infection, be patient -- it can
take several weeks for the problem to clear up. If the condition
persists or becomes increasingly painful, it's time to see a doctor.