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Summer Is Around the Corner: Protect Your Feet Against Fungal Infections

Summer brings along many opportunities you don’t get to enjoy in the winter. The sunshine beckons you to visit the pool, play outdoor sports, and wear sandals. Unfortunately, summer is also a time when fungal infections that affect your feet tend to happen.

Dr. Svetlana Malinsky understands the joys of summer and has some suggestions for keeping your feet healthy. After all, having healthy feet allows you to experience more summer fun. Don’t let toenail fungus or athlete’s foot keep you at home! 

Between your toes or on your nails

Whether you’ve got a case of athlete’s foot or toenail fungus, it’s a fungal infection. Neither one is good, and both can be difficult to get rid of. Your best bet is to avoid getting a fungal infection to begin with. 

When the fungal infection affects your feet, you have athlete’s foot; when it affects your toenails, you have mycotic nails. It’s easy to be exposed to the fungus that causes infections, but it’s also easy to avoid exposure as long as you know what to do. 

Symptoms of a fungal infection

Athlete’s foot causes scaly, itchy skin between your toes or on the bottoms of your feet. Mycotic nails look yellow or brown, and they’re thick but brittle. Eventually, your nail may separate from the nail bed. 

As much as you might wish it, ignoring a fungal infection doesn’t make it go away. Fungal infections don’t clear up on their own. Dr. Malinsky can identify your problem and suggest treatments that work. 

Protecting your feet: What to do and what not to do

The fungus that causes athlete’s foot and mycotic nails thrives in warm, damp environments. In fact, athlete’s foot gets its name because the fungus that causes it often proliferates in locker rooms, where people shower, it’s warm, and many people are barefoot.

Other common places where fungus resides include swimming pool decks and damp socks inside tight shoes. Taking the following steps can protect your feet from fungal infections.

Don’t go barefoot

Wear sandals in locker rooms, public restrooms at swimming pools, and in other places where fungus is likely to thrive. 

Change your socks

If you’ve had a hard workout and your socks are damp, change them so your feet stay dry. If you’ve been hiking and walked through water, change your socks and shoes. Don’t let your feet stay damp any longer than you must. 

Wash and dry your feet daily

Each day, carefully wash your feet, even between your toes, and then dry them completely. 

Trim your nails

Clip and scrub your nails regularly. Longer nails give the fungus a place to hide and multiply. 

Treating fungal infections

There are over-the-counter treatments and home remedies for fungal infections. However, it’s best to get care from a qualified podiatrist like Dr. Malinsky.

For one thing, fungal infections are famously difficult to get rid of. You may use an over-the-counter product and think you’ve cleared the infection only to have it come back a week or two later. 

Also, there are other foot conditions that can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to know that what you have is definitely a fungal infection before you attempt to self-treat. Dr. Malinsky can help identify the issue to ensure proper treatment. 

There’s no need to live with itchy feet and crumbling toenails! If you have questions about avoiding a fungal infection, or if you suspect you have one, schedule an appointment with Dr. Malinsky today. 

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