Spring Forecast: A Chance of Fungus
The numbers are in, and we have your spring forecast for 2017! It’ll be hot and humid, with lots of rain and a chance of fungus!
Surprised? Don’t be. As temperatures and humidity levels increase, you may find yourself more and more likely to come into contact with dermatophytes, a particular group of fungi that love dark and humid spaces. These fungi also love keratin, a material plentiful in hair, skin, and nails, and if they make their way to your feet they could cause athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, or both.
Trust us: you do not want either of these conditions. Neither of them are likely to “make you sick” or impair your medical health. However, both are deeply distressing and unpleasant. Athlete’s foot creates a rash that is scaly, icky, itchy, and sometimes even smelly. Fungal toenails are even worse—infected nails often turn yellowish or grayish, and become thickened, ragged, and deformed. While athlete’s foot usually can be eliminated with about a month’s worth of topical medications, fungal nails are much more difficult to treat and will probably require an appointment with our office.
If you want to protect yourself this spring, make sure you keep your feet clean and dry, and avoid exposing them to surfaces highly likely to be infected. We recommend:
- Washing and drying feet thoroughly at least once per day.
- Changing socks at least daily, or more frequently if they get wet.
- Rotating between pairs of shoes on a daily basis so they can dry out between uses.
- Using antifungal powders or sprays in shoes.
- Avoid going barefoot in public or shared spaces. In particular, this includes showers, gymnasiums, pool decks, and locker rooms. Always bring sandals or shower shoes.
If you do pick up a case of fungal nails this spring, or you find that your over-the-counter solutions for athlete’s foot aren’t working, please make an appointment with Foot & Ankle Clinic of the Virginias. Don’t live with these uncomfortable, embarrassing conditions any longer than you have to! For a consultation and treatment solutions, please fill out our online contact form or call (800) 456-8637.