athlete's foot

If you are reading this blog, it’s likely that you are working an outdoor job this summer season. Perhaps in landscaping, construction, or even running a summer sports camp in your area. 

As the summer continues to flash by, you may have noticed that the condition of your feet isn’t the same as a few months ago. You may notice a flaky patchiness to the skin on the soles of your feet or around your toes. This can cause discomfort such as itching, burning, stinging …and perhaps an unwelcomed odor. 

If you are experiencing the above symptoms, you may be dealing with athlete’s foot and should look for treatment before it worsens or spreads. 

What is athlete’s foot? 

Athletes foot is a type of ringworm that affects the feet in the form of a fungal infection. Despite its name, athlete’s foot isn’t only for athletes, however, it is common amongst them for sure. That is because when you think of athletes wearing running shoes, cleats or skates, it is a warm, enclosed, moist environment, the perfect environment for a fungal infection to grow. 

So despite its name, those working outdoors in landscaping, construction, farming, etc… are also prone to a fungal infection based on the footwear needed for these fields of employment.

Now that you know how it got its name, let’s go over the symptoms!

Symptoms of athlete’s foot 

There are many symptoms of athlete’s foot that can appear simultaneously or on their own. The symptoms include:

How to avoid athlete’s foot

Avoiding athlete’s foot is definitely not easy for everyone, but there are some things to be mindful of along the way. If your work involves physical labor, and you are required to wear appropriate footwear for the duration of your shift here are some tips:

  1. Bring a change of socks! I know it isn’t ideal, but moisture can get trapped in your socks during the day. Bringing a change of socks to swap out damp for dry, is a great way to keep your feet dry. 
  2. Remove your footwear following your shift. I bet you five bucks that you don’t remove your footwear until you get home… With your commute, that gives fungus extra time to develop. Bring a clean pair of socks and some sneakers or flip-flops to change into. It’s time to give your feet a rest! 
  3. Air out your work shoes/ boots. I know how it is, you get home from a long shift, and all you want to do is relax. Before you do so, put your work shoes/ boots somewhere dry to air out for the next day’s work! If you are keeping them in your car or work bag, it’s time to break that habit.

Bonus tip that applies to everyone: if you are in a public restroom at the gym or local pool, do not walk around barefoot. Just like other types of ringworm, athlete’s foot is highly contagious!

How to treat athlete’s foot 

For quick relief of any fungal infection, we invite you to book a consultation with skin care physician Dr. Shehla Ebrahim so she can prescribe appropriate antifungal creams, pills or sprays for your athlete’s foot case. To book a consultation with Dr. Shehla Ebrahim, CLICK HERE today!