The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Top 4 Things You Need to Know about Puttin a Stop to Recurrent Foot Fungus

Posted by on Monday, July 21st, 2014

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The podiatrists at The Center For Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine find themselves giving the same advice about foot fungus until they’re blue in the face. They find that athlete’s foot and toenail fungus are topics that no one wants to talk about, so the general public has a very limited understanding of what causes foot fungus and how it is ultimately cured. Dr. Katherine Lai shares the four most important tips for stopping foot fungus once and for all.

foot fungus prevention
A podiatrist can help you maintain healthy feet by treating the acute symptoms of foot fungus and providing tips for long-term prevention.
Image Source: Aleser via Wikimedia.org

1. Use antifungal powder daily.

Like humans, fungi is primarily comprised of water. Just as we need water to function and survive, so does the fungus. All of the biochemical reactions needed for life takes place in the watery cell cytoplasm, except for digestion — which actually takes place outside the fungus. It secretes exoenzymes and then absorbs the soluble nutrients from surrounding organic matter. In essence, living in a wet environment prevents the fungi from drying out.

Tinactin Super Absorbent Antifungal Powder is not only a cure for athlete’s foot, but a preventative measure as well. To treat athlete’s foot or ringworm, you apply the product twice daily for a month. If you are looking to prevent recurrence of foot fungus, simply sprinkle the powder on your feet after showering and drying, and reapply once or twice a day. Tinactin uses tolnaftate to inhibit enzymes in the fungal colonies and destroy them. As the Roanoke Times points out, “dryness is key to preventing itchy fungus.”

2. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes everyday.

US News & World Report states that wearing the same shoes daily cramps the feet and contributes to bad odor. The Daily Mail lists alternating shoes as one of their “secret health rules experts swear by.” Simply stated, the sweat from your feet boiled in shoes all day requires more than just 24 hours to thoroughly dry out. Warm, dark, moist conditions are the perfect haven for fungal infections.

3. If your feet sweat a lot, use an antiperspirant.

Most of us wouldn’t dare leave the house without putting deodorant underneath our arms. There is also antiperspirant for the feet that few people ever discuss with one another. About three percent of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis, which causes the body to sweat profusely. Yet, even for all the rest of us, there is only so much we can do with feet that have 250,000 sweat glands that produce roughly half a cup of sweat per day. Antiperspirants like Certain-Dri work by temporarily plugging some of these copious sweat ducts. They are most effective when applied to dry skin before bed and left on for about 6 to 8 hours, and then reapplied in the morning.

4. Start treatment early.

“As the weather gets warmer and people start wearing open-toed shoes or going to the beach, we have patients coming in looking for treatments for discolored fungal nails,” Dr. Katherine Lai explains. “To be ready for open-toed shoes now though, they should have started treatment during the winter, as it takes several months for the treated fungal nails to grow out.”

Foot fungus is not the sort of problem that simply clears up on its own. Treatment with antifungal medication is necessary to disrupt the colony and help you restore a healthy flora balance once again. It is much easier to clear up a small patch of athlete’s foot between the toes or a spot of nail fungus than it is to clear up more widespread infections, so visiting a podiatrist as soon as possible at the first signs of trouble.

If you are looking to treat foot fungus or any other malady, we would love to see you. We offer laser toenail fungus treatment, and can help you in treating other types of foot fungus as well. Please contact us to make an appointment at one of our New York offices.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.