Nobody wants foot fungus. It's itchy, uncomfortable and just plain yucky! Want to take preventative measures? There are always tried and true measures that prove very effective. And I'll go over them in this post.
But I've also got some fun and funky new methods that also keep away the fungus. So you can keep reading and see if you want to try these two easy ideas to prevent foot fungus. First up: turning your hair tools on your feet!
Blow Dry Your Feet to Stop Foot Fungus
You probably know that blow drying your hair too often can lead to damage and split ends. But did you know that blow drying your toes after a shower or swim could help prevent foot fungus?
The reason is actually pretty obvious. Fungi, like Athlete’s foot, do their best growth in moist environments. Which means that, if there is no moisture, they can’t develop as well.
But can’t my toes dry on their own, you may be wondering? Yes, of course. It's just that when your feet air-dry, it can take up to 30 minutes for your nail corners and the spots between your toes to dry. Now, that's a problem, since those spots are some of the most vulnerable to foot fungus!
Want to lower your risk? Take a blow-dryer to your feet, and aim it between your toes. Now, even those tricky spots will be dry in about a minute. And that gives fungus way less time to take root and start developing.
Of course, if this all still feels too weird for you, you have other options. Instead of a blow-dryer, you can always take a tissue and dry your nails and between your toes. If you go that route, make sure you do opt for a tissue, not a towel. I say that because, guess what? If you wipe your feet and then the rest of your body, and you already have foot fungi, that towel could spread the problem. Ouch!
And remember, if you're diabetes, or have neuropathy, blow drying your feet is a bad idea. While designed safely for your hair, blow dryers can get hot enough to burn your feet over time. So, if you have decreased sensation, using this tool could leave you with a nasty burn.
Preventing Foot Fungus
Now that I've blown your mind with a my hot tip for preventing foot fungus, let's get back to basics. According to the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) simple solutions stop foot fungus. What are the basic prevention methods?
1. Wear shoes that leave enough room for air to flow freely past your feet.
2. Swap your shoes every other day so that they can dry and prevent fungal growth.
3. Always cover your feet in shared spaces, particularly if the surfaces are wet. That means if you're at the pool or in the locker rooms, flip flops or shower shoes are mandatory.
4. Change your socks every day at a minimum. (More often if you sweat, step in a puddle, or otherwise get them wet.) And, when shopping for sock, pick pairs that keep moisture away from your feet. (See below for my second crazy tip, directly tied to this suggestion.)
Switching to Bamboo Socks Can Prevent Fungal Feet...and So Much More
If you thought bamboo was just for pandas, think again! These days, people are turning bamboo fibers into socks. And there are some very strong reasons why you should also make the switch!
First off, bamboo fibers are great temperature regulators. That means they can keep feet cool in summer and warm in winter. That's helpful for diabetics, since the disease gives you poor circulation and makes it harder to regulate temperature.
Another fun fact? Bamboo has natural antibacterial properties. Which means it can fight germs and fungus, also protecting your feet from fungus. And don't forget! Bamboo’s non-allergenic. So even if you have a skin condition like dermatitis, you can wear won’t this kind of foot cover without worry.
Even better? Bamboo can also provide protection from UV rays. In this way, your socks could ward off sunburns from your feet. Which is a major deal in Houston, where hot sun and bare feet could add up to skin cancer.
On top of all that, bamboo can also help absorb sweat. This help you avoid excess moisture build ups. (And the accompanying smells, rubbings and blisters that go along with wet feet.)
Finally, bamboo’s a wonderful deodorizer, an added bonus in the fight again stinky feet. Plus, its looser fabric design can help pregnant women and others who suffer from swollen feet and ankles. And, with that, I hope I've sold you on these socks. Now it's time to school you on signs of foot fungus. So you'll know if prevention hasn't worked. Meaning intervention is now your next move.
Fungal Toenail and Foot Symptoms
Usually, we can prevent foot and nail fungus. But stuff happens. Here are the signs and symptoms of fungal infections on your feet and nails. If you notice any, make an immediate appointment so we can clear up your infection before it spreads!
1. Small white dots or spots on your toe nails.
2. Thick or crumbling nails.
3. Nails that appear yellowish in color, or any color change on your toenails.
4. Foot skin that's dry or scaly in appearance. If the dryness doesn't go away with moisturizing cream, that's a red flag warning!
5. Strange odor coming from your feet or nails.
Seen any of these changes on your feet or toes? Concerned you may be too late to this party, and foot fungus has already taken root? And remember, these signs are often hard to spot. So take my advice: when in doubt, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider. I'll offer quick relief, and maybe a few weird new ways to protect your feet from fungus!