Prevent Athletes Foot

You may have already treated and cured an Athlete's foot infection using medical products, but that's no guarantee that the infection won't come back in the future. To avoid another infection, there are steps you can take at home and in your daily routine.

Natural Prevention

Athlete's foot-causing fungi love warm, damp places and feed on dead skin cells. To protect yourself, you ought to make sure your feet are as inhospitable as possible for this fungus. This means keeping your feet as dry and cool as possible, and removing dead skin.

Remove dead skin - it probably doesn't need to be said but you shouldn't use a knife or sharp instrument to remove dead skin. Many people get a build-up of dead skin on their feet, especially in the summer months when open shoes are worn and feet are more exposed to the elements. To get rid of this skin, go to your pharmacy and buy a pumice stone. When gently rubbed against the skin, this porous stone removes the dead layers. The stone should be used gently and regularly.

Keep dry - there are several ways to help keep your feet dry, cool and comfortable:

Wear cotton socks or socks made of other natural fibers. If you must wear synthetic socks, choose a material designed to draw moisture away from the skin (you can buy these types of socks in sportswear stores).

Avoid tight and closed-in shoes. Try to buy leather shoes and avoid synthetic materials like rubber or vinyl. If you must wear closed-in shoes, try to do it only for short periods of time. If possible, remove them for a while during the day (for example, when you get home from work) to give your feet a break. You could also bring a spare pair of shoes to work and change there.

Avoid sources of infection - using a little common sense and good hygiene practices, it's possible to avoid many sources of Athlete's foot infection:

In public places, such as swimming pools, showers, gyms, etc., don't walk barefoot. Athlete's foot bacteria love these environments so it's very easy to pick up infections there. Wear flip flops into the showers and right up to the edge of the pool.

Do you live with someone who suffers from foot fungus? If so, it's important for the sufferer and everyone who lives with him/her, to keep their feet covered with flip flops or sandals in bathroom and in the whole house.

Don't borrow shoes from other people.

Wash all socks and other laundry that could come into contact with Athlete's foot bacteria (for example, bed sheets) in very hot water, to kill off any germs living on them.

Medical Prevention

For a little bit of medical backup, use antifungal powder daily to keep your feet dry and fungus free. These powders can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy.

No 100% Guarantee

These methods will help you to avoid annoying recurrences of Athlete's foot, and will help you avoid passing the infection on to other people. It's not possible, however, to ensure total protection against Athlete's foot. If you do develop symptoms again, seek medical treatment from your doctor or pharmacist.