With over 3 million reported cases per year in the United States, Athlete’s Foot is among the very most common of ailments to afflict Americans – but none of that makes it more pleasant or less embarrassing. The fact is, Athlete’s Foot is both painful and unsightly, a combination that makes it not only personally demoralizing, but often harder to effectively treat, as people avoid seeking help until it’s too late to treat quite as easily. But life is too short to hide your feet away, so take the time to learn a bit more about Athlete’s Foot- what causes it, how to know if you have it, and what to do about it- and you’ll have your toes back in the sand in no time.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
Put simply, Athlete’s Foot is a highly contagious fungal infection that lives on human skin and thrives in dark, moist, or constricted environments. Because of this, it tends to linger in wet or humid conditions- bathrooms, locker rooms, gyms, and showers- and since it can cling to dead skin flakes even after they’ve been shed, it can build up on bedsheets, in socks, or anywhere else with regular human contact. If you’ve read our article about Jock Itch, you know that it’s caused by the same fungus as Athlete’s Foot and Ringworm. It’s easy for the infection to spread with itching, rubbing, or other physical contact, so be careful! It tends to manifest as a painful, flaky, often red rash between the toes, or on the top or bottom of the foot. If left untreated, progression of the fungal infection as well as continued scratching can cause the skin on the foot to crack and even bleed, which can in turn make the foot more susceptible to further infection.
“…the most effective among them is miconazole nitrate, which in testing has shown to work both more quickly and with more definitive results. It’s contained in both Bozak Powder and Bozak Cream and can be used to safely and easily treat Athlete’s Foot.”
If this all sounds very gross, well, it can be. We’re not here to lie to you about that. But we’d remind you again that this is something that affects over 3 million Americans a year, so don’t panic- there are very simple steps that you can take to both cure any issues with Athlete’s Foot you have now, and to make sure it never comes back again.
Athlete’s Foot Prevention
The easiest way to deal with Athlete’s Foot is, of course, to never get it in the first place. How do you go about doing that? Well, for starters, think about the random weirdos you see working out at the gym. Would you sit down on a machine covered in their sweat without wiping it first? Or would you suggest touching bare feet with them in the locker room? If the answer to those questions is no (and let’s hope so), then you really don’t want to be walking around a locker room or shower area full of their skin cells without a little, um protection. Get a cheap, shower-safe pair of flip flops and wear those in any common area of the gym or other communal bathroom setting such as a dorm or hotel pool. Don’t share gym towels. Never re-use gym socks without washing, and remember that fungus thrives in moist environments, so letting sweaty socks linger on your feet is asking for trouble.
The Center for Disease Control also recommends keeping your toenails clipped short, which, let’s be honest, it would be kind of weird if you weren’t already doing. And if you’re not already, consider using a moisture absorbing powder on your feet to keep them dry and healthy. We don’t want to brag, but Bozak isn’t just for your privates – our proprietary formula provides talc-free moisture and odor control, as well as proven anti-fungal ingredients such as tea tree oil and miconazole nitrate (a bit more on that in just a moment) to protect and fight infection.
Athlete’s Foot Treatment
Let’s say it’s a bit late for prevention and your feet are already itching, scaling, and driving you crazy. You may need to attack the fungus with a more dedicated course of antifungal treatment, which means choosing one of several over-the-counter medicated products. This could include clotrimazole, tolnaftate, or others, but in our opinion, the most effective among them is miconazole nitrate, which in testing has shown to work both more quickly and with more definitive results. It’s contained in both Bozak Powder and Bozak Cream and can be used to safely and easily treat Athlete’s Foot. However, if you prefer a spray or gel to a cream, those are broadly available, as well. One last note – as we discussed, the spores can stay alive on dead skin flakes even after they’ve been shed, so if you’re recovering from a relatively serious case of Athlete’s Foot, be sure to wash any clothing that may still be carrying the fungus in hot water and bleach. If the symptoms were particularly intense, you may want to consider washing your sneakers as well.
We hope this served as a helpful overview of Athlete’s Foot and how to prevent and fight it. Now go out there and give your feet the respect they deserve.
Interested in more content? Look no further than our blog Bozak Health.