With the recent start of the school year, your children will be sharing a lot of space with others—including the gym locker room. We teach our kids to share, but foot fungus is one thing you don’t want them to spread around. It’s important to prevent athlete’s foot if you can, because it is hard to treat fungal foot infections once they take hold.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that starts in the toes. Fungus grows and thrives in warm and damp places, such as your kids’ shoes or a gym shower. How much time does your child spend on proper foot care? It is not high on most kids’ priority list, so they may be putting themselves at risk of developing a bad infection. If you notice a scaly rash on their feet, and they complain that it is itchy or burns, they may have athlete’s foot. It can be treated using over-the-counter or prescription medications (both topical and oral), but it can be slow going. The best course of action is prevention.
One of the biggest defenses against fungus is keeping your children’s feet dry and clean. This may sound simple, but many people forget to actually do it. Be sure they are washing their feet every day and drying them thoroughly afterwards. You can dust baby or antifungal powder into their shoes and onto their feet on gym days as well. Also remember to have a couple of pairs of shoes so they can switch them out daily. Then each pair has time to completely dry out over at least a 24-hour period. Socks also play an important role, so pick ones that wick away moisture. If their feet are still too sweaty, send a clean pair along to change to after gym class. Lastly, have them wear a pair of shower shoes or old flip-flops to protect their feet in school showers or the community pool.
While you are at it, be sure to follow these tips for yourself, too! If you have any other questions regarding athlete’s foot, Dr. Mark Gasparini has answers. Give us a call at (516) 804-9038 to schedule an appointment in our Massapequa, NY office.
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