Here in lovely Duval County, there are lots of opportunities for enjoying activities for swimming, sunning and taking advantage of our (usually) wonderful weather. At First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic, however, we know there are also potential hazards lurking for developing podiatric infections like athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, and warts. We know that these infections are spread by direct contact and we also know the environments they like best: places that are warm and moist. This knowledge makes it possible for us to take the necessary steps to prevent fungal and bacterial infections from developing in our feet.
Here are 6 simple steps to take to avoid common foot infections:
- Wash your feet every day with warm soapy water. Be sure to dry your feet completely, especially between your toes because that is where the athlete’s foot often starts.
- Keep your feet covered when walking in public places. Use flip flops or shower shoes at community pools, beach restrooms and changing areas and the gym.
- If you get professional pedicures, be sure the salon you use follows strict sanitizing procedures. Whirlpool foot baths and all nail tools should be sterilized after each client. Check to see that a certificate is displayed from the state attesting to the safety and cleanliness of the salon.
- Never share socks, shoes, towels, nail clippers or emery boards or any other items that come in contact with another person’s feet. If someone in your family has a fungal or bacterial foot infection, be sure to thoroughly clean the tub or shower after each use.
- Don’t allow your feet to stay damp and stuck inside your shoes. This is the perfect breeding ground for infections. Change your socks as soon as you notice that they feel damp. If you tend to sweat excessively, use a foot or anti-fungal powder each morning before you put your socks on.
- Recognize the symptoms of foot infections and seek treatment promptly. If you notice changes in toenail color or red, itchy skin that’s flaking and very dry, and/or areas that are blistering or oozing, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Jacksonville office as soon as possible by calling: 904-739-9129. Our podiatrists, Vimal A. Reddy, and Dr. Jeffrey Brimmer, will examine your feet and prescribe the correct treatment if you have contracted a foot infection.