Hot Weather Foot Health Tips
If you live in Manhattan…and are an active woman, wherever you live…you need your feet for walking, running, dancing, or just to sport those fabulous new sneakers, sandals or pumps. And who doesn’t want happy, healthy feet?
In my search for a specialist in foot care, I discovered Dr. Johanna S. Youner, DPM, FACFAS, Founder and Medical Director of the Park Avenue Podiatry Center. A Board-certified foot surgeon since 2003, trained in both podiatric medicine and surgery, Dr. Youner is one of the few doctors skilled in the use of laser, injectables and surgery, to deal with everything from foot pain to fungal nails and foot sweats. These unique and highly honed skills make her a media favorite, featured on many TV segments including Good Morning America and Dr. Jay Adlersberg as well as Harpers, Elle, Allure, Bottom Line and InStyle magazines.
With the Summer months upon us, I’m happy to share Dr. Youner’s Hot Weather Foot Health Tips and I look forward to sharing more advice from Dr. Youner in the future.
Hot Weather Foot Health Tips
- Wash your feet and dry your feet twice a day making sure to dry especially between your toes.
- Use cornstarch on feet and in shoes.
- Wash your sneakers or athletic sandals and thoroughly dry.
- Let your shoes dry out between wearings.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s Foot Infection
Not all fungus conditions are athlete’s foot. Other conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, may mimic athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot, sometimes referred to as Tinea Pedia, is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes, but it can also affect other areas of the feet. The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and moist environment that encourages fungus growth.
The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi. Because the infection was common among athletes who used these facilities frequently, the term “athlete’s foot” became popular.
The signs of athlete’s foot, singly or combined, include the following:
- Dry-looking skin
- Itching and burning between the toes, which may increase as the infection spreads to other parts of the feet
- Scaling or peeling skin
- Inflammation or swelling
- Blisters, which often lead to cracking or peeling skin to the feet and toes. When blisters break, small raw areas of tissue are exposed, which may cause swelling.
Athlete’s foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails. It can be spread to other parts of the body by those who scratch the infection and then touch themselves elsewhere. The organisms causing athlete’s foot may persist for long periods.
When to Visit a Podiatrist
If you believe that you have a fungus infection that does not respond to proper foot hygiene and there is no improvement within two weeks, consult a podiatrist.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your podiatrist will determine if a fungus is the cause of the problem. If it is, a specific treatment plan, including the prescription of antifungal medication, applied topically or taken by mouth, may usually be suggested. Such a treatment appears to provide better resolution of the problem when the patient follows the course of treatment prescribed by the podiatrist; if it’s shortened, failure of the treatment is common.
Topical or oral antifungal drugs are often prescribed. If the infection is caused by bacteria and not fungus, antibiotics that are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, such as penicillin, may be prescribed.
It is important to keep the feet dry by using foot powder in shoes and socks. The feet should be bathed frequently and all areas around the toes dried thoroughly. If someone in your family develops athlete’s foot, disinfect home showers and tubs after each use to discourage transmission of infection.
It is easy to prevent athlete’s foot where bare feet come in contact with the fungus by practicing good foot hygiene. You can prevent fungal infection by practicing the following:
- Wash feet daily with soap and water; dry carefully, especially between the toes
- Avoid walking barefoot; use shower shoes in public showers.
- Reduce perspiration by using corn starch or other powder
- Wear light and airy shoes
- Change shoes and socks regularly to decrease moisture
- Wear synthetic blend socks that wick away moisture and change them frequently if you perspire heavily.
Using these tips judiciously will save you co-pays!
Dr. Johanna Youner is located at 40 Park Avenue, Office 5 New York, NY 10016; 212-683-7757; learn more at www.parkavenuepodiatrycenter.com