How to Avoid Athlete’s Foot in the Locker Room

Athlete's foot doesn't just happen to athletes. It can occur to anyone that wears sneakers or uses communal showers and locker rooms. While athlete's foot is completely treatable, it can be annoying and hard to get rid of. Whether you've never had it or have recently experienced the fungus, you need to know how to avoid it at your local gym, pool, school, or sports training facility. 

At Intermountain Foot & Ankle in Colorado Springs, Dr. Kerry Berg and her team can help you with any concerns about fungal foot infections. All afflictions of the feet should be taken seriously, even minor conditions like athlete's foot.  

What is athlete's foot?

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection. It is contagious and commonly affects the feet, although it can also spread to the hands. It is common in people that play sports, hence the name. This is because athletes usually wear tight closed-toed shoes, have sweaty feet, and use locker rooms where they walk around barefoot spreading the fungal infection. The condition can cause burning pain, intense itching, and has the appearance of a rash. It can appear as bright red and patchy or small red bumps. 

Why are locker rooms danger zones? 

Locker rooms are places where sweat, bare feet, and humidity congregate. The combination of dampness and warmth creates a breeding ground for fungal growth which is easily spread from person to person. 

When you step on the bare tile, you can pick up and leave behind the fungus that causes the infection. These cells can survive in humid environments long enough to be transferred from one person to another to another, continually being replenished by new growth.  

How to avoid athlete's foot

Spending time in the locker room doesn't have to mean a case of athlete's foot. Here are some tips to help you avoid the fungus while spending time at the gym, pool, or communal shower. 

If you do contract athlete's foot, get it treated promptly. The fungal infection can spread to your toenails and cause more problems if left untreated. It can also move to the groin and cause jock itch.   

Think you might have athlete’s foot? To schedule an appointment with Dr. Berg, book online or call 719-873-8973. 

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