Athlete’s foot got its name because the fungus that causes it is prevalent in locker rooms, pool-changing areas and other places that the sports-inclined among us tend to frequent. But the reality is fungus is everywhere in the environment and whether you get it is a matter of your individual susceptibility—not your athletic prowess. In fact, one in three people have some form of foot fungus—and most are completely unaware they have this condition.
If you have dry heels accompanied by white, moist scaling between the toes, chances are you have a fungal infection and will need to use a topical antifungal cream or spray you can get over the counter at the drugstore or through your doctor. To prevent reappearance, it’s important to stay vigilant even after you’ve cleared the infection. Continue to use anti-fungal cream or spray daily, wear flip-flops in public showers and make sure to dry your feet thoroughly after showering. You may also want to pare away the dead skin with a high-glide, oil-free micro-dermabrasion paste. This gentle exfoliation will allow moisturizers and medicines to better penetrate while also improving the tone and texture of your feet.
It’s also important to treat all your shoes, as they can carry remnants of fungus long after the infection may have cleared from your skin. We suggest sprinkling some Zeasorb-AF, available in most drugstores, in every pair to kill the spores.
Taking care of your tootsies is no small feat. But if you show them the love they deserve, you’ll be putting your best foot forward whether you’re wearing hiking boots on a mountain trail or strappy sandals at an outdoor party.