Winter is here and we’ve swapped our summer sandals or rubber thongs for thick socks and warm boots.
As snug and toasty as our winter woollies may be – warm, dark environments are an ideal breeding ground for foot fungus, also known as tinea. Tinea commonly occurs in areas where there is lots of moisture build up (like the toes) but can spread to all areas of the foot. Common symptoms can include skin redness, scaling, stinging, itching, odour and in some cases, blisters. Keep your toes happy, healthy and tinea-free this winter with the following tips:
- Wash and dry your feet, and toes, thoroughly each day. Whilst it’s tempting to jump straight out of the shower and into your socks, it’s important to take the time to dry your feet thoroughly. Using an alcohol wipe in between your toes can help to absorb excess moisture.
- Change your socks daily. Your socks may not be saturated from perspiration in winter but it’s important to wear a clean pair each day to minimise the risk of foot fungus.
- Choose your fabrics carefully. Synthetic fibres like nylon, which are commonly found in women’s stockings and tights, create heat and moisture in the feet and may contribute to the development of fungal infections. Cotton and wool fibres are much kinder to your soles!
- Manage the moisture in your shoes. This is particularly important in sports shoes and work boots. There is a huge selection of powders in pharmacies that can help with this but a safe, cheap alternative is bicarb soda. Sprinkle a small amount of this in your shoes at the end of each day to absorb moisture.
- Minimise the use of nail varnish. Constantly covering the toenails can enhance the development of fungal infections in the toenails. With our toes being in ‘hibernation’ during winter, this is a perfect opportunity to give nail polish a rest for a while.
As a podiatrist, we don’t just help people with ingrown toe nails. Foot hygiene, muscular pain and foot posture are just a few common reasons for seeing a podiatrist. So if you are concerned that you have a fungal skin or nail condition or any other foot concern, see a podiatrist before something small develops into something a little more frustrating.
Click here to find out more about Sprout Health Studio podiatry services or to book an appointment call (08) 8443 4343.