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July 17, 2017
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Did you ever wonder whether it is normal for your feet to itch?  Well it is not and we can take actions to prevent it.  First, it is important to understand why our feet sometimes itch.  There are multiple causes.  The most common cause during the summer months is a condition called tinea pedis, commonly known as "athletes foot".  This is a condition that results most often in skin that appears to be red and scaling.  The areas most often involved are the bottom of the feet and between the toes.   Fungal spores are virtually everywhere.  They are on the floor, inbedded in carpets and likely in our shoes.  Fungus loves dark, moist areas which explains why our feet are so susceptible.  It is not a coincidence that the areas of our feet with the greatest concentration of sweat glands is most affected.  So how do we prevent athletes foot.  We need to try to create an environment that fungus does not do well in.  The more we dry our feet well and allow them to breath, the lower the odds of contracting athletes foot.  It is worth taking the time to dry your feet thoroughly with a towel after showering or bathing and include the areas between your toes.  When home and relaxing, taking your shoes and socks off is also beneficial.  At East Avenue Podiatry, we often recommend our patients lightly powder their feet before putting socks on.  By the way, wearing most types of socks is beneficial while in shoes.  Cotton socks allow for good breathing, while nylons do not.  If you do contract athletes foot, treating with antifungal creams is usually effective.  Applying the cream 2-3 times a day for a few weeks will do the trick in most cases.  Lamasil and lotrimin cream are the two most popular over the counter creams and there are many that can be prescribed by a doctor.  In chronic cases, an oral antifungal may be utilized. The oral medicines available are somewhat toxic to the liver and therefore the patient needs to be monitored for liver function before starting the medicine and again if on them for any length of time.  Once the fungal infection is cleared, preventing a reoccurance is key.  My office carries an antifungal spray that can be used in shoes at the end of the day to kill off the fungal spores that are present.  So you see, there is no reason to suffer with the itching and discomfort of athletes foot.  Take these precautions and certainly call East Avenue Podiatry at 203-853-6570 for an appointment if symptoms continue.  Tune in next for other causes of itchy feet.

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