Public showers are not something to mess with. The risk of contracting tineau pedis, also known as athlete’s foot, is significant if you don’t take proper precautions and protect yourself when using locker room showers. This infection can be transferred from one person’s foot to the shower floor and then from the floor onto your foot, regardless of if you have any open wounds. Though contracting athlete’s foot is not life threatening, the symptoms can make you aggravated and itchy. The next time you shower in a public place, be sure to take the following precautions.
It’s an absolute must. Walking barefoot in a public shower or even on the locker room floor can expose your feet to fungus, or sometimes even worse. While you’re walking around the showers barefoot, others are walking into the shower in sneakers or shoes that they wear throughout their days. Do you want what they’ve been carrying around on the bottom of their shoes on your feet? Wearing flip-flops or shower shoes is necessary if you want to keep your feet clean and protected.
It seems obvious, but people often forget to rub and scrub the bottom of their feet and in between their toes on a daily basis. Especially if you’re someone who frequents a public shower, it might be irritating to remove your foot from the shoe for a scrub down; but remember, it’s not as irritating as athlete’s foot could be. Washing your feet each and every day is the most essential task to wash away potentially harmful bacteria.
Any cuts, wounds or breaks in skin can provide easy access for bacteria to enter the body and cause an infection. To avoid this, make sure any open wounds are securely covered. If you shower in public facilities often, you should inspect your feet regularly and replace bandages on a daily basis.
After showering in a public space, dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel, including between the toes. Keeping your feet dry will help prevent any infection or trapped moisture. As an extra precaution, you should aim to alternate the shoes you wear each day to ensure the shoes are completely dry when you put them on.
Especially if you have had athlete’s foot in the past, you should consider applying anti-fungal powders or sprays on your feet and shoes regularly to kill any bacteria you might have picked up. You should apply this powder or spray at least twice a day, and especially before you put your shoes on after a shower.
While we all would prefer to shower in our own homes, certain scenarios and schedules can make using public showers unavoidable. If using a locker room shower is not something you can prevent, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to keep your feet and yourself healthy and happy.
If you think you have athlete’s foot or another infection on your feet, consult a professional immediately. If you’re living in the South Florida area, visit Dr. Nina L. Coletta’s podiatry practice for all of your podiatry needs. Always on the cutting edge of advancement in podiatric medicine, Dr. Nina Coletta can offer the best treatment options for you whether it’s treating athlete’s foot, the need for custom orthotics, or even weight loss services. Learn more about what Dr. Nina Coletta can do for you.