In Texas, fall means football. It’s an inseparable connection. Not only does the regular season for professional football start in early September, but ever-popular college and school-aged teams kick off as well. Football is everywhere, which means so are sweaty cleats, pads, and other gear. For many athletes, extra sweat turns fungal nails into a real risk. The good news is that football players of all levels—and even other athletes who sweat—can take set up a good “defense” to protect toes from fungal nail infections.
Fungal nails are an unpleasant infection that turn your toenails brittle, discolored, and distorted. The infection thrives in warm, damp environments, which is why it’s so common among athletes. Heat and sweat from playing sports gets trapped inside cleats and other athletic footwear. This provides an ideal atmosphere for nail fungus to grow.
The condition is highly contagious and can easily pass around a locker room, too. Rather than simply hoping you don’t get it, the best way to avoid the problem is to set up an active defense against it, like you would an opposing team. Here are a few ways to bulk up your toes’ “defensive line”:
- Wash Your Feet Daily – Wash away sweat and grime so pathogens aren’t sticking around on your skin and nails.
- Wear Clean, Moisture-Wicking Socks – Socks that wick moisture away cut down on the sweat sitting on your skin. Changing to fresh socks every time you play or practice helps, too.
- Dry Out Your Shoes – Don’t lock cleats in a locker, bag, or cupboard. Instead, open them up as much as possible and leave them in a place where they can dry.
- Pre-Treat with Anti-Fungal Products – Use anti-fungal sprays or powders to head off any fungus that might be lingering on your lower limbs.
- Don’t go Barefoot or Share Gear – Walking barefoot and sharing footwear or towels could expose you to someone else’s fungal infection.
If you’re concerned you may already have some of the symptoms, don’t wait to deal with the problem. The sooner you diagnose and address it, the easier it will be to treat. Dr. Parker, Houston’s high-tech podiatrist, offers state-of-the-art treatment for fungal toenails that uses a Fotona laser that can painlessly eliminate the fungus in up to 85% of cases, with no side effects. You can use our website to make an appointment, or you can call us directly at (281) 497-2850. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problem—set up your defense.