What can I do to prevent tinea infections?
Keeping your skin clean and dry is your best defense. However, you're also less likely to get a tinea infection if you do the following things:
- When you're at home, take your shoes off and expose your feet to the air.
- Change your socks and underwear every day, especially in warm weather.
- Dry your feet carefully (especially between the toes) after using a locker room or public shower.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas. Instead, wear flip-flops, sandals or water shoes.
- Don't wear thick clothing for long periods of time in warm weather. It will make you sweat more, which can encourage the growth of fungal infections.
- Throw away worn-out exercise shoes. Never borrow other people's shoes.
- Don't let other people use your towels or wear your clothing. Don't borrow these items from others.
- Check your pets for areas of hair loss. Ask your veterinarian to check them, also. It's important to check pets carefully, because if you don't find out whether they're causing your fungal infection, you may get it again from them, even after treatment.
- Make sure shared exercise equipment (such as a treadmill at your gym) is clean before you use it.
Diagnosis and Management of Common Tinea Infections by SL Noble, Pharm.D., RC Forbes, M.D. and PL Stamm, Pharm.D. (American Family Physician July 01, 1998, http://www.aafp.org/afp/980700ap/noble.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff