Do’s and Don’ts for Preventing Foot Infections

Once Memorial Day comes it’s officially summer here in Nassau County. That means beach and pool days, going barefoot, higher temperatures and sweatier feet. At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, it also means we’ll be seeing more cases of athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and other skin and nail infections. The fungi and bacteria that cause these infections love warm, dark and moist conditions. They are easily spread by direct contact. Fortunately, there are a number of simple precautions you can take to help ensure you don’t end up with one of these uncomfortable and annoying infections:

Do: follow a good foot care regimen. This means washing your feet daily with soap and water and inspecting your feet for any changes or signs of skin or nail disorders.

Don’t: go barefoot in public places. When you are at the town pool, beach club or any place else where people are likely to be walking barefoot wear flip flops or water shoes to prevent your feet from coming in contact with surfaces where others have walked.

Do: ask questions at the salon where you get your pedicures about the procedures they follow for sanitizing whirlpool foot tubs and pedicure tools. Look for a state issued license displayed clearly in the salon.

Don’t: share towels, socks, sandals or flip flops or anything else that the feet of another person touches.

Do: change your socks frequently if you tend to sweat profusely. It’s also a good idea to disinfect shoes and not wear the same pair two days in a row.

Do: dry feet completely after showering, paying particular attention to the spaces between your toes (that’s usually the starting point for athlete’s foot). Consider using foot powder for added protection.

If you do notice discoloration or changes in a toenail or if the skin between your toes or on the soles of your feet is itchy and red, contact our Valley Stream or Lake Success office for an appointment as soon as possible. This will greatly reduce the chance of the infection spreading to other parts of your feet or body as well as to other family members. Our podiatrists, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko will examine your feet and be able to recommend the appropriate treatment if you have a bacterial or fungal infection.