Spring break can be a blast...but in can also be a breeding ground for athlete's foot infections in kids. But what are the risk factors for this condition? Can it be prevented? And what kind of athlete's foot treatment do we provide in our Powder Springs podiatry practice? Here's what you need to know!

What is Athlete's Foot?

Athlete’s foot infections (also known as tinea pedis) are caused by fungal invaders that make their way beneath the surface of your skin, thanks to small cracks or openings on the surface. Symptoms include redness and itching on your skin. The infection can also cause your feet to give off an odor or experience drainage.  With this infection, you may also notice cracks in your skin, and you may experience a burning sensation on your feet. Occasionally, small, circular patches of dry skin can also be a symptom of athlete's foot, usually noticeable in clusters on the bottom of your feet. Another, less common symptom of this fungal infection is a cluster of small, red dots on the skin along your foot arch or the bottom of your foot. Regardless of the manifestation, all of these symptoms are the result of fungal particles entering your body. But where do you encounter those fungal particles? And why is Spring Break such a high-risk time for athlete's foot infections? Keep reading to find out!

Causes of Fungal Foot Infections An example of athlete's foot infection between the toes

One of the first risk factors for an athlete's foot infection involves hot, humid weather--something you're likely to encounter at many popular spring break destinations. You see, when temperature rises, your feet can sweat. And fungus thrives in moist environments, increasing your risk for infection. Next, you're more likely to encounter fungal invaders when you're exposed to wet surfaces that are shared by lots of other Spring Breakers. So if your children hit the pool deck or a family locker room on your vacation, you just may return home with athlete's foot infections in kids.

Now, there are two different types of invaders that can cause problems for your kids' feet dermatophyte fungus, as well as yeast. Now, most athlete's foot infections are caused by dermatophytes. And these are the particles you will usually encounter at the Spring Break locales we just mentioned. However, you may develop a yeast-related infection from other risky behaviors, like wearing closed shoes without socks. Luckily, if you brought home an unwelcome infection (from either source) as a souvenir of your vacation, fast relief is available at our podiatry practice in Powder Springs, Georgia.

Athlete’s Foot Treatment in Powder Springs, GA

There are plenty of over-the-counter ways to provide athlete's foot treatment at home. However, few are effective, or likely to completely clear up the infection. So, if you want to relieve a fungal infection on your child's foot, without the symptoms returning, you'll need to seek one of the in-office treaments provide by Dr. Alvin Cowans, our podiatrist in Powder Springs. Here are some of the main options.

Topical Athlete’s Foot Treatment

We can often relieve athlete's foot infections in kids with topical medications such as tinectin, lamisil or miconazole. These medications are prescribed for twice daily use, and you will be instructed to apply them for between two and four weeks, depending on the severity of your child's infection.

Oral Medications to Resolve Fungal Infections in Kids

Some cases of athlete's foot will require a prescription oral medication in order to fully resolve the symptoms of infection. Options include sporanox and terbinafine, and these medications will usually clear up athlete's foot in one or two weeks time. 

Environmental Care to Prevent Re-infection

While taking medication for athlete's foot treatment, you'll also have to address environmental risk factors that could slow your healing or cause re-infection. But why is this such an important step? Remember, when you have a fungal foot infection, particles could make their way into your shoes or shower before you seek treament. As such, if you don't thoroughly disinfect these areas with ant-fungal products,  your infections could return quickly, even after you successfully complete treatment for an athlete's foot infection.

Want to take further measures to protect your feet from fungus? Here's how you can prevent athlete's foot infection in kids and adults, both during Spring Break and well after you return home from the holidays.

Preventing Fungal Foot Infections

If we work together, we can prevent most cases of athlete's foot. Jus follow these important safety precautions.

1.    Keep it clean
Every day, carefully wash and fully dry your feet afterward, making sure to change out of sweaty or wet socks as soon as you can. Keeping your feet clean and dry makes it harder for fungal particles to thrive on vulnerable skin spots.

2.    Always wear your shoes
Whether at home or out in the world, make an effort to keep your feet covered at all times. This rule is especially crucial if you're going to the pool or gym, or if you're sharing a living space with someone else who has an athlete's foot infection.

3.    Let them breathe
While you always want your feet covered, you should choose pairs of shoes that allow your feet to breathe, preventing moisture and sweat from building up around your skin. And, whatever style of shoe you choose, be sure to slip into socks if the kicks come with closed-toes.

4.    Seek help at the first sign of trouble
Too many patients wait around, noticing symptoms of athlete's foot but hoping the problems will go away on their own. Unforunately, that's not going to happen. And, the longer you wait to seek athlete's foot treatment, the longer you will wait to get relief. Want to feel better, fast, while preventing the spread of a fungal infection? Click here to request a consultation with Dr. Alvin Cowans!

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