Toenail Care For Athletes

April 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Foot Care Products, Health, toenails 

Today’s post is contributed by Gwen Lewis.

Athletes are prone to a number of injuries; torn or sprained ligaments and muscles, bruises, and broken bones. More common, irritating, unsightly and often embarrassing afflictions are situations such as athletes foot and toenail and toe-bed injuries. Athletes foot is a fungal infection that affects the areas between the toes leading them to become itchy, inflamed and painful. In extreme cases, especially for extreme athletes, infection can lead to ingrown toenails and in the worst cases, loss of toenails, which can make practice unbearably painful and slow or halt performance. Read on to discover ways to protect and repair damaged and irritated feet and toenails.

From the ground up

As an athlete, the right pair of shoes makes all the difference when it comes to preventing wear and tear on hard-working feet. A pair of running shoes that are too tight will pinch nerves and lead to ingrown toenails as well as painful bunions, blisters and calluses.

Look for shoes that allow your feet to breathe (mesh, canvas or leather). Shy away from rubber and plastic, which hold moisture in and cause feet to sweat, and infections to flourish. Allow time for your shoes to dry – forgo wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Many people do not realize how important the insoles of a shoe are and what benefits they can give your feet with the right pair. Wear socks made of natural fibers that absorb moisture best, or invest in synthetics that are especially designed to draw moisture away from the foot.

Athlete’s foot

Athlete's foot discomfort

Athlete’s foot discomfort

This affliction affects quite a large number of athletes. It is a fungal infection known as tinea pedis, which targets the nails and skin, causing skin to become red, cracked, burnt, scaly and itchy. Sometimes the infection stays mainly between the toes, but in extreme cases it may also appear on the soles and side of feet and spreads to the toenails. It can also be accompanied by painful, oozing blisters. Athlete’s foot is easily spread and can be picked up in common areas such as showers, and can become exacerbated by moist, tight shoes and socks.

Prevent athletes foot by keeping feet clean and dry, and wearing the right shoes and socks as we mentioned above. Avoid walking around barefoot in public areas and wear flip-flops in locker room showers and bathrooms.

Toenail care

Trimming toenails correctly

Trimming toenails correctly

Athletes are often prone to extreme cases of damaged and injured toes and toenails. These types of injuries can lead to loss of toenails, and debilitating ingrown toenails. Prevent ingrown toenails by keeping nails clean and clipped short and trimmed straight across. The medical term for toenails that fall off due to a fungal infection or traumatic injury is called onychoptosis or onycholysis, which indicate a separation of the nail from nail bed. If there is trauma to the nail, damage will be characterized by pain, bruising under the nail bed, discoloration of the nail, and ultimately loosening of the nail. If damage is caused by an infection, look out for thickening of the nail, yellow, brown or green discoloration, swelling, pain, itching, flaking, redness, foul odor and possible discharge.

Natural remedies

If you see any of these symptoms, there are ways to treat and prevent further injury or damage. Athlete’s foot can be eased by a number of natural solutions; baking soda used as a paste can ease the itch and burn between toes, and a foot soak made of baking soda and salt will soothe affected areas. Plain yogurt is also an instant remedy for athlete’s foot, simply dab on infected areas, let dry and then rinse off. Tea-tree oil is a powerful antiseptic, mixed with olive oil and rubbed on it will clean, heal and soothe dry patches. Calendula is also a powerful herbal healer that has antifungal and anti-inflammatory powers. If your toenails are ingrown or inflamed, clean them with antiseptic, gently pull up the nail and trim what part of the nail you can off. Seek treatment immediately if the area under the nail bed is extremely painful and oozing.

Gwen Lewis is a writer who lives in California. She has a passion for beauty and health and loves to write her articles from experience. She grew up playing soccer and knows the importance of taking care of your feet. She hopes you find these tips helpful to prevent any athletes from foot problems.

Foot Care – What Were You Thinking?

July 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Health 

Continuing our story of working on feet at Western States 100 last weekend, I have to share this story. Tonya and I were working side by side as runners came over for our help. She was a quick learner and asked a lot of questions – which was good. Twice, she seemed perplexed, as I was also.

The first time was with a runner who had stubbed her toe, which lifted the big toenail off the nail bed. There was blood under the nail. We noticed more than blood. There was also a large build-up of residue from toenail fungus. I drained the blood blister but could do little to reduce the angle of the nail. It stuck up quite a bit. Putting pressure on the nail to try and get it to lay flatter didn’t work.  It hurt her too much. There was too much nail fungus build-up under the nail. That is common with nail fungus. I ended up running a strip of Kinesio-Tex tape from the top of the toe over the tip and underneath. Then a wrapped a length of tape around the toe to help hold the nail down. I talked to the runner about her toenail fungus while I worked. She was aware of the fungus, but hadn’t done anything about it.

The second case was a runner who came in with macerated feet. We cleaned his feet and looked them up and down for anything to patch. Tonya pointed out a bunch of opened skin between his toes. Not a couple of tiny tears, but a lot of open skin around several toes. The skin was soft and wet, and had torn open. It looked pretty painful. It was Athlete’s foot. As I worked on his feet we talked to the runner. He worked in a running store. The advice I gave him was to get out of shoes during the day and let his feet air. And to start taking a proactive approach to medications to rid his feet of Athlete’s foot.

Both cases were interesting in that they knew that had a pre-existing problem condition with their feet. And both had chosen to do nothing, Ignore the problem. Maybe it will go away on its own.

The problem was that these two runners had entered this 100 mile run, and paid a large amount of money for gear, travel, crew and pacers, and spend a lot of time training – without thinking about their pre-existing foot condition. Toenail fungus in the first case and Athlete’s foot in the second.

Each condition was not run ending on a normal day. However this is a 100-mile run. The trail was wet and full of rocks, roots, sand and dirt, and in a race where things “happen.”

A stubbed toe led to a raised big toenail that now pressed even more on a toebox. It must have hurt – especially on the downhills. The Athlete’s foot led to easily opened and torn skin between the runner’s toes. The wet conditions had made it worse. That open and raw skin must have hurt too.

I hope the runners finished. I did not write down their numbers so couldn’t find out.

As I worked on their feet, I talked to each and told them they needed to take care of their conditions. I really wanted to say, “What were you thinking?” Truth be told, I wanted to yell it at them, “What were you thinking?”

Both runners had made choices that jeopardized their finishing. When you invest all that money and energy into a race, why not make sure the two feet that are responsible for getting you there are in the best shape possible.

Managing Athlete’s Foot

October 25, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Many people have Athlete’s
foot at one time or another. Athlete’s foot, technically called tinea pedis
, is a skin disease caused by a fungus. The hot
weather and foot perspiration that athletes typically encounter can make
athlete’s foot a common problem. The combination of a warm and humid
environment in footwear, excessive foot perspiration, and changes in the
condition of the skin combine to create a setting for the fungi of athlete’s
foot to begin growing. Athlete’s foot usually occurs between the toes or under
the arch of the foot.

     Typical signs and symptoms of athlete’s
foot include itching, dry and cracking skin, inflammation with a burning
sensation, and pain. Blisters and swelling may develop if left untreated. When
these blisters break, small, red areas of raw tissue are exposed. As the
infection spreads, the burning and itching will increase.

     Preventive measures include washing your
feet daily with soap and water; drying them thoroughly, especially between the
toes; wearing moisture-wicking socks; regularly changing your shoes and socks
to control moisture; and the use of a good, moisture absorbing, foot powder.
Since athlete’s foot is contagious, if you use a communal shower or bathroom
after an event, or use a gym to train, avoid walking barefoot in these areas.
Use thongs, shower booties, or even your shoes or boots.

     Treatment includes keeping the feet clean
and dry, frequent socks changes, antifungal medications, and foot powders. An
antiperspirant may also help those with excessive foot moisture.

     Check your local drugstore or pharmacy for
a complete line of athlete’s foot antifungal ointments, creams, liquids,
powders, and sprays. See your doctor if your feet do not respond to treatment
with over-the-counter medications. If the fungus returns, alternate medications
since it can sometimes build up a resistance to a particular fungicide. Other
over-the-counter antifungal creams or solutions commonly available in your
local drugstore and pharmacy include Dr. Scholl’s Fungal Nail Revitalizer and
Fungi Solution, Clotrimazole, Lamisi. Lotrimin, Micatin, Swabplus, Tinactin,
and Tolnaftate are all common. Zeasorb-AF is available as a powder and a
lotion/powder combination. 

Pre-Summer Foot Care – Part 3 – Athlete’s Foot

May 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

The facts are startling: 70% of people will be affected by
athlete’s foot in their lifetime, 45% of people with athlete’s foot will suffer
from it in episodes for more then 10 years, and seven out of 10 people with
athlete’s foot are male.

Athlete’s foot, technically called tinea pedis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus. The hot
weather and foot perspiration that athletes typically encounter can make
athlete’s foot a common problem. The combination of a warm and humid
environment in your footwear, excessive foot perspiration, and changes in the
condition of the skin combine to create a setting for the fungi of athlete’s
foot to begin growing. Athlete’s foot usually occurs between the toes or under
the arch of the foot. Typical signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include
itching, dry and cracking skin, inflammation with a burning sensation, and
pain. Blisters and swelling may develop if left untreated. When these blisters
break, small, red areas of raw tissue are exposed. As the infection spreads,
the burning and itching will increase.

Treatment includes keeping the feet clean and dry; frequent socks
changes, antifungal medications, and foot powders. An antiperspirant may also
help those with excessive foot moisture.

Check your local drugstore or pharmacy for a complete line of athlete’s
foot antifungal ointments, creams, liquids, powders, and sprays. See your
doctor if your feet do not respond to treatment with over-the-counter
medications. If the fungus returns, alternate medications since it can
sometimes build up a resistance to a particular fungicide.

Got Athlete’s Foot?

January 11, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports 

Facts: 70% of people will be affected by Athete’s foot in their lifetime. 45% of people with Athlete’s foot will suffer recurring bouts for more than 10 years.
     Anyone who has been bothered by Athelete’s foot knows how the itching can drive you crazy. Before going out and spending a bunch of money on ointments and sprays, give this simple home remedy a try. If you travel, or need somethong to carry along, check out the liquid filled swabs. Two great ideas for the person afflicted with Athlete’s foot.
 
     TipsofallSorts.com lists the following treatment for Athlete’s foot: Add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil
 in a bowl of warm water &
 soak feet for 15 minutes two to three times daily. Let dry. Apply tea tree oil directly onto
 affected areas twice daily. Combine five drops of tea tree
 oil with 115 ml of Aloe vera
 juice in a spray bottle. Shake
 well. Spray onto affected
 areas twice daily. Let dry. 
Aloe vera soothes itchiness.
300263_sl     SwabPlus’ liquid filled cotton swabs offer an easy way to carry Athlete’s foot medications. They offer two packs, one with Clotrimazole for Athlete’s foot and another with Tolnafate for fungus relief. Bending one end of the swab releases the liquid medication.
     Steps to prevent and keep from getting Athlete’s foot include: wear moisture-wicking socks, wash and dry your feet daily, especially between the toes,  use foot powder, regular changes of shoes and socks, and avoid walking barefoot in communal shower or bathroom areas.

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