Health Watch - School Days: Gym Class Woes

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about getting the school year off to a good start. For a lot of students, the new school year means P-E classes, that that means spending time in locker rooms, which can mean athlete’s foot.

Dr. Michael VanPelt, a podiatrist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says warm, damp environments such as locker rooms, weight rooms and showers provide the perfect place for the fungi that cause athlete’s foot to grow. But the infection can be prevented. Wash feet with soap and water and make sure they’re dry — especially between the toes — before putting on socks and shoes. Wear clean socks every day instead of just wearing the socks that live in the gym locker. Avoid walking barefoot in places such as locker rooms and showers. If athlete’s foot develops, an over-the-counter antifungal preparation will treat it. If the infection doesn’t clear up in a couple of weeks, see a doctor.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in orthopedics.


September 2009

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