Health Watch - Winter Skin: Athlete's Foot

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 the effects of winter weather on your skin. Some of the effects are indirect. When it’s cold outside, you may go to the gym more often to exercise indoors, and that could increase your exposure to athlete’s foot.

Dr. Michael VanPelt, an orthopaedic surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says common areas at gyms, such as weight rooms, locker rooms, showers and indoor pool areas, offer a warm, moist environment where the fungus that causes athlete’s foot thrives. To prevent athlete’s foot, avoid going barefoot in gym showers or locker rooms. Wash your feet with soap and water and be sure to dry carefully between the toes. Change socks frequently and consider using a daily foot powder. If you develop athlete’s foot, you can treat it with over-the-counter antifungal treatments, but if it doesn’t clear up in two weeks, see a doctor.

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


January 2010

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