When you have been in practice for some time you start getting feedback from your patients. It is very interesting to hear what sticks with patients and also to hear what advice you offer is actually useful for your patients.
Last week this was driven home to me by a patient telling me that the most valuable thing he had learned from me was to blow dry your feet when you get out of the shower. I have been saying this for many years because I have found it to do be a simple and fairly effective way to prevent recurrent athlete’s foot.
Fungus on the foot is particularly difficult to solve because the feet are in a dark, warm, moist environment, (a shoe), for most of the time. In fact there was a recent study looking at fungus on the skin of different parts of the body. In most areas and of the body there were between four and five different species of fungus. On the foot however, there were vastly more numbers of different types of foot fungus species. The heel of the foot had approximately 80 different species of fungus and the toes had between 40 and 60 different species of fungus. The experts who did this study were at a loss to explain why the foot has so many more different species of fungus than anywhere else on the body.
So what does blow drying the feet after a shower do? Blow drying the feet removes the residual moisture on the skin from the shower and it seems to help inhibit the growth of fungus. The nice thing is blow drying the feet only takes a second, doesn’t involve an expensive medicine, and seems to be fairly effective in preventing recurrent athlete’s foot. Many patients have told me that since they started blow drying their feet, they no longer have recurrent athlete’s foot infections.