Athlete’s Foot is one of those funguses which can affect anyone of any age. You could have it right now and might not even know it yet.
If you have recently gone bowling, you should take note. Although it is very unlikely, Yes, it is possible to get Athlete’s Foot from wearing bowling shoes.
Within this article, we’ll cover what is Athlete’s Foot, what do bowling alleys do to help prevent it, if you do get it how long can it last and what are the best treatments for this fungus. Let’s get started!
What Is Athletes Foot?
Athlete’s Foot is a fungus which can grow on either the arches of your foot, or more commonly, between your toes. It can occur in a couple of different ways. The most common is when you have very wet or sweaty socks and your feet are covered in those socks for a long length of time.
You can also get it from using communal items, like wearing someone else’s shoes or sharing a towel with someone. It could take up to a week for you to even see any symptoms.
If you do go bowling and rent shoes, there are some preventative steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of developing Athlete’s Foot. Once you get home, take your socks off right away, and if you can, you should shower as soon as possible.
Possible symptoms of Athlete’s Foot would be:
- Feet feel like they are burning, especially around your arches or toes
- Peeling and cracking skin on your foot
- Between your toes could be sore or very itchy
- Develop blisters on one or both feet
- In some worst case scenarios, you could have some toenails which peel away from the nail bed
Over the next few days after bowling, it’s important to let your feet be out in the open as much as possible and keep them as dry as possible. The fungus will want a dark and damp place to hang out, so if your feet are out in the open, you reduce the risk of letting the fungus fester.
How Do You Disinfect Bowling Shoes?
Although your bowling shoes were sprayed with disinfectant, it’s hard to know if they hit every spot within the shoe every time. It is shown that this fungus can last up to 12 months in a bowling shoe. Over the course of 12 months, that means your rented shoe could’ve been worn by upwards of 750 people!
Often times, bowling alleys will use a disinfectant aerosol spray in order to quickly and efficiently spray as many shoes as possible. The actual disinfectant spray can be effective, but oftentimes the people at the bowling alley don’t spray the shoes for enough time to be truly effective.
You will want to take a little bit more time to ensure you eradicate the fungus as best as possible. If you use an aerosol spray, you will want to make sure it has antibacterial written all over it.
Before you spray your shoes, if you have shoes with laces you will want to loosen up the laces on your shoes, especially by the tongue area. You will want to be in a well-ventilated area, and if possible, you should do this outside.
From there, point the spray away from you, and then douse your shoe with the spray, up to and including lifting the tongue area and putting the spray as much as possible within the shoe. An aerosol spray will do the job effectively; you just need to ensure every inch of your shoe is covered with the spray and give the shoes time to dry out.
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Other ideas you can use to help prevent getting Athlete’s Foot include:
- Bring your own insole to put in shoes you rent.
- Buy some baking soda, pour some into your shoes and shake.
- Grab a spray bottle, put in some water and vinegar (half/half) and spray that inside your shoe.
- Before going bowling, make sure your toenails are clipped.
- After you get home, grab a bucket and pour some hot water and sea salt in and soak your feet up to 30 minutes.
- Buy some tea tree oil and apply this on the effected areas.
It is possible to get Athlete’s Foot on one of your feet and not the other. If this does happen, you will still want to treat both feet simultaneously, because if it appears on one foot it will more than likely show up on the other foot soon.
You certainly don’t need to throw your shoes away, even if you do develop Athlete’s Foot; just do a good job of cleaning your shoe, and it’ll all work out.
Treatment for Athletes Foot
Even if you have taken all the necessary steps to prevent Athlete’s Foot, you might still contract it, as over 3 million people are infected with this fungus each year. If you end up with Athlete’s Foot, it will certainly be annoying, but it should not be too threating to you.
At your local pharmacy, they should sell an over the counter topical antifungal cream which can be applied directly to your Athlete’s Foot (you do want to avoid any cream which has steroids in it). You can touch the fungus, as it will not spread to other parts of your body, so you can feel free to lather your foot up with this cream.
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You will want to use the cream at least 2 times a day.
The treatment for Athlete’s Foot should take between 7 to 10 days.
Even if the fungus seems to have disappeared after a couple of days, you will want to continue with the cream for at least 3 to 5 more days.
Because this fungus can last for up to a week untreated, you will want to make sure you don’t give it any chance to come back.
If you’ve applied cream for 7 or more days and it has not gone away, you will need to set up an appointment with your doctor.
They will more than likely prescribe a strong medicine, one which might even be oral.
You may need to take these treatments longer but know that none of these should prevent you from going to work or hanging out with others. You’ll just have to be more careful concerning your feet and what they are exposed to, as well as what you are exposing to others.
You can find some good ideas on treatment here: Athlete’s Foot | Symptoms, Treatment and Medication | How to avoid | Patient
In life, you may not have had the pleasure of dealing with Athlete’s Foot yet. Hopefully, you will go thru life without ever experiencing it.
However, if you do end up with Athlete’s Foot, it is very manageable and can be treated with self-care.
The possibility of developing Athlete’s Foot is small from bowling, but not impossible, and the odds certainly increase if you rent shoes or socks (the latter which we never recommend). Just make sure you are diligent in taking the preventative measures, and you should have a fun time without any worries.