Many professional truck drivers are at an increased risk of developing athlete’s foot due to their job demands.
Long, hot days spent in your truck wearing work boots, as well as using public showers are the main reasons truckers are at an increased risk.
Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection of the foot. It easily spreads in public places such as communal showers, locker rooms, and gyms. As a result, this is very common condition for truck drivers, as many shower at public truck stops or rest areas.
In most cases, athlete’s foot affects the spaces between the toes, but can spread to the rest of the foot including the toenails.
This condition can be caused by several different fungi, all of which thrive in warm, humid conditions. Due to this, athlete’s foot often affects people who wear enclosed footwear, such as work boots, for extended periods of time. Again, this applies to many truck drivers who must wear protective footwear during their work day.
Most people affected report itching, stinging and burning between the toes, especially the fourth and fifth. Other people experience cracking and peeling skin, most often on the soles of the feet. In rarer cases, the nails will become thick, ragged and/or discolored.
If you do have athlete’s foot, your doctor may advise you to use an antifungal ointment, lotion, spray or powder.
The good news is that, most cases respond very well to these medications and generally clear up quickly. However, if your infection does not clear up after using these topical medications, your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic.
As I always say, prevention is the best treatment. Wear light, well ventilated shoes or boots which will allow your feet to breath. Always wear sandals or water shoes in public showers. If possible, keep your feet as dry as possible by changing your socks regularly. In the summer you may need to change your socks more frequently.
Finally, do not share shoes or slippers with other people.
Until next month, drive safely!
Dr. Christopher H. Singh runs Trans Canada Chiropractic at the 230 Truck Stop in Woodstock, Ont. He can be reached at 519-421-2024.