Athlete's Foot Ulcer: Prevention and Care for Runners

Healthy feet mean better running, so take care of them to ensure you can always run your best.

Athlete's Foot Ulcer: Prevention and Care for Runners


In a world abundant of microscopic life, our skin acts as the first line of defense against fungi found in our environment.

These organisms, while often harmless, can sometimes overgrow and lead to infections such as athlete's foot. Particularly among runners, athlete's foot ulcers present a challenge, not only due to the discomfort they cause but also due to the potential for more serious complications if not properly managed.

Essential Prevention Strategies

For runners, the importance of foot hygiene cannot be overstated. Keeping feet dry and clean is paramount to preventing fungal infections.

Here are several key practices to incorporate into your routine:

1. Choose Your Footwear Wisely

Opt for socks that wick moisture away from the skin, such as those made from technical, breathable fabrics.
Ensure your running shoes have adequate ventilation to allow your feet to breathe and avoid tight footwear that can cause excessive sweating and restrict circulation.

2. The Importance of Post-Run Care

After each run, it is crucial to change out of damp footwear immediately.
This simple practice helps prevent the warm, moist environment that fungi thrive in.
Applying antifungal treatments can further safeguard against infections, maintaining the overall health of your feet.

3. Immediate Care

At the first sign of any symptoms, such as itching or redness, it's important to act quickly.
Using antifungal creams and keeping the affected area clean can prevent the condition from worsening into a full-blown ulcer.

4. Adapting Your Running Regime

When dealing with an athlete's foot ulcer, consider modifying your running routine.
Reducing intensity and frequency can allow the foot to heal while still maintaining your fitness levels. It's essential to listen to your body and adjust accordingly to prevent further damage.

1. Harvard Health Publishing, 2023. Athlete's foot: Causes, prevention, and treatment. [online] Harvard Health. Available at:
2. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2022. Overview: Athlete's foot. In: [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Available at:
3. Mitchell, K. and Shepard, S., 2024. Understanding Athlete's Foot: The Basics. Medically reviewed by Begum, J., MD. WebMD. Available at:

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