Not only is athlete’s foot itchy and unpleasant to look at, it’s also fairly contagious. As such, people around whom you regularly go barefoot are particularly at risk. So, if you’re currently contending with a case of athlete’s foot, you’ll need to take measures to avoid spreading it to your partner. Fortunately, with a little bit of follow-through and a willingness to change certain behaviors, this should prove far from difficult.
Keep Your Feet Covered for the Duration of the Infection
No matter how accustomed you are to walking around your residence barefoot, you’ll need to cover up your feet for the duration of the infection – particularly in areas of the home in which your partner spends a fair amount of time. While giving your feet some time to breathe can prove beneficial to your recovery, this should only be done in areas where you’re completely alone. Furthermore, any surfaces touched by your uncovered feet should be disinfected before being touched by your partner. So, regardless of how uncomfortable you find wearing socks to be, take care to keep your feet covered whenever you’re in the presence of your partner or spending time in parts of the home that they hang out in.
If you share a bed with your partner, it is imperative that you sleep with your socks on until such time as your feet are free of infection. Even if your feet don’t often come into contact during the night, you shouldn’t sleep barefoot – especially not with a partner – during a battle with an athlete's foot. For added safety, consider outfitting your mattress with antimicrobial bed sheets.
Avoid Sharing Footwear
Regardless of how close you and your partner are, you should abstain from sharing footwear. This is particularly important when one party is contending with the athlete's foot. So, if the two of you have fallen into the habit of sharing shoes, socks, slippers or other footwear, now would be the time to put the brakes on this. This “no sharing” policy should remain in place even after you’ve gotten over athlete’s foot, as sharing footwear is generally regarded as unsanitary and highly conducive to the formation of fungal infections.
Avoid Sharing Towels
If you and your partner share towels, washcloths or any personal grooming items, you’ll need to put the brakes on this. Even if the items being shared haven’t come into contact with your feet, fungal infections, staph infections and other undesirable health issues are likely to arise. Furthermore, the two of you should use separate bath mats for the duration of your infection. While this may prove somewhat cumbersome, it’s imperative that your partner not stand on surfaces that your damp, infected, bare feet have touched.
Don’t Expect Athlete’s Foot to Go Away on Its Own
Athlete’s foot is generally not a condition that goes away on its own. Furthermore, the longer you allow it to go untreated, the worse it's likely to become – and the more likely it is to spread. Fortunately, successfully treating an athlete's foot is neither difficult nor expensive. Any place that sells medicine is likely to have a variety of creams, ointments, sprays and powders that are formulated to stamp out an athlete's foot within a period of weeks. There are also a number of natural home remedies with which you may find success.
After applying your medication of choice to the affected area, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands. In fact, take care to wash them any time your hands come into contact with your feet.
If you’ve never treated an athlete's foot, explain your situation to a pharmacist and ask what they’d recommend. Additionally, if over-the-counter treatments fail to clear up the infection, get in touch with your doctor and/or schedule a consultation with a dermatologist.
Many athlete’s foot sufferers are unaware of how contagious this condition truly is. So, if you’re currently doing battle with an athlete's foot, you should understand that if you don’t take the proper precautions, you’ll be placing the people in your life at risk. This is particularly true in the case of people around whom you spend a lot of time, so if you live with a partner, both of you will need to be on guard. Luckily, provided you equip yourself with the pointers outlined above, you should be able to overcome an athlete's foot without spreading it.