What's Good for the Heart May Not Be Good for the Feet
Frequent training at the gym is clearly beneficial to your fitness but not always for your feet. Wearing the same gym shoes every day leads to a build up of bacteria, which not only causes foot odour, but also contributes to a number of different foot conditions that can cause embarrassment and discomfort. There should be a qualified podiatrist in your local medical centre, and if you find that you're suffering with any of the following conditions, it's advised that you visit sooner rather than later, before the conditions become difficult to treat.
Calluses are easy to spot because they often form under the heel and on the balls of the feet. You'll notice incredibly dry skin that may be yellow or frosted in appearance due to the dryness. Calluses don't usually cause any pain because it's the body's way of providing additional protection from friction and pressure from ill-fitting shoes and impact when walking and running. However, large fissures can form particularly where the foot bends, which can become deep, painful and infected. Walking in bare feet at home and failing to moisturise is a major contributing factor to this, so using a deep moisturising cream specifically for the feet and a pumice stone is advised to keep the tough skin at bay. If it keeps reforming then you may have to purchase some new shoes that are tailored for your own gait.
Fungal Nail Infection and Athlete's Foot
Onychomycosis, otherwise known as fungal nail infection, is a common complaint amongst gym goers. Wearing sweaty trainers each day can cause bacterial infections and the growth of fungus under the nail or around the toe, which is known as athlete's foot. If you notice that your nails are becoming thick and yellow or the skin around your toes is red and inflamed, you may be suffering from one of these conditions. Unfortunately, they are contagious and using public showers without flip-flops is not advised. Try purchasing a couple of pairs of trainers to allow each pair to fully dry before wearing again, and use talcum powder to reduce the damp conditions caused by the excess sweat.
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating in the feet, leading to foot odour and an increased risk of infections. Just like the conditions above it's best to maintain a daily foot hygiene routine and dry between the toes fully before wearing shoes. To help wick sweat away from the feet wear cotton or wool socks and carry a couple of spare pairs around with you so you can change when needed. This will reduce irritation and fungal growth, which can lead to the issues above. Also try to wear leather shoes, as they are naturally more breathable.