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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

All about athlete's foot

Published in Orthopedics, For the Health of It Author: Kristen M. Sigurdson, DPM

The foot has a lot of demands made on it. In a normal day, a person can easily walk 15 miles. But in return, we rarely give our feet the attention they deserve, hiding them away in shoes and forgetting about them. That is, until they begin to hurt.

One of the most common problems foot and ankle podiatrists see is athlete’s foot. The rash is caused by a fungus that thrives in the closed, warm and moist environments inside your socks, shoes or in-between your toes.

Athlete’s Foot Symptoms

  • The affected area of your foot may be peeling and have small blisters.
  • It may also appear red, dry, itchy and contain a sticky clear fluid.
  • Someone with the condition may experience severe pain from the condition. Patients often report a burning, stinging and itchy sensation.
  • If left untreated, athlete’s foot can also cause deep cracks in the skin which can lead to a secondary bacterial infection.

How It’s Caused

  • Most people have the fungus present on their skin, but are unaffected by it. Until they have bruising or cracks in the skin that allow entry for the fungus.
  • Not changing your socks on a regular basis can also encourage a build-up of the fungus.
  • People with excessively sweaty feet are more prone to this condition.
  • It may also be spread between individuals in bathrooms, showers, swimming pools and changing rooms.

Prevention

  • Wear socks made of natural material, such as cotton or wool. Or use a synthetic fiber designed to draw moisture away from your feet.
  • Alternate pairs of shoes. This allows time for your shoes to dry.
  • Protect your feet in public places. Wear waterproof sandals or shower shoes in pools and fitness centers.

How to Treat

  • Keep your feet clean and dry. Use medicated powders or soaking crystals to help.
  • Change your socks daily, or more often, if they become wet from sweating.
  • Avoid shoes made of vinyl, rubber and plastic that don’t allow air to flow freely into the shoe.
  • In general, athlete’s foot can be treated using over-the-counter treatments.

Skin is the body’s natural barrier – and an opening in this barrier caused by persistent athlete’s foot can lead to a bacterial infection. Redness, swelling, pain, thick fluid drainage (pus) could be a sign of a bacterial infection. Any of these symptoms require immediate treatment to avoid a spreading of the infection.

Also contact your health care provider if your infection appears to be spreading, if you have diabetes or if your symptoms haven’t improved after 2 weeks of treatment.