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Keeping Toenail Fungus On the Run

Road Runners Club of America launches education campaign on nasty bug

FRIDAY, May 6, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is launching a national campaign to help make sure nail fungus doesn't get a toehold among runners.

Representatives of the Best Feet Forward program will be present at 21 marathons and other major running events held in the United States in 2005. In addition to educating runners about this progressive and potentially serious infection, the program will offer free foot screenings.

"Nail fungus is an important health and foot-care issue for runners, and the Best Feet Forward campaign is consistent with our mission to promote education and wellness among the running population," Becky Lambros, RRCA executive director, said in a prepared statement.

"We encourage runners and their families to take advantage of the free foot screenings that will take place at major road races throughout the U.S. this year," Lambros said.

A number of factors put runners and other fitness enthusiasts at risk for nail fungus:

  • Nail trauma associated with running can make the nail bed more susceptible to fungal growth.
  • Sweaty socks and tight athletic shoes create a warm, moist environment that can promote nail fungus growth.
  • Warm, moist environments such as communal showers and gym locker rooms can spread the contagious fungus from person to person.

Individuals can prevent infection with nail fungus by:

  • Washing and drying feet daily.
  • Wearing socks that absorb moisture.
  • Ensuring that your shoes are completely dry before you put them on.
  • Not wearing tight shoes or the same shoes every day.
  • Training in running shoes made of materials that breathe.
  • Inspecting your feet regularly and having your doctor check for nail fungus and other running-related foot problems.

The campaign is supported by Dermik Laboratories, makers of Penlac(r) Topical solution, a nail fungus treatment. However, in a prepared statement,the Road Runners Club of America says it "does not explicitly or implicitly endorse any product for treatment of nail fungus."

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about nail fungal infections.

SOURCE: Road Runners Club of America, news release, April 14, 2005
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