The 5 Best Athlete’s Foot Treatments According To A Doctor
Athlete’s foot is more annoying than life-threatening, but as soon as you notice it, you’re eager to get rid of it. That’s where athlete’s foot treatments come in.
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Usually marked by a scaly, itchy, flaky rash, athlete’s foot is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of organisms that thrive in damp, warm environments , per the Mayo Clinic. Luckily, as one of the most common foot infections, athlete’s foot is relatively easy to treat using over-the-counter products.
Read on to learn more about your best options for stamping out this condition, according to market research as well as podiatrist James McGuire, DPM, PT, a professor at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine.
An antifungal treatment in powder form, like Lotrimin AF Athlete’s Foot Antifungal Powder, delivers a particularly effective one-two punch against athlete’s foot.
For one, the active ingredient of 2 percent miconazole nitrate prevents further fungal growth. For another, the fact that this product comes in the form of a powder means that it’ll help keep your feet dry â and drier feet are less likely to develop athlete’s foot in the first place.
âBuy it:â âPrice:â $20.32 for a 3-pack
Recognizing And Eradicating Tinea Pedis
W. Steven Pray, PhD, DPhBernhardt Professor, Nonprescription Products and DevicesCollege of PharmacyWeatherford, Oklahoma
Pharmacists are often asked about treatment of minor medical conditions such as tinea pedis, commonly known as athletes foot. At times, patients may need confirmation that they actually have the condition. For this reason, it is important for the pharmacist to be able to recognize tinea pedis and provide appropriate advice in treating it and preventing its recurrence.
Infographic: Athletes Foot: When Should You Seek Medical Attention
Using over-the-counter remedies and performing self-care at home for a week should result in some improvement. However, if you havent observed any progress or the condition worsens, contact your doctor immediately. It is critical to seek treatment as soon as possible before the infection spreads to the rest of your foot or other regions of your body, including your groin or toenails. Check out the infographic below to learn more about seeking medical attention with an athletes foot.
Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team
Athletes foot is a fungal infection that is mainly seen in athletes. Wearing sweaty socks and engaging in regular physical activity may increase the risk of athletes foot. Natural remedies like apple cider vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, Epsom salt, turmeric, neem oil, ginger, coconut oil, and grapefruit seed extract effectively manage athletes foot. In addition, garlic and hydrogen peroxide alleviate the symptoms of this condition. Washing your feet with soap and water regularly, drying the feet, and using anti-fungal powders and socks made with breathable fiber reduces the risk of athletes foot.
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What Triggers Athletes Foot
Anyone can get athletes foot. It is contagious and can be spread from an infected person via surfaces like floors, shoes and towels.
Its also possible for you to spread the infection from your feet to other parts of your body. This is especially true if you pick at your infected feet or scratch them.
Even though anyone can get athletes foot, there are some factors that make it more likely that you could get infected. These include:
- sweating heavily
- walking barefoot in places such as swimming pools, locker rooms, communal showers and saunas
- wearing enclosed shoes, boots or other footwear on a frequent basis
- sharing personal items such as towels, bed linens, shoes, clothes or mats with a person who has some type of fungal infection
How Is Athletes Foot Treated
Athletes foot can often be treated with over-the-counter topical antifungal medications. If OTC medications dont treat your infection, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. Your doctor may also recommend home treatments to help clear up the infection.
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How To Use Them
Opt for polymer athletic socks that either wick away wetness or allow it to evaporate, and pair them with kicks that have good airflow . “While we’re at it, never wear closed-toed shoes without socks,” Dr. Mendeszoon says.
Athletes Foot Home Remedies That Actually Work
posted: Jan. 22, 2021.
7 Athletes Foot Home Remedies that Actually Work
What is Athletes Foot?
Athletes foot is a fungal infection that starts between the toes of people who get sweaty feet and wear tight, enclosed shoes for long periods. Also called tinea pedis, it appears as a scaly, itchy rash that can also cause a burning sensation. People with athletes foot also tend to have raw, moist skin between the toes.
Athletes foot is easily treatable, so using the right home remedies can help you effectively eradicate it.
Here are some remedies that may work.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
It may sound like a dangerous chemical, but hydrogen peroxide is an effective home remedy for treating athletes foot. The chemical works by killing all surface bacteria and funguses on the skin. When applied directly to the affected areas, it disinfects the area, allowing the skin to heal and form a barrier against new infections. Before treating with hydrogen peroxide, check with your podiatrist or family doctor.
2. OTC Treatments
Over-the-counter treatments like antifungal powders, sprays, and lotions can also effectively treat athletes foot. After applying them for two to three weeks, most symptoms disappear, and reinfection does not occur. However, you must complete the prescribed period of application to avoid a resurgence.
3. Tea Tree Oil
4. Rubbing Alcohol
5. Sea Salt
Keeping Your Feet Dry, Aired, and Clean
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What Is Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal skin infection. Fungi are microscopic plant-like organisms that thrive in damp, warm environments. They’re usually not dangerous, but sometimes can cause disease. When they infect the skin, they cause mild but annoying rashes. Fungal skin infections are also known as tinea infections.
When fungus grows on the feet, it is called athlete’s foot . It got this name because it affects people whose feet tend to be damp and sweaty, which is often the case with athletes. But anyone can get this infection.
Dont Forget Preventive Methods
If you want to avoid having to shop for an athlete’s foot treatment in the first place, make sure you’re practicing good foot hygiene on a daily basis, Dr. McGuire says:
- Change your socks regularly
- Dry between your toes after bathing
- Use a foot powder, such as Gold Bond Medicated Maximum Strength Foot Powder
- Wear shower shoes in public locker rooms
If you want to go the extra mile, Dr. McGuire says you can ensure steady airflow between your toes by placing a cotton ball between them before putting on your socks and shoes.
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What Is Athletes Foot
Athletes foot, also called tinea pedis, is an infection triggered by a fungus known as trichophyton. When your skin comes into contact with the fungus, it can start to grow and spread.
Its called athletes foot because athletes who are in and out of locker rooms and showers are at a particularly high risk of developing this infection.
Athletes foot can cause redness and itchiness on the surface of the skin. It can break the skin and form painful sores, too.
Symptoms of athletes foot include:
- a scaly, red rash that usually develops between the toes before spreading
- itchiness, which is often most severe after taking off your shoes and socks
- blisters in severe cases
Ringworm Infection On Your Feet
Ringworm most commonly affects the soles of your feet, between your toes, and around your toenails. The symptoms can range in severity from mild to very uncomfortable.
Some of the specific symptoms of ringworm of the foot include:
- itching, burning, or stinging between your toes or on your soles
Athletes are particularly prone to athletes foot since the fungus often lives on moist surfaces, like locker room floors. Athletes are also prone to ringworm of the groin, referred to as jock itch.
Men and teenagers have the highest risk for developing foot ringworm.
People with ringworm on their feet also often develop it on the palms of their hands from touching the affected area.
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How To Handle Stubborn Cases Of Athlete’s Foot
What if athlete’s foot doesn’t respond to treatment? Welcome to the club! It’s often a chronic condition.
“It is a challenge to completely eradicate athlete’s foot, and there’s no guarantee that people can get rid of it forever,” Dr. Mendeszoon says. “If the condition is permanent, then managing the symptoms â itching, burning, pain â becomes all the more important.”
The good news is that for most people, it won’t interfere with your daily life .
“That said, it can be aggressive â particularly in those who are immunocompromised, like if you have diabetes, cancer or a recent surgery,” Dr. Mendeszoon says. “Check with your doctor if you’re concerned â in some severe cases, a prescription oral antifungal medication can be taken for up to six weeks to attack the fungus internally.”
What Are The Treatments For Athlete’s Foot
Treat athlete’s foot at the first sign of itchiness.
Most cases of athlete’s foot can be cured with over-the-counter antifungal products and basic good hygiene. Wash and dry your feet every morning and evening, change socks or stockings daily, and don’t wear the same shoes day after day to allow them time to dry completely before wearing them again. Sprinkle antifungal powder on feet and in your shoes daily. Antifungal creams and sprays are also effective at managing the infection. Continue treatment for one to two weeks after the infection has cleared to prevent it from recurring.
Make sure your feet get plenty of air. If you can’t go barefoot or wear sandals, wear synthetic socks which will wick away moisture. Cotton tends to trap the moisture and promote fungal growth. Wear shoes made of a porous material.
If not treated properly and promptly, athlete’s foot can be very stubborn. Even when treated with antifungal drugs, the infection may take several weeks to disappear and may come back after treatment.
Most of the time it responds well to these over-the-counter interventions. However, more severe cases may need to be seen by a doctor.
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Can Athlete’s Foot Be Prevented
Athlete’s foot often can be prevented. To avoid it, kids should:
- Keep feet clean and dry by washing them daily and drying them completely, especially between the toes.
- Wear waterproof shoes or flip-flops when walking around in locker rooms, public showers, and public pool areas.
- Switch between wearing shoes or sneakers to prevent the build-up of moisture. Choose ones that are well-ventilated with small holes to keep the feet dry.
- Avoid socks that trap moisture or make the feet sweat. Instead, choose cotton or wool socks or ones made of fabric that wicks away moisture.
- Change socks regularly, especially if the feet get sweaty.
- Use a powder on the feet every day to help reduce sweating.
Are There Any Home Remedies For Athletes Foot
There are a few home remedies that may help prevent or treat athletes foot.
Some essential oils can prevent or stop the growth of bacteria. These include tea tree, bitter orange, peppermint and eucalyptus oils. However, they may not completely get rid of a fungal infection.
Garlic contains a compound called ajoene. Ajoene can prevent or stop the growth of bacteria. But, like essential oils, it may not completely get rid of a fungal infection like athletes foot.
Burows solution can reduce moisture in an area and help dry out blisters or soft, wet and wrinkly skin .
If youre allergic to essential oils, garlic or Burows solution, dont use them to treat your athletes foot.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Athletes Foot
Your symptoms depend on the type of athletes foot that you have.
- Toe web infection: A toe web infection is the most common type of athletes foot. It typically affects the skin between your fourth toe and fifth toe . Your skin may change color, crack, peel or flake.
- Moccasin-type infection: A moccasin-type infection affects the bottoms of your feet, your heels and the edges of your feet. Your feet may be sore for a few days. Then, the skin on the bottom of your feet thickens and cracks. In rare cases, your toenails may get infected. They can thicken, break into small pieces and fall out.
- Vesicular-type infection: A vesicular-type infection typically affects the bottom of your feet, but it may appear anywhere on them. A vesicular-type infection features bumps or fluid-filled blisters .
- Ulcerative infection: An ulcerative infection is the rarest type of athletes foot. Open sores often appear between your toes. Open sores may also appear on the bottom of your feet.
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If you’re experiencing any type of foot pain you should speak with an experienced podiatrist as soon as possible. Please contact us online to schedule your appoinment or call one of our convenient El Paso offices directly. To reach our Sierra Tower Building podiatrist office please call 915.533.5151. You can find driving directions here. To reach our George Dieter Drive podiatry office please call 915.856.3331. Driving directions are available here.
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Risk Factors For Jock Itch
If the following factors apply to you, you might have a higher risk of jock itch:
- Youre a teenager.
- You have overweight or live with obesity, which increases how many skin folds you have. The fungi that cause jock itch thrive in sweaty skin folds.
- You have a tendency to sweat, which increases the moisture of the skin and encourages dermatophytes to multiply.
- Your immune system doesnt function as it should due to an underlying health condition or treatment for a condition. People who are immunocompromised have
When To Visit The Doctor For Athletes Foot
If the condition hasnt improved and youre in a lot of pain, its time to see your doctor, says Dr. Levine. Be wary of infectionyou cant assume that athletes foot will go away on its own, she adds. An unchecked fungal infection can lead to cracks in the skin and invite a nasty bacterial infection. Consult your physician if:
- Your foot is swollen and warm to the touch, especially if there are red streaks
- The inflammation proves incapacitating
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Whos Most Likely To Get Athletes Foot
The development or spread of athletes foot can commonly occur in:
- People who often use public pools, showers, or fitness centers
- People with obesity
- People who wear closed shoes
- People who have conditions that compromise how well the immune system functions
- People who work in professions that require industrial footwear, such as miners and soldiers
- People living in long-term care facilities and other communal institutions
Use A Shoe Sterilizer
Wearing fresh socks daily, as well as keeping your shoes clean, is vital to preventing and treating athlete’s foot. “Most people don’t realize bacteria buildup happens inside the shoes,” says Correa. “Our feet sweat just like our bodies, and dark, damp shoes are perfect to house the fungus-causing bacteria.” Garshick adds that occlusive shoes provide damp conditions that allow dermatophyte fungus to thrive.
One solution might be to use an ultraviolet light shoe sterilizer to clear shoes of bacteria. Garshick suggests alternating shoes, which can help allow them to air dry between use.
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Causes Of Athlete’s Foot
You can catch athlete’s foot from other people with the infection.
You can get it by:
- walking barefoot in places where someone else has athlete’s foot especially changing rooms and showers
- touching the affected skin of someone with athlete’s foot
You’re more likely to get it if you have wet or sweaty feet, or if the skin on your feet is damaged.
When To See Your Doctor
If you think you have athletes foot and it hasnt subsided after a week of home treatment, make an appointment to see your doctor. You may need prescription antifungals to get rid of the infection.
You should also make an appointment to see your doctor if you have athletes foot and diabetes. This is especially true if you have signs of a secondary bacterial infection, which can be more dangerous in those with diabetes due to their nerve damage.
Signs of infection include redness, pus, swelling, drainage, and fever. If you have diabetes, you may not feel pain in your feet due to nerve damage.
Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose athletes foot just by looking at it.
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Home Remedies For Athletes Foot
Its a popular misconception that only athletes get athletes foot. The condition is known medically as tinea pedis. Its a fungal infection between and around the toes. Those dealing with the condition find that their toes itch and burn, there are peeling patches of skin, there is excessive dryness along the sides or bottoms of feet, and/or changes in the color and thickness of toenails.
The good news is that there are a variety of home remedies that can help to alleviate the symptoms of athletes foot, if not get rid of it completely. Of course, if a home remedy doesnt help, a trip to a podiatrist is in order. Here are some of the best ways to treat your athletes foot at home.
Brown a bit of cornstarch in the oven to make sure it is completely free of moisture. Once youve removed it from the oven and given it a chance to cool, rub the cornstarch on your toes and feet. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then brush it off with a towel. Wash you hands well after you have applied the cornstarch and once you have removed it.
2. Catch Some Air
Dry air is an enemy of athletes foot. When possible, and when you walking on dry surfaces, go barefoot. If you would rather not touch surfaces with your feet, wear flip flops or sandals. The air will dry out your feet and dryness makes it nearly impossible for fungus and bacteria to grow.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide Soak
4. Soap and Water
5. Baking Soda