Keep Them Dryand Clean
SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar
SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar
To prevent fungus from gaining a toehold, try a 10 percent sulfur-based soap for its natural antifungal properties, says Sarina Elmariah, MD, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dry feet thoroughly , and sprinkle them with antifungal powder if youre prone to athletes foot. Another good idea, says Dr. Kramer, is to spray some disinfectant on a rag and use it to wipe the insides of your shoes every time you take them off. This kills any fungus spores.
Time To See A Podiatrist
If you have tried over-the-counter antifungal products such as cream, spray, powder, or ointment and your athletes foot is not improving after two weeks, consult with a podiatrist. Athletes foot should not be left untreated since the infection can spread to other areas of the body.
Those with a condition such as diabetes or poor circulation should consult with their doctor at first signs of an infection. These conditions put you at a higher risk of developing a severe bacterial infection of the leg or foot and can lead to further complications.
A podiatrist will examine your feet to diagnose athletes foot and determine if the infection has spread. In addition to an examination, a skin sample test may be done to rule out other causes of the infection. If at-home treatment has not worked, your podiatrist may prescribe an oral antifungal medication or a stronger cream, spray, ointment, or powder. A prescription medication will attack the fungus and prevent it from spreading. Your podiatrist will recommend treatment based on your personal case and needs.
Depending on your specific case, athletes foot typically can clear up in two to four weeks. To prevent reinfection, you will need to take the prescription as long as it was prescribed by your doctor even if the athletes foot has cleared up.
Wear Clean Cotton Socks
Cotton socks are recommended over polystyrene or any other type of plastic based socks because they allow your feet to breathe. This prevents a build-up of sweat and bacteria between your toes. Which in turn, can cause athletes foot.
Cotton is worn all over the world, but it is most popular in hot countries because of its breathability. Most bandages are also made from cotton, for this reason, preventing a build-up of sweat can stop the development of many different kinds of infection.
Read Also: The Orthopedic Institute Of Nj
Remedies And Treatments For Athletes Foot
Your doctor may be able to diagnose athleteâs foot by examining your feet. They may also ask questions about the length of your symptoms, how the rash has changed over time, and where you may have contracted the infection. The physician may also want to run tests on a skin sample from your feet to rule out any other causes of the fungal infection.
Recommendations for treatment of athleteâs foot for milder cases can include using an antifungal product like an over-the-counter cream, powder, ointment, or spray. Your doctor may prescribe something stronger if the infection doesnât respond to over-the-counter treatments. They may also recommend an oral antifungal medication if your case is serious.
The doctor may also suggest one or more of the following home remedies for athleteâs foot, as well as lifestyle changes that encourage healing and prevent reinfection:
Following these guidelines can ease your discomfort, speed up the healing process, and prevent you from spreading athleteâs foot to others.
How To Treat Athlete’s Foot
This article was co-authored by Neal Blitz, DPM, FACFAS. Dr. Neal Blitz is a Podiatrist and Foot & Ankle Surgeon who runs private practices in New York City and in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Blitz is The Bunion King® and is the creator of the Bunionplasty® Procedure which has revolutionized bunion surgery. He has over 17 years of podiatric experience and specializes in minimally invasive foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Blitz received his DPM from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, then completed a residency focused on Elective & Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Surgery at the Swedish Medical Center, and was awarded an AO Trauma fellowship in Dresden, Germany, focused on trauma and reconstructive techniques. He is board certified in Foot Surgery and Reconstructive Rearfoot & Ankle Surgery and is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons .There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 93% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 301,356 times.
You May Like: Why Does My Foot Feel Numb
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot usually causes redness, flakiness, peeling, or cracking of the skin on the feet. It may itch, sting, or burn, or simply feel uncomfortable.
It’s usually on the soles of the feet, the areas between the toes, and sometimes the toenails. When the toenails are involved they become thick, white or yellowish, and brittle.
A Guide To Treating Athletes Foot
Everything you need to know about treating the fungal infection athletes foot
Imagine this, youre 75% of the way through your morning run when suddenly your feet start itching like crazy. It feels like a colony of ants has got into your socks and has started a spontaneous conga line between your toes.
When you get home, you take off your shoes to find that it was not an ant fiesta that was causing the trouble, but some kind of infection that is causing your skin to flake and rub raw.
For many people, this is an all too real experience caused by athletes foot also known as tinea pedis.
Despite the popular belief, athletes foot is not caused by bad hygiene. Instead, there are a whole range of situations that can lead to the development of this infection. Around 15% of people in America will develop athletes foot at some point in their life.
The good news is that we know a lot about the tinea pedis infection, including how it is caused, how to prevent it, and how to treat it both naturally and with medication.
Recommended Reading: Pain On Outside Of Ankle When Walking
How To Treat Athlete’s Foot: Important Tips To Remember
Athletes foot is one of the most common types of fungal infection. And because its such a common condition, knowing how to treat athletes foot is very important.
Athletes foot itself might not be life-threatening, but it can cause a lot of discomfort, and even pain if left untreated. Read on to find out what this condition is, and the steps you can take to treat athletes foot.
Causes And Risk Factors
A group of fungi called dermatophytes cause jock itch. These fungi naturally live on your skin and typically dont cause problems. However, when you remain in sweat-soaked clothes after exercising, prolonged exposure to moisture can allow the fungi to multiply quickly.
When you have an overgrowth of dermatophytes in your groin area, it causes the infection known as jock itch.
The fungus that causes jock itch is highly contagious. You may get the fungal infection through close personal contact with a person who has jock itch or through contact with that persons unwashed clothing.
Don’t Miss: Painless Black Spot On Foot
Can Athlete’s Foot Spread
Most people infected with athlete’s foot treat their itchy toes before it spreads. Sometimes the infection spreads to the skin on other parts of the body. These are usually the moist and airless parts of the skin such as the groin. Fungi do not usually spread deeper than the skin. However, other germs may enter through the cracked skin of untreated athlete’s foot. This can occasionally cause more serious infections of the foot or leg.
The athlete’s foot infection sometimes spreads to a nail. This can be treated. However, it takes several weeks of antifungal tablets to clear the infection from a nail. Therefore, it is best to treat athlete’s foot as soon as symptoms start. See the separate leaflet called Fungal Nail Infections .
Can Athlete’s Foot Be Prevented
Athlete’s foot often can be prevented. To avoid it:
- 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.
Also Check: Walking On Outside Of Foot
Prevent Fungus From Spreading To Your Shoes
There are a number of ways that you can keep your feet and toenails in good health. When it comes to foot fungus the best treatment option is prevention.
Firstly, sweaty feet are one of the main causes for transferring fungus from your feet to your shoes. So, if you suffer from sweaty feet consider changing your shoes more regularly. Dont wear the same pair of shoes all day. The same can be said for socks. Changing to a fresh pair of socks can help reduce sweaty feet.
If you have repeated issues with foot fungus in your shoes, then you may need to change the make or style of the shoes that you own. Since one of the ways foot fungus is spread is through sweaty feet, ensuring that your feet and toes have plenty of room to breathe in your shoes is important. This also goes for the material your shoes are made from. For example, your feet can become quite sweaty in plastic shoes, whereas they tend to breathe a little better in leather shoes.
If you take a shower in the gym, then consider using shower shoes that will stop the fungus contaminated surfaces from touching your feet in the first place. Wearing flip-flops or sandals in the locker room can help too. This will limit your exposure to foot fungus.
Facts About Athlete’s Foot
You may be more at risk of catching athletes foot when walking barefoot in public showers, gyms and changing rooms or when in contact with an infected person.
Its a common problem: over 70% of the population will experience athletes foot during their lifetime1. While anyone can catch the infection, men and older people are more at risk.
Treat it early – when left untreated, athlete’s foot can spread to other parts of your body. This often occurs through scratching and can cause other fungal infections like jock itch.
Don’t Miss: Orthopedic Associates Of West Michigan
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
Visit A Doctor If The Athletes Foot Hasnt Subsided
You should allow 1-2 weeks for over-the-counter treatments to become effective. You should allow up to a month for home remedies to cure your infection.
If the infection has not subsided after this amount of time then you should go and see a doctor.
You should also go see a doctor if your foot becomes swollen or if it starts to hurt because of the broken skin. Too much broken skin can make your feet vulnerable to more aggressive infections that may cause long term damage.
If your feet are swollen then your doctor may prescribe you Hydrocortisone to help with the inflammation.
If you have used any of the above treatments and the infection has not gone away, then your doctor may prescribe you a stronger antifungal treatment to put on your feet.
Recommended Reading: Foot Pain In Middle Of Arch
How Is Athletes Foot Spread
You can develop athletes foot in two ways, naturally or you can catch it.
Yes, many people dont realize this, but athletes foot is contagious. It can be a real problem for gyms and sports clubs if one of their members develops the infection, as it can quickly spread around the whole group.
Contact with another person on the infected area of skin can spread athletes foot. Athletes foot can also be spread through contact with materials and the infection can survive on damp surfaces in warm areas including shoes, towels, and floors.
Lets take a look at the two main causes of athletes foot.
What Will Happen If Athletes Foot Is Left Untreated
Athletes foot doesnt typically go away on its own. If its left untreated, it can spread to other areas of your body, including your:
- Nails: Fungal nail infections can be more difficult to treat. They are often more resistant to many treatments.
- Hands: A similar fungal infection can spread to your hands. This happens when you scratch your infected feet or use the same towel to dry off your infected feet and hands.
- Groin: The same fungus that causes athletes foot can also spread to your groin. Its a condition called jock itch. The fungus typically spreads from your feet to your groin after using a towel to dry off after bathing or swimming.
You May Like: Walking Boot For Ankle Sprain
Hydrogen Peroxide With Iodine
Peroxide and iodine are commonly used to disinfect cuts and wounds and to kill germs on the skin.
A recent study found that peroxide combined with iodine killed 16 different fungi. The two used together were more effective than using them separately.
To try this remedy, mix iodine solution and hydrogen peroxide in a bucket or large bowl. Iodine solution is available at most drugstores in the wound care section. Dip the feet directly in the solution or use a cotton pad to apply it to the affected areas.
Do not use iodine on the skin without diluting it because it can damage the skin if used by itself.
Peroxide may sting if the skin is broken or irritated, and it can bleach hair and fabrics. Iodine may also cause stains.
Applying this mixture in a bathtub or shower may prevent unwanted stains, bleaching, and spills.
Soak Feet In Salt Water Or Diluted Vinegar
While you can buy ready-made salt foot soaks, it is best to make your own. This will allow you to make sure that there are no other ingredients in it that might aggravate the infection.
You should not soak your feet in undiluted vinegar as it can irritate or damage your skin.
Using either of these foot soaks will sting a little but this is a just sign that the soak is walking.
Also Check: How To Remove Foot Odor From Shoes
Use A Shoe Sterilizer
Wearing fresh socks daily, as well as keeping your shoes clean, is vital to preventing and treating athletes foot. Most people dont 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.
Identifying Foot Fungal Infections
If you have a pungent foot odor, and perpetually stinky shoes then this can be one of the signs of a foot fungus infection. Over time if you have a nail fungus infection, youll see a change in the way your nail looks. Your nail can become discolored and even start to disintegrate and split. If left untreated the symptoms will only become worse and eventually the nail can even start to pull away from the nailbed. Other foot problems such as athletes foot can display as cracking and peeling between your toes. Youll also likely experience itchiness between your toes. Unfortunately, nail and foot fungus can develop in one area and then spread to another. So, it is possible for you to have athletes foot and for this to the become a nail fungal infection.
Sometimes individuals may think that they have a fungal infection but instead their feet and nails may just look unsightly. Even though this may be the case its important to ensure that your concerns are addressed so if you think you may be suffering from a fungal infection then you should get it checked out by a medical professional.
Don’t Miss: 40 Foot Shipping Container Cost
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.