Athletes Foot Treatment

It’s estimated that 3 to 15 per cent of the population suffers from athlete’s foot. So, if you have this problem – you definitely aren’t alone!  

If you do suffer from this condition though, you are probably searching for effective athlete’s foot treatment. After all, the symptoms can be quite annoying and, in some cases, even painful.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is also referred to as tinea pedis. It is a contagious type of fungal infection that affects the skin on your feet. It may also spread to the hands and toenails.

This particular fungal infection is referred to as athlete’s foot because it is most commonly seen in athletes.

While this condition isn’t serious, it can be difficult to cure. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes and believe you have athlete’s foot, you need to contact your doctor right away.

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

The cause of athlete’s foot tinea fungus. It can be caught through direct contact with an infected person, or by touching a surface that is contaminated with this fungus.

The fungus thrives in moist, warm environments. That’s why it is common to pick it up in showers, around swimming pools, and on locker room floors.

Who Is at Risk for Developing Athlete’s Foot?

Anyone can actually contract athlete’s foot; however, there are some behaviours that actually increase your risk. Some of the factors that increase your risk for developing athlete’s foot include:

  • Walking barefoot in public places
  • Sharing towels, shoes or socks with an infected person
  • Having sweaty feet
  • Wearing closed-toe, tight shoes
  • Having a nail injury or minor skin problem on the feet
  • Keeping your feet wet for extended periods of time

If you think you are at risk for developing athlete’s foot, then make sure you aren’t participating in any of these riskier behaviours.

Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

There are several symptoms that indicate you may have contracted athlete’s foot. Some of the most common include:

  • Burning, stinging and itching on the foot
  • Dry skin on the sides or soles of the feet
  • Blisters that itch
  • Toenails that pull away from the bed
  • Peeling and cracking skin
  • Raw skin on your feet
  • Crumbly, thick, discoloured toenails

If you have one or more of these symptoms, then it is time to begin thinking about treatment options.

Athlete’s Foot Treatment Options

As you can see from the information above, it’s pretty easy to pick up athlete’s foot. Unfortunately, getting rid of it isn’t quite as easy.

While everyone has their own methods for getting rid of this, some of the most popular treatment options are found here.

You will find traditional options, as well as alternative ones. Keep in mind, some work and some don’t.

OTC Medications

There are several over-the-counter (OTC) topical antifungal medications. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tinactin (tolnaftate)
  • Desenex (miconazole)
  • Lotrimin Ultra (butenafine)
  • Lamisil AT (terbinafine)

Each of these products is an effective treatment option, but in some cases, may not be enough to get rid of the problem completely.

Prescription Medications

Your doctor can also prescribe medications for treating athlete’s foot. You can receive topical miconazole or clotrimazole, or even oral antifungal medication.

Other options include oral antibiotics if you have developed a bacterial infection due to blisters and raw skin, or a topical steroid medication, which can reduce painful inflammation.

Tea Tree Oil

In addition to traditional medications, there are also a number of alternative treatments or at-home remedies you can use to get rid of athlete’s foot.

Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of a tree that is native to Australia. Since it can kill many types of fungus and bacteria, people have used it as a home remedy for several years.

When you rub the oil into your skin two times a day, it can help to reduce the burning, swelling, scaling, and itching associated with athlete’s foot. However, it can take up to a month for you to see any real progress and this method isn’t effective for everyone.

An important word of warning is to never take tea tree oil by mouth. This can be toxic.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another at-home remedy you can use to help kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot is hydrogen peroxide. You use this on the surface of your foot.

To use hydrogen peroxide, all you have to do is pour it right on the surface area that’s affected. Take note – this may sting, and it should start to bubble.

Continue this treatment method twice a day until your infection subsides.

Neem Oil

Both neem oil, as well as neem leaf extracts, offer superior antifungal capabilities. This can help with cases of athlete’s foot.

Apply the oil or the extract right to the area that is affected several times a day. Make sure to massage it into the skin. This can also be helpful for treating infections that develop under your toenails.

What Athlete’s Foot Treatment Is Right for You?

If you are trying to figure out what athlete’s foot treatment to use, remember, not all treatments are going to work for every person. As a result, it may be a process of trial and error.

If you want to ensure you treat and eradicate your athlete’s foot for good, you may need to speak with your doctor. However, you can try a few of the options listed here, as well. You may be one of the lucky ones who can eradicate the pain and discomfort of athlete’s foot on your own.

If you are interested in learning more about your feet, such as how to deal with overlapping toes, check out our blog. We know feet and pass on helpful information for you.

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