What Is The Strongest Treatment For Athlete’s Foot

What Is Athlete’S Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection caused by a fungus. It leads to an itchy, stinging, burning rash on the skin of one or both of your feet. Athlete’s foot typically affects the areas between your toes, but it can also impact the tops of your feet, the soles, and your heels. Your skin may become scaly, cracked, or develop blisters. Additionally, your feet may emit a bad odor.

Athlete’s foot is a form of ringworm. Another term for athlete’s foot is ‘tinea pedis.’ ‘Tinea’ is another name for ringworm, and ‘pedis’ refers to the foot or feet.

Athlete’s Foot Symptoms

Athlete’s foot can affect various areas of your feet, including the skin between your toes, the bottoms, tops, edges, and heels. You may notice that your skin appears irritated, displaying shades of red, purple, gray, or white, along with scaliness or flakiness.

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include:

Cracked and peeling skin Itchy skin A skin rash A burning sensation

What Causes Athlete’S Foot?

Several different species of fungi can cause athlete’s foot.

It commonly spreads through skin-to-skin contact or contact with flakes of skin. It is often transmitted in areas frequented by large groups of people, such as locker rooms, swimming pools, and saunas.

It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. You can contract athlete’s foot by sharing towels, socks, or shoes with someone who has the infection.

Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s Foot

What Are The Different Types Of Athlete’S Foot

Your symptoms depend on the type of athlete’s foot you have:

Toe web infection:

This is the most common type, typically affecting the skin between your fourth toe (ring toe) and fifth toe (pinkie toe). Symptoms may include changes in skin color, cracking, peeling, or flaking.

Moccas-type infectionin:

This type affects the bottoms, heels, and edges of your feet. Initially, your feet may feel sore, followed by thickening and cracking of the skin on the soles. In rare cases, toenails may become infected, thickened, fragmented, or lost.

Vesicular-type infection:

Primarily found on the soles but can occur anywhere on the feet, characterized by the presence of bumps or fluid-filled blisters (vesicles).

Ulcerative infection:

The rarest type, featuring open sores (ulcers) between the toes or on the soles of the feet.

Athlete’s Foot Treatment

Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription antifungal creams, ointments, gels, sprays or powders effectively treat athlete’s foot. These products contain clotrimazole, miconazole, tolnaftate or terbinafine.

Some prescription antifungal medications for athlete’s foot are pills. These pills contain fluconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine.

It’s important to complete your full course of medicine. If you stop too soon, your athlete’s foot may return and be more difficult to treat.

What Will Happen If Athlete’S Foot Is Left Untreated?

Athlete’s foot can spread across the bottom of your foot, known as moccasin athlete’s foot. In this type of infection, the skin on the bottoms, heels, and edges of your feet becomes dry, itchy, and scaly.

In severe cases of athlete’s foot, you may develop fluid-filled blisters or open sores. Blisters often appear on the bottoms of your feet, but they may develop anywhere on your feet. Open sores typically appear between your toes but may also occur on the bottoms of your feet. Additionally, your feet may emit an unpleasant odor.

Athlete’s foot doesn’t typically resolve on its own. If left untreated, it can spread to other areas of your body, including:

Nails: Fungal nail infections can be challenging to treat and may be resistant to many treatments.

Hands: A similar fungal infection can spread to your hands, usually through scratching infected feet or using the same towel to dry both your infected feet and hands.

Groin: The fungus responsible for athlete’s foot can also spread to your groin, resulting in a condition known as jock itch. This typically occurs after using a towel to dry off after bathing or swimming, transferring the fungus from your feet to your groin.

Athlete’s Foot Prevention

Thoroughly wash your feet and the skin between your toes with antibacterial soap.

Dry your feet and the spaces between your toes after swimming or bathing.

Apply talcum powder or antifungal powder to your feet to absorb moisture.

Put on your socks before your underwear to prevent the fungus from spreading to your groin.

Wear shoes or sandals that allow your feet to breathe.

Avoid wearing rubber or synthetic shoes for extended periods.

Allow your shoes to dry out for at least 24 hours between uses.

Clean your shoes with disinfecting sprays or wipes.

Wear cotton or wool socks that absorb moisture, or socks made of synthetic materials that wick away moisture.

Wear sandals or flip-flops in communal locker rooms, pools, saunas, or showers.

Wash your socks, towels, and bedding in hot water.

FAQ About Athlete’S Foot

What Can I Expect If I Have Athlete’S Foot?

With proper treatment, the outlook for people with athlete’s foot is good. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions to get rid of your athlete’s foot quickly and prevent passing it on to anyone else.

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider?

Call your healthcare provider if your athlete’s foot:
Doesn’t improve or go away with treatment.
Looks infected (red, purple, gray or white skin; irritation and swelling).
Spreads to other areas of your body.

How Do I Manage My Athlete’S Foot Symptoms?

Keep your feet dry, clean, and cool. If possible, refrain from wearing socks or shoes. Avoid scratching your feet, as this may cause the fungus to spread to other parts of your body.

How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better?

With proper diagnosis and treatment, your athlete’s foot should improve within one to eight weeks. It’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully.

As you progress through treatment, you should notice a reduction in itchiness and irritation. However, even if your symptoms improve, it’s important to complete the full course of medicine prescribed. Failure to do so may result in the return of athlete’s foot, making it more challenging to treat.

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