How To Treat Athletes’ Foot: Tricks & Tips

How To Treat Athletes’ Foot: Tricks & Tips

Athlete’s foot is a common skin infection of the webs of the toes and soles of the feet. It is caused by a fungus and may spread to the palms, groin, and body. Fungal infections of the feet are contagious and can be spread person to person or by walking on contaminated objects and floors. Athlete’s foot may cause foot itching, burning, pain, and scaling.

Despite the name, athletes aren’t the only ones who experience athlete’s foot. The reason lots of athletes tend to contract this fungus on their feet is because they break a serious sweat, and they tend to walk around barefoot all in the locker room and shared public shower areas. However, anyone at any age from childhood into adulthood can contract it. Fungus lives everywhere your feet go – in the shower, on the floor, around the pool, and in our socks and shoes.

atheletes foot

The good news is that most athlete’s foot infections are easily treated unlike fungus on the scalp or other areas of the body which tends to be much more stubborn and difficult to get rid of. The real challenge is to prevent a re-infection once you’ve gotten rid of it. Here are some tricks & tips to help keep athlete’s foot at bay:

Air Out

During a battle with athletes’ foot it’s helpful if you can let your foot air out as much as possible without walking around barefoot. Wearing open toed shoes while your feet are recovering may be a good idea if you can tolerate it.

Treat With Fungal Creams

Over-the-counter fungal creams such as clotrimazole and miconazole, applied to the bottom of the feet and in between all toes for 1- 4 weeks depending on the severity of the infection often does the trick to kill of the fungus that set up shop on your feet.

foot cream

Avoid Sweats

Fungus loves moisture and heat. Keep your feet as dry as possible. If you happen to be an athlete or work out heavily, this may be more of a challenge. Pour a dash of antifungal powder on your feet before putting on your socks to help keep them dry. Carry extra pairs of socks with you. Wash your feet with soap and water and change your socks frequently if you tend to break a sweat. Change your socks at least once a day, whether or not you sweat.

Treat Close Contacts

If you live with or come into direct contact with someone who has a fungal infection, encourage that person to get treated right away. This way, they can’t pass it on to you or  someone else.

Soak With Bleach Water 

For better results you can soak your feet in bleach water for 10 minutes every night. However, you need to make sure you don’t go overboard with the amount of bleach you mix in as too much can burn your skin. Using no more that 1-teaspoon in a half gallon of water helps kill fungus.

foot soak

Bleach Your Socks and Shower

Anyone inflicted with a fungal infection of the toenails or feet should bleach their socks and the bottom of the shower or tub once a week routinely. Again, the real challenge lies in prevention of future outbreaks, not so much treatment.

Avoid Walking Barefoot

Carry a pair of slippers with you to the gym, locker room, pool, hotels (especially the hotel showers), or any public places. And avoid walking barefoot even in your own home, whether or not you have athlete’s foot. These measures will help prevent re-infection.

If you need further help treating athletes’ foot contact Houston Foot and Ankle. Dr. Donald Stran is a Podiatrist serving the Houston and Friendswood areas. To learn more about the procedures treated at Houston Foot and Ankle or to schedule an appointment please call any of our locations listed below.

Friendswood: (281) 992-0006
Missouri City: (281) 741-3017
Lake Jackson: (979) 297-8500

Dr. Donald Stran

Dr. Donald C. Stran has practiced in the community since 1987. He is Board Certified and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is currently a teaching physician with the St. Joseph’s Medical Center podiatric residency program.

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