Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the foot. It can cause itching, burning, and peeling of the skin, is typically found between the toes or on the soles of the feet, and can spread to the nails.
While athlete’s foot is not a serious medical condition, it can be very uncomfortable and can become chronic if not treated completely. Anyone who has experienced athlete’s foot knows how difficult it is to treat, and it usually takes a combination of different treatments and lifestyle changes to prevent it from coming back.
Here are eight tips to treat athlete’s foot successfully.
1. Keep your feet clean and dry.
Athlete’s foot thrives in warm, moist environments, so it’s important to keep your feet clean and dry. Wash your feet daily with soap and lukewarm water, gently scrubbing between the toes. Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly afterward.
2. Wear breathable shoes and socks.
Tight-fitting shoes and socks made of non-breathable materials can contribute to the development of athlete’s foot. Choose shoes and socks that allow your feet to breathe and avoid wearing the same shoes every day to give them time to air out. Also, clean out your shoes regularly.
3. Use over-the-counter antifungal creams.
Over-the-counter antifungal creams can treat mild forms of athlete’s foot. Look for creams that contain terbinafine, clotrimazole, or miconazole, and follow the instructions carefully. Apply the cream to the affected area and the surrounding skin and continue to use it for several days after the symptoms have cleared up to ensure that the infection is fully treated.
4. Use antifungal powders.
Antifungal powders can help keep your feet dry and prevent the growth of fungus. Look for a powder that contains miconazole or tolnaftate and apply it to your feet and inside your shoes every day.
5. Soak your feet in vinegar.
Soaking your feet in vinegar can help kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes each day. Rinse your feet thoroughly and dry them well afterward.
6. Use tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that can help treat athlete’s foot. Apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected area and repeat this several times a day. Be sure to dilute the tea tree oil with a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation.
7. Change your diet.
A diet high in sugar and processed foods can contribute to the growth of fungi in your body. Try to eat a diet that is rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Avoid sugar, alcohol, and processed foods as much as possible.
8. See a doctor if symptoms persist.
If your symptoms do not improve after a week of self-treatment or if the issue comes back, see a doctor that specializes in foot and ankle treatments, or a podiatrist. The doctor can determine the type of fungus that you have and may prescribe a stronger antifungal medication or recommend other treatments, such as oral medication or laser therapy. Athlete’s foot can be an uncomfortable and frustrating condition, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary for a skilled podiatrist.
Athlete’s Foot Treatment in Naples, FL
Dr. Cody Togher is our board-certified and fellowship-trained podiatrist at Joint Replacement Institute in Naples. Dr. Togher received his fellowship training at the prestigious Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Columbus, which means you will have a highly qualified foot and ankle surgeon treating all your foot issues, from fungal infections to foot injuries.
Dr. Togher treats foot and ankle issues with state-of-the-art non-surgical and surgical techniques. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Togher, call our office today at (239) 261-2663, or use our convenient online request form.