Athlete’s foot treatment

Athlete’s foot is a very common condition in people of all ages. The way that you treat this ailment will depend on a number of factors including the severity of the condition and the type. Most people with athlete’s foot will find home or over the counter remedies to be very effective in killing the fungus. If you have athlete’s foot, your doctor will likely recommend that you try a home remedy before a prescription remedy is given. Over the counter treatments or antifungals include terbinafine, miconazole, clotrimazole and tolnaftate. These are typically found in products such as Lamisil AT, Micatin, Lotrimin AF and Tinactin. These treatments are applied to the affected area daily or often several times each day.

Prescription treatments are also available if over the counter remedies do not work. Prescription antifungals are also given for very severe cases. Many of these prescriptions are topical which means that they are applied to clean, dry skin. Naftifine, butenafine, miconazole and clotrimazole are all topical ointments that are prescribed by a doctor. There are also many prescription treatments that are taken orally such as terbinafine also known as Lamisil, itraconazole or Sporanox and fluconazole or Diflucan.

Severe cases of athlete’s foot that do not improve with over the counter treatments or prescription topical creams may require an oral medication. These are typically only used for the most severe cases and can be very expensive. In addition, they require regular testing due to their dangerous side effects. It is important to note that even after taking these extreme measures, it is possible for athlete’s foot to return. Symptoms may stop or decrease significantly after beginning oral medication but reinfection is very common and each case will need to be treated.

Before receiving athlete’s foot treatment, you should understand the different types of athlete’s foot. Toe web infections are typically found between the toes and are the most commonly reported type of this condition. In order to prevent or treat toe web infections it is important that you keep the area between your toes clean and dry every day. If you do develop a severe case you may be prescribed topical as well as oral medication for treatment.

Another type of athlete’s foot develops on the sole and the heel of the foot. This is known as moccasin-type athlete’s foot and is much more difficult to treat due to the thickened skin on the bottom of the foot. Since topical creams may not completely penetrate the skin, prescription medicines are typically given such as ketoconazole, which is much more effective at penetrating the thicker skin. In most cases however, oral antifungal medications are needed to cure this type.

A vesicular infection results in blisters on the foot typically on the instep but has also been known to develop between the toes, on the heel and on both sides of the food. Bacterial infections typically accompany a vesicular infection and this is the least common type of athlete’s foot. It is also the most painful type. Your doctor may need to remove the tops of the blisters and typically soaking the foot is prescribed to dry out the blisters. Antifungal creams are generally used only when the blisters are dried out and if severe, a corticosteroid may be prescribed. In the case of a bacterial infection, antibiotics are typically prescribed as well.

Athlete’s foot treatments typically cure the problem, but it is very important to understand that this condition can return if you do not use your antifungal medication for the length of time specified by your doctor. Other things that can lead to a return of the condition include not taking the proper preventative measures to ensure that you are not exposed to fungi and the medication not completely killing the fungi.

In order to protect yourself against athlete’s foot it is important that you always keep your feet dry and clean. Be certain to thoroughly dry between your toes and change your socks at least two times each day during athlete’s foot treatment methods. You should also always wear shower sandals when in public showers or swimming pools as the fungi can be contracted easily in these areas. You should note that even if the symptoms are not bothersome, you should always seek treatment for athlete’s foot. Left untreated, the condition will likely worsen and can increase your risk for severe infections. It can also increase your risk of blisters and/or cracks that can lead to a dangerous bacterial infection. In addition, athlete’s foot can be easily spread to others so if you have this condition it is important that you treat it immediately.

Last updated on Feb 27th, 2011 and filed under Other Conditions & Diseases. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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