How can I treat athlete's foot (foot fungus)?
The medical term for foot fungus is tinea pedis. Tinea pedis is caused by fungus invading through small breaks in the skin. Some individuals are naturally susceptible to foot fungus and those with depressed immune systems are the most susceptible. Many pick up the fungus in gyms, spa and sauna areas, public pools and showers.
To treat athlete's foot, first eliminate moisture and sweating. This may involve changing socks often or using an anti-perspirant spray. Use an anti-fungal creme, we recommend Lamisil AT, but any anti-fungal creme will work for most cases of athlete's foot. You must use the creme twice a day for about 2-4 weeks, even though the advertisements may claim cures after 1 week. The reason most athlete's foot doesn't go away, or recurs, is because of re-infection. Taking steps to preventing foot fungus is the key to treatment.
To decrease the chance for infection or re-infection:
1. Wear sandals at the gym or any public shower, spa, pool or sauna.
2. Clean your shower with bleach.
3. Wash your shower mat with hot water once a week.
4. Place anti-fungal powder in your shoes.
5. Air out your shoes and insoles regularly.
6. Consider using tea tree soap on your feet. Tea tree oil has been shown to be anti-fungal.
7. If your feet sweat, change socks at least once during the day.
8. If your feet sweat, wear synthetic socks to wick away moisture, instead of cotton socks. More on wicking socks.
9. Moisture increases the chance for infection so treat sweaty feet with antiperspirant powders, lotions or spray.
10. Use anti-fungal creams consistently for 2-4 weeks. If symptoms persist, see your doctor.
Information and pictures on toenail fungus.
last updated 6/16/10
Disclaimer: The advice on this website is not intended to substitute for a visit to your health care provider. We will not be held liable for any diagnosis made or treatment recommended. Consult your doctor if you feel you have a medical problem.