Athlete’s Foot is a common fungal infection of the foot that most often occurs between the toes. The infection manifests itself as characteristic red spots and flaky skin. It is often caused by a build-up of the fungi that naturally occur on your skin. In the right conditions – humid, warm and damp – these fungi (or dermatophytes) multiply rapidly, and feed off of the dead skin tissue on your feet, thereby causing the infection.
Athlete’s Foot is a very contagious condition and it is easily spread from person to person (nearly every object can serve as a vehicle for the spread of infection – such as socks, sheets, shoes, towels and shower floors), so it’s important to treat an occurrence as soon as possible, though it can sometimes seem difficult to be sure of the right method for dealing with the infection.
The Best Methods
The best method for treating Athlete’s Foot can differ from person to person, depending on the severity of the infection. Initial treatment should start with treatment solutions in both powder and cream, which quickly destroy the fungi on the feet that cause the condition to develop.
Try using a cream that contains the antifungal ingredient terbinafine, which helps to relieve the itch and treat the infection rapidly. Simply apply thinly to the affected areas once or twice a day for seven days. You will soon begin to see a relieving in the symptoms and the problem will eventually go away.
You can also use an Athlete’s Foot powder containing tolnaftate, another antifungal ingredient, which is instrumental in helping to relieve the itching and soreness associated with Athlete’s Foot. After washing and drying the affected area, preferably after a shower, you just need to dust your feet with the powder twice a day. Continue this practice for at least two weeks till you notice that the symptoms disappear, and you can prevent a recurrence of the infection.
Stay Free of Infection
There are further steps that you can take to prevent future infection or recurrence of Athlete’s Foot. These should be practiced as part of a good foot hygiene regime:
- Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe, so stay away from tight footwear
- Whenever possible (i.e. when you’re indoors) remove your shoes, to allow your feet to be aired completely
- Never wear a pair of socks on two consecutive days. In fact, change your socks daily
- Wear your own flip-flops in wet communal areas such as swimming pools and public showers
- Carefully dry between your toes after bathing every day
- Don’t share towels, flannels or footwear with anyone else.
- Examine your feet regularly, especially between the toes, for signs of infection.
- Complete the recommended course of treatment given by your doctor. This will help prevent a recurrence of the infection. In many cases, people stop treating the infection as soon as the symptoms go away. But the fungus may still be present on the skin and if not removed completely, it can start to multiply and attack once again.
So although it may seem difficult to be certain of the best method for treating Athlete’s Foot, you can stock up on advanced foot creams and powders, combined with a regular foot hygiene regime, to always stay ahead of the infection. If you feel that your Athlete’s Foot isn’t improving even after treatment, then with the most advanced cases it may be necessary to get a prescription for anti-fungal medicine from a medical professional.