What Will Happen If Athletes Foot Is Left Untreated
Athletes foot doesnt typically go away on its own. If its left untreated, it can spread to other areas of your body, including your:
- Nails: Fungal nail infections can be more difficult to treat. They are often more resistant to many treatments.
- Hands: A similar fungal infection can spread to your hands. This happens when you scratch your infected feet or use the same towel to dry off your infected feet and hands.
- Groin: The same fungus that causes athletes foot can also spread to your groin. Its a condition called jock itch. The fungus typically spreads from your feet to your groin after using a towel to dry off after bathing or swimming.
Signs You Need A Prescription
Generally speaking, prescription medications are needed to treat athlete’s foot if:
- The infection hasn’t cleared after four weeks of self-treatment.
- The infection goes away but comes back .
- The infection is spreading to other parts of the body .
If you have athlete’s foot and diabetes, you should see your healthcare provider right away don’t bother with home treatment. Athlete’s foot can cause dry, cracked skin, which can leave people with diabetes vulnerable to serious complications such as cellulitis, bacterial infections, or skin ulcers.
How You Get Athlete’s Foot
You can catch athlete’s foot from other people with the infection.
You can get it by:
- walking barefoot in places where someone else has athlete’s foot especially changing rooms and showers
- touching the affected skin of someone with athlete’s foot
You’re more likely to get it if you have wet or sweaty feet, or if the skin on your feet is damaged.
Page last reviewed: 08 June 2021 Next review due: 08 June 2024
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Who Can Get Mycosis And How Can It Be Prevented
Mycosis is a fungal infection that affects the legs. This condition is very common: one in four people have a toenail fungus. If this disease starts, its treatment can be very cumbersome. Pathogenic fungi are often found in small numbers on human skin, where they generally do not cause harm. However, under favorable conditions, they can penetrate the epidermis, multiply and cause infection. Favorable conditions for fungi are warm, moist, airless areas of the skin, such as between the toes.
Almost anyone can get mycosis. But it is more common in people who sweat more, or those who wear thick shoes and socks, which also causes excessive sweating of the feet. Mycosis can be transmitted from person to person. For example, it can happen in a public shower used by athletes or swimmers. Small flakes of fungal-infected skin can fall off while you shower. Once a small patch of infection begins to develop, it tends to spread along the skin. About where else you can get the fungus is written here.
Stop This Skin Infection In Its Tracks With These Over
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Verywell Health / Sabrina Jiang
Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. But if left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.
The fungus often begins in the form of athlete’s foot between the toes or on the soles of the feet. At this stage, the fungal infection is easier to treat with over-the-counter medication. But Shari Lipner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Verywell Health toenail fungus can be difficult to treat because of how slow the nails grow. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies, she says.
Diagnosing the fungal infection early is key to make treatments effective. Dr. Lipner recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist to properly treat the infection if it grows to be too severe.
Here are a few of the best over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments on the market.
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How Can You Treat Athletes Foot
There are many noninfective conditions that affect the foot, such as psoriasis and poison ivy. If you are unsure whether your problem is athletes foot , you should visit a physician. Your pharmacist may also be able to recognize the presence of athletes foot. Once athletes foot is confirmed, you may treat the problem with nonprescription products. Generally, OTC products are safer than prescription products, as they have fewer side effects. Used properly, nonprescription products may also cure athletes foot.
Your pharmacist can provide full counseling information on treatment options for athletes foot. You must read the labels carefully and follow all directions provided. Some products can be used in anyone aged 2 years and above, but they must be used twice daily for 4 weeks to produce a cure.
Another product must only be used in those aged 12 years and above, but it can cure athletes foot between the toes in 1 week if used twice daily or in 4 weeks if you choose to use it only once daily. However, it will not cure athletes foot on the bottom or sides of the feet, which is known as moccasin type.
Lamisil AT Cream can also cure athletes foot in those aged 12 years and above. The spray pump and solution forms only cure the condition between the toes if used twice daily for 1 week, but the cream can also cure the infection on the bottom and sides of the feet when used twice daily for 2 weeks.
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Treating Athletes Foot Fungus
Athletes foot is one of the most common foot infections. It is easily acquired, especially by people who often use communal showers and pools, such as those in college dorms or gyms. It grows in warm, damp places like public showers, locker rooms, and pools.
This foot condition is also common with shoes that are too tight or socks or shoes that are damp. Athletes foot can also be contracted from getting pedicures with not properly sanitized equipment.
Tinea pedis, the scientific name for athletes foot, is often characterized by itching, burning, redness, peeling, and sores and blisters. Athletes foot can also be known as jungle rot, from military personnel who contract it in warm, damp climates.
Four different kinds of fungus can cause of athletes foot. These fungi live on dead skin, hair, or toenails.
Athletes foot consists of three different kinds of infections. The most common variety is called interdigital and grows between the toes, usually the two smallest. It often causes scaling, itching, and burning and can move to the rest of the foot. Interdigital infections can also be called toe web infections.
An infection on the sole is known as moccasin infection. It causes the skin to crack and thicken and is accompanied by dry skin, itching, scaling, and irritation. It can move to the sides of feet, as well.
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How To Treat Toenail Fungus
You can use simple home remedies to get rid of toenail fungus, or a podiatrist can take care of toenail fungus, particularly if it is caught early.
Topical or oral treatments can also work on toenail fungus, as well as the removal of the infected nail. A temporary removal can work to treat the area, but a permanent removal so that the bad nail wont grow back can also be performed.
What Are The Symptoms Of Athletes Foot
Your symptoms depend on the type of athletes foot that you have.
- Toe web infection: A toe web infection is the most common type of athletes foot. It typically affects the skin between your fourth toe and fifth toe . Your skin may change color, crack, peel or flake.
- Moccasin-type infection: A moccasin-type infection affects the bottoms of your feet, your heels and the edges of your feet. Your feet may be sore for a few days. Then, the skin on the bottom of your feet thickens and cracks. In rare cases, your toenails may get infected. They can thicken, break into small pieces and fall out.
- Vesicular-type infection: A vesicular-type infection typically affects the bottom of your feet, but it may appear anywhere on them. A vesicular-type infection features bumps or fluid-filled blisters .
- Ulcerative infection: An ulcerative infection is the rarest type of athletes foot. Open sores often appear between your toes. Open sores may also appear on the bottom of your feet.
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How Can I Prevent Athlete’s Foot
Don’t go barefoot in public areas such as the pool or gym where many others are also barefoot. Cut your risk by keeping your feet clean, dry, and powdered with an over-the-counter antifungal foot powder. Other sensible steps:
- Wear synthetic socks, and shoes that breathe shoes that keep water out also keep sweat in.
- Never share shoes, socks, or towels.
- If you get athlete’s foot, wash your socks and towels in the hottest water possible.
- Be doubly cautious if you take an antibiotic. The medication can kill beneficial bacteria that normally control the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
- Take your shoes off when you go home and let your feet get exposed to the air.
Treatment Of Tinea Pedis
Tinea pedis may be treated with topical or systemic prescription therapies. Systemic oral medications carry the possibility of adverse reactions such as diarrhea or skin rash, making the relatively innocuous OTC products an attractive initial therapeutic choice.3,13-15 When recommending nonprescription products, pharmacists should stress the importance of adhering to the regimen, applying the substance as often as directed, and completing the full course of therapy as suggested on the label.
Nonprescription treatment of tinea pedis is categorized into three generations, with succeeding products presenting significant advantages.3,16 The first generation includes clotrimazole miconazole and tolnaftate . These are indicated for patients aged 2 years and above.3 The patient is directed to apply the product twice daily, and it must be applied for 4 weeks. The labels state that the products will cure tinea pedis but do not indicate any difference in efficacy for the three subtypes. These imidazole compounds are not fungicidal, as they only interrupt development of the membrane of growing fungal cells. Thus, they are only bacteriostatic, which accounts for their relatively long application time. Of the three compounds in this class, tolnaftate is the sole agent approved for preventing annual recurrences, but patients who experience yearly recurrences have not achieved the promised cure, making more effective products preferable.
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When To See Your Doctor
If you think you have athletes foot and it hasnt subsided after a week of home treatment, make an appointment to see your doctor. You may need prescription antifungals to get rid of the infection.
You should also make an appointment to see your doctor if you have athletes foot and diabetes. This is especially true if you have signs of a secondary bacterial infection, which can be more dangerous in those with diabetes due to their nerve damage.
Signs of infection include redness, pus, swelling, drainage, and fever. If you have diabetes, you may not feel pain in your feet due to nerve damage.
Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose athletes foot just by looking at it.
What Is The Best Cure For Athletes Foot
Over-the-counter and prescription antifungal creams, ointments, gels, sprays or powders effectively treat athletes foot. These products contain clotrimazole, miconazole, tolnaftate or terbinafine.
Some prescription antifungal medications are pills. These pills contain fluconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine.
Its important to finish your full course of medicine. If you stop too soon, your athletes foot may come back and be harder to treat.
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Home Remedies For Athletes Foot
Tea Tree Oil:
Touted for their strong antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, the essential oil obtained from tea tree leaves has been treating skin infections since ancient times. The presence of tannic acid in the oil not only gets rid of bacteria and germs but also acts as an astringent and helps dry out sweaty feet to prevent the growth and spreading of the infection. Also Read: Tea Tree Oil: 5 Health Benefits of This Incredible Essential Oil
Mix a few drops of tea tree oil combined with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil and apply it on the affected area 2-4 times a day to thwart off the infection.
Being a natural anti-fungal agent, they provide relief from many microbial strains that infect the skin and nails. This mixture of sodium and bicarbonate ions not only helps in absorbing unpleasant foot odours but also relieves the itchiness and burning sensation in between the toes or on the feet.
Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply in all over the infected skin to get rid of the foot infection.
Imbued with potent anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, the sea salt granules provide an effective remedy for athletes foot. It also holds high significance in healing cuts and sores by reducing inflammation and prevents smelly foot.
Soak your feet in a tub containing warm water infused with sea salt for 5-10 minutes to assist healing and prevent the spreading of the infection.
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Chronic Scaly Athletes Foot
Multiple fungi can cause moccasin-type athletes foot, resulting in dry, scaling skin on the sole of the foot. The scale is very fine and silvery, and the skin underneath is usually pink and tender.
Your hands may also be infected, and the usual pattern of infection is two feet and one hand, or one foot and two hands. Less commonly, this infection can spread to other areas of the body.
Chronic scaly athletes foot is associated with fungal nail infections, which may lead to recurrent skin infections.
Ways You Can Treat Athletes Foot Today
What can you do today to begin treating a foot fungus issue? Here are some practical ideas that you can implement immediately.
Change your shoes. Footwear contributes to the development of foot fungus by providing it the dark, moist environment it likes. Most shoes create heat around the foot because there is no real air flow that can reach your toes. This causes sweating and if there is a foot fungus around, its going to start a party with those conditions. Find a breathable shoe that keeps your foot cool, go barefoot if you can, and use orthotics that are specifically designed to remove moisture for best results.
Wear socks. Wearing shoes without socks causes the moisture from your sweat to remain around the foot for a longer period of time. This increases the risk of athletes foot forming. Throw on a pair of cotton socks and youll instantly reduce that risk.
Keep your toes dry. If wearing socks isnt keeping your toes dry enough, then consider placing some facial tissues between your toes. It feels a bit strange to do at first, but the moisture will be removed from the places on the foot where the fungus likes to grow and that lowers your risk of an infection. You will need to change out your tissues 4-6 times per day.
You can also check out these 10 natural remedies for Athletes Foot from Global Healing Center for more ideas.
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Get Rid Of Fungal Infection Between Toes
As you are probably aware prevention is the best solution, but there are situations when despite our positive practices we can witness the formation of athletes foot. The following is a list of natural homemade remedies that can help you get rid of athletes foot.
1. Take a bottle of organic tea tree essential oil and add about 40 drops of it in a foot bath and keep the feet in this solution for about ten minutes. After the time has passed, dry the feet thoroughly and add a small amount of this oil on the problematic area and rub this area.
Tea tree essential oil comes with effects that will eliminate the fungus even if the infection is severe and these effects will also prevent the spreading of this disease.
2. Create a solution that consists of warm water, half a cup of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of pink Himalayan salt. Soak your feet in this mixture because it represents a highly acidic environment and fungus cant thrive in such environment.
In addition, you can use a spray with this solution on your feet or soak a cloth in it and wipe the feet once you are done showering. In any case, remember to dry your feet completely when you are finished. It is a good idea to use a soaked cloth to wipe the interior of sandals and shoes and make the fungus stay away from these areas.
In addition, you can use garlic to your dishes or use garlic-based supplement. You will get similar effects, but it will take longer to notice the effects.