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How To Treat Bad Foot Fungus

Causes Of Athletes Foot

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There are a number of species of fungus that can cause athletes foot. The most common species can be found in warm or humid environments, which includes many places in Australia. Wearing poorly ventilated shoes and sweaty socks can allow the feet to become a breeding ground for the fungus.

The fungus can spread from person to person through walking barefoot on contaminated floors in places like shared showers, changing rooms, or swimming pools. The fungus can also survive in socks and clothing, or on used towels.

How Can I Treat Athlete’s Foot In Pregnancy

Treatment options during pregnancy may include dilute vinegar soaks or sprays and Lotrimin cream twice a day for two to three weeks to the soles. Antifungal pills are generally not recommended during pregnancy because of the potential side effects and possible fetal harm. Always check with your OB/GYN before using any medication or treatment during pregnancy.

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What Is Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is usually an infection of the toenail caused by opportunistic fungi, explains Oliva. It may cause your nail to turn a yellow or white hue, thicken, or crumble at the outer edges.

While toenail fungus can occur in people of all ages, board-certified dermatologist Marie Hayag, MD, says that its most common in older folks. As the nail ages, it is prone to becoming brittle and dry, which can result in cracks in the nails that make it susceptible to fungal infections, she explains, noting that all of the aforementioned causes can be even more of a concern as a result.

Meet the Expert

  • , MD, is a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Manhattan. She is an assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital and also teaches in the Dermatology Departments surgery clinic.
  • Francisco Oliva, DPM, is a Miami-based podiatrist who has been in private practice for 25+ years.

Nevertheless, because developing a toenail fungus can occur at all ages, we reveal the best ways to treat toenail fungus at home, below.

What Can I Do To Manage Athlete’s Foot

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There are a few things you can do to help treat athlete’s foot:

Avoid scratching affected areas. This may drive the infection deeper into the skin, as well as opening up new cracks, spreading the infection

Dry your feet after washing, especially between the toes

Choose socks and shoes that allow your feet to breathe

Change your socks daily

Use a clean towel every day and don’t share towels with others

As the fungus that causes this infection is quite contagious, these measures will probably not be enough to get rid of athlete’s foot on their own. You will also need to use a treatment designed to work on athlete’s foot. Consult your pharmacist who will able to help you choose a suitable product and advise you on how to use it.

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What Are The Symptoms

A nail with a fungal infection may:

  • Turn yellow or white.
  • Get thicker.
  • Crumble and split, and it may separate from the skin.

When you have a fungal nail infection, it can be uncomfortable or even painful to wear shoes, walk, or stand for a long time. The fungus could also spread to other nails or your skin. Over time, the infection can cause permanent damage to your nail or nail bed.

Are There Other Ways To Stop Foot Fungus

If your athletes foot signs and symptoms have eased, but youre still dealing with a toenail that looks or feels strange, then there is a good chance that youve developed a nail infection. Athletes foot that remains untreated can also become a dual nail-skin infection. When this happens, you can apply a product like ClearNail Pro+ with your athletes foot creams or prescriptions to receive a total treatment package.

Tea Tree Oil is another method that has become popular to stop a bad case of athletes foot. Many natural or homeopathic products that are designed to fight a foot fungus contain this ingredient. Before selecting a product with Tea Tree Oil, youll want to look at the actual concentration of the ingredient to make sure it is right for you.

  • A 10% application is considered to be as effective as an OTC medication to clear up surface-level athletes foot infections.
  • A 25% application is necessary for an athletes foot infection that is accompanied by a toenail or nail bed infection.
  • A 100% application is necessary for moderate-to-severe fungal infections of the foot.

Products like ClearNail Pro+ are designed to treat a nail infection only. You will want to use this product in conjunction with your preferred skin infection product to receive the best possible results.

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How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection

Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.

To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:

Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.

Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:

  • Amorolfine

  • Efinaconazole

  • Tavaborole

Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.

The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus:

  • Fluconazole

  • Itraconazole

  • Terbinafine

Signs And Symptoms Of Foot Fungus

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Itchy skin is an early sign of foot fungus, or scaly, peeling skin, or tiny blisters on the skin that will pop at times, says Sundling. The skin tends to break out in the shape of a moccasin, or the area of the foot that a moccasin would cover. You dont see foot fungus on the top of the foot very often. Its common to get a fungal infection between the toes as well, she adds.

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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

Question 4 Of : Will Foot Fungus Go Away On Its Own

  • 1It can, but the fungus is likely to stick around if untreated. In the vast majority, of cases, foot fungus will not go away if you leave it untreated. It may not necessarily get worse, but it is unlikely to get better.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source In most cases, youll be able to treat the fungus just fine at home, but it only goes away on its own roughly 17% of the time.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • Its possible for your fungus to spread or grow, so dont just leave it be and expect it to clear up! This is an easy problem to treat, but it can get out of hand fast if you wait too long.
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    Take It Easy At First

    Athletes foot can come on suddenly and be accompanied by oozing blisters and intermittent burning, says Frederick Hass, MD, a family medicine physician in San Rafael, California. When youre going through this acute stage, baby your foot. Keep it uncovered and at constant rest. Although the inflammation itself is not dangerous, it can lead to a bacterial infection if youre not careful.

    Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus

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    Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.

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    How To Treat Athletes Foot At Home

    Think you need to be an athlete to get athletes foot? Think again. This common fungal infection affects men, women, and children of all ages whether theyre athletes or not. Athletes foot is typically caused by fungi that thrive in a warm, moist environment. Most often, it starts between the toes and moves across your foot. This type of fungal infection is contagious, so when your child brings it home, be aware that it can spread across the family if you arent careful. While walking barefoot can spread the infection, it often hits those with impaired immune systems or diabetes the hardest. Thankfully, athletes foot is easily treatable with over-the-counter antifungal medications.

    Understanding the symptoms of athletes foot will help you catch it before it has a chance to spread to your whole family.

    Is Athlete’s Foot Serious

    Usually not. Most people treat their itchy toes before it spreads. Sometimes the infection spreads to the skin on other parts of the body. These are usually the moist and airless parts of the skin such as the groin. Fungi do not usually spread deeper than the skin. However, other germs may enter through the cracked skin of untreated athlete’s foot. This can occasionally cause more serious infections of the foot or leg.

    The infection sometimes spreads to a nail. This can be treated. However, it takes several weeks of antifungal tablets to clear the infection from a nail. Therefore, it is best to treat athlete’s foot as soon as symptoms start. See the separate leaflet called Fungal Nail Infections .

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    Your Options For Treating Toenail Fungus

    If you think you may have toenail fungus, you should see a podiatrist or dermatologist, who will send a specimen or a piece of your nail to a lab. Different types of fungus are treated slightly differently, so its important to know which type you have, says Sundling.

    Also, sometimes the root of the problem is not a fungus at all, but rather another condition, or some kind of trauma to the nail bed for instance, if you dropped something on your toe. There is no treatment for toenail trauma, but removing the nail may be an option if the nail is painful.

    If you do have a toenail fungus, your doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

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    The use of inappropriate shoes, continuous friction, and certain bad habits can cause foot fungus and calluses. These conditions can alter even the way you walk and affect your lower back.

    Calluses are thick skin layers that can become flaky. They usually form in the heels and the front of the feet due to pressure or friction by the use of inappropriate footwear. Theyre an aesthetic problem for many people.

    Similarly, foot fungus is a type of infection that, in addition to causing a bad odor, can alter nail appearance. Sometimes, they may discolor and, in others, they may become yellowish, irregular, and fragile. You need to go to a dermatologist in order to properly treat this condition.

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    Home Remedies For Foot Fungus

    There are many home remedies, both proven and unproven, for athletes foot, toenail fungus, and other foot problems. Soaking the foot in a diluted vinegar or bleach solution can help cure athletes foot. Use baking soda or cornstarch and sprinkle it on the feet to keep them dry or remove odor.

    Anti-fungal products can do wonders for toenail fungus. Olive leaf extract is not only anti-fungal but also antibacterial. Orange oil, another anti-fungal ingredient, can be applied to the affected nails to cure toenail fungus. Lavender or oregano oil can also be used.

    To treat ingrown toenails at home that are not infected or just barely affected, soak the foot in warm water and Epsom salts, wedge cotton or something else soft underneath the nail to prop it up, and add antibacterial cream.

    How Do You Know If You Have Athlete’s Foot

    If you have athletes foot, the area between the second-to-last and the pinkie toe the most commonly affected area feels itchy. The fungus makes your skin turn red, dried, and cracked. Your skin also may get thicker and turn white as well as being flaky and swollen. Small blisters may form on your foot, or you may have sores that leak fluid and have a bad smell.

    Left untreated, athletes foot can affect the toenails which may thicken, become discolored or crumble and even spread to your hands or groin. Additionally, athletes foot can make you more vulnerable to bacterial infections, such as cellulitis.

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    Prevent Bad Toenail Fungus:

    It is essential that you start to control your sweating, correct your footwear , use anti-sweat powders and use lysol to spray down your old shoes.


    • Control your sweating! People at risk for this are labor workers, people on their feet for a long time and athletes.
    • It is not always possible to wear shoes that air out your feet.
    • So get your hands on an anti-sweat powder like gold bond or ask your pharmacist what they have available in the local drug store.
    • If you can wear sandals or a non-occlusive shoe or sock. Wear that too!


    • Wearing socks if you were not previously using them can be fantastic.
    • The best socks for summer are synthetic socks and the best socks for winter may be wool socks, these decrease friction and prevent formation.
    • Combine this method with the vasoline or petroleum jelly method above to greatly decrease friction.
    • Use a Brannock device to measure your proper shoe size.
    • Most people increase their foot size as they get old.
    • Use this the metal foot measuring device available at running shoe stores and the podiatrists office to get sized.

    Throw Out Old Shoes:

    • Dont go crazy and throw out all shoes, but if they are really and smell maybe its time to get a nice new pair.
    • If you decide to keep the shoes, at least use Lysol to spray them down heavily at the very least.
    • Get gold bond or other anti-sweat foot gear.
    • There are many other different and good brands.


    How To Get Rid Of Athlete’s Foot

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    There are numerous options for treating athlete’s foot. If the infection is mild , pay special attention to foot hygiene. Wash your feet regularly, and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Apply an antifungal cream to the affected area, and dust your socks and shoes with antifungal powder. When shopping for over-the-counter remedies for athlete’s foot, look for products that contain clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, naftifine, oxiconazole, sulconazole, terbinafine, or terconazole.

    Consult a foot care specialist if you see no improvement after two weeks of using over-the-counter remedies, if the infection is severe , or if you have diabetes or some other circulatory problem.

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    How To Treat Your Athlete’s Foot

    You can do several things at home to treat your athletes foot.

    • The first thing you should keep in mind is that your feet need to be clean and dry.
    • Avoid having moist or wet feet. Change your socks if they become moist or sweaty during the day.
    • Wearing socks that pull moisture away from the skin can also keep your feet dry.
    • Take off your shoes and remove the insoles of your shoes to allow them to dry overnight.
    • Use a talcum or medicated powder on the inside of your shoes to get rid of moisture.
    • If possible, trade off pairs of shoes from day to day so your shoes have plenty of time to dry completely.
    • To get rid of your infection, use an over-the-counter medication daily. Spread a small amount over the bottom of your foot at least once every day.

    Potential Risks And Complications

    If untreated, athletes foot can result in a bacterial infection if skin is broken. This can happen due to scratching or when blisters pop or ulcers become infected. Any type of infection can be very serious and requires prompt treatment.

    Athletes foot is also very contagious. It can easily spread to your hands, especially if youre scratching at the affected area. This fungus can also infect the area under your nails, which can be more difficult to treat, or the groin area.

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