By: Katie Dudzinski, PharmD
Athlete’s foot is a common skin inflammation that affects the webs of the toes and soles of the feet. It comes from a fungus that infects hot, sweaty feet and causes a scaly and itchy red rash. Athlete’s foot can be contracted in several ways such as wearing tight shoes or walking barefoot. Although athlete’s foot can be uncomfortable, it can easily be prevented and treated. The following are some tips to avoid getting the infection.
- Wear shower shoes or sandals when walking around pools, gyms, locker areas and hotel rooms
- Do not share mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes or shoes with someone who has athlete’s foot
- Wash your feet every day and completely dry them after washing
- Wear socks with natural fibers or fabrics that dry quickly and wick away moisture from the skin
- Change your socks every day and more often if socks get wet
- Alternate the shoes you wear each day so they have a chance to dry
If you’ve contracted athlete’s foot, there are several ways to treat the infection. If it’s keeping your feet moist, use Lotrimin (miconazole) or Tinactin (tolfinate) powders three times per day for four weeks and at least one week after the symptoms have cleared.
If your infection keeps your feet dry, use Spectazole (econazole), Lotrimin (clotrimazole) or Lamisil (termbinafine) cream three times a day for four weeks and for one week after your symptoms have cleared.
You may also want to consider doing diluted vinegar soaks (one part white vinegar to four parts water) or Clorox soaks (1/4 cup Clorox in one bathtub of water) to remove the infection from underneath the nails. Over-the-counter medications like diphenhydramine can help manage itching, but can cause drowsiness.
Consult with your local Meijer pharmacist if you have additional questions.