Athlete's Foot

All about foot ringworm, and how to treat it quickly and easily 

Ringworm treatment

Cures and remedies

The symptoms of ringworm

What is ringworm

Medications for treating ringworm

Pictures of ringworm

Athlete's foot

Athlete’s foot is the most common of the fungal infections and is often persistent, and can be difficult to treat. The infection tends to be more common in adolescents and young adults. The fungus is usually caught through direct contact or from walking barefoot in warm, humid, communal areas, such as swimming pools and changing rooms. Moisture contributes significantly to the development of this problem. Some experts believe bacteria and moisture cause most of the problem and that the fungus is responsible only for keeping things going.

What is athlete’s foot

It’s a common form of ringworm, know medically as tinea pedis, which causes cracking and itching between the toes. It is highly contagious and once an outbreak starts in a school or in the home it is very hard to eradicate it. When many people share the same locker room or shower facilities, exposure to the fungus can be impossible to prevent.

Recognizing the symptoms

Athlete’s foot symptoms can be established by examining the area around the toes. The skin between the toes, often the little toe and its neighbour is soft, white and sodden. You are tempted to pick the dead-looking skin off because of itching and this reveals sore red skin underneath. If any of these conditions or the ones below are present, then you have athlete’s foot.

  • Redness and scaling between the toes
  • Itching
  • Cracked, sore and itchy areas of skin on the bottom of the foot
  • Flaking, white, soggy skin
  • Puss filled blisters
  • If any of these symptoms are noticed, the foot should be washed and dried thoroughly and the proper treatment applied.

Treatment

There are many topical anti-fungal preparations available for treating this type of infection. They are available in cream, solution, and powder and can be purchased over the counter. It’s important to note if using any of these over the counter creams, clean and dry the foot well before Appling the cream. In general this type of fungus needs moist, undisturbed areas to grow and will often disappear in time with regular cleansing, drying, and application of a powder to keep the area dry.

In more resistant cases or if no improvement shows after a week, you will need a prescription for a stronger cream. In this case your doctor may prescribe a topical cream containing anti-fungal drugs, such as miconazole or terbinafine. These creams may cause some local irritation, however if the infected area has become inflamed or is widespread, an oral anti-fungal drug containing itraconazole may be necessary. Antifungal drugs have a range of possible side-effects: ask your doctor to explain these to you.

Home tips

There are many other ways to cure athlete’s foot, without resorting to drugs.

  • Wash the space between your toes twice a day with soap, water, and a cloth. Dry the whole area carefully, especially between the toes with a towel.
  • Make sure socks are changed regularly, and kept clean.
  • Use shoes that allow evaporation of moisture, such as sandals.
  • Avoid shoes with plastic linings.
  • Dust your socks and shoes with anti-fungal powder each morning
  • Sprinkle anti-fungal power between your toes twice a day
  • Change shoes every other day to allow them to dry out is also helpful.

Home remedies

A cream prepared from marigold may relieve the itching.

Another remedy you can apply each day is a mixture prepared from marigold ointment and tea tree oil.

Garlic juice is a powerful anti-fungal agent, and has proved very effective in the past for clearing athlete’s foot.

There are also many natural cures that prove very effective in clearing athlete's foot