Athlete's Foot - Treatment

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What was the cure for your athlete's foot?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black square:

What is the treatment for athlete's foot?

The treatment of athlete's foot can be divided into two parts. The first, and most important part, is to make the infected area less suitable for the athlete's foot fungus to grow. This means keeping the area clean and dry.

Buy shoes that are leather or another breathable material. Occlusive shoe materials, such as vinyl, cause the feet to remain moist, providing an excellent area for the fungus to breed. Likewise, absorbent socks like cotton that wick water away from your feet may help.

Powders, especially medicated powders (such as with miconazole [Lotrimin] or tolnaftate [Tinactin]), can help keep your feet dry. Finally, your feet can be soaked in a drying solution of aluminum acetate (Burow's solution or Domeboro solution). A homemade remedy of dilute white vinegar soaks using one part vinegar and roughly four parts water, once or twice a day as 10-minute foot soaks may aid in treatment.

The second part of treatment is the use of antifungal creams and washes. Many medications are available, including miconazole, econazole nitrate (Spectazole), clotrimazole (Lotrimin), terbinafine (Lamisil) sprays and creams, and ketoconazole shampoo and cream (Nizoral), etc. Ask your health-care professional or pharmacist for a recommendation. Treatment for athlete's foot should generally be continued for four weeks or at least one week after all of the skin symptoms have cleared.

More advanced or resistant cases of athlete's foot may require a two- to three-week course of an oral (pill) antifungal like terbinafine (Lamisil), itraconazole (Sporanox), or fluconazole (Diflucan). Laboratory blood tests to make sure there is no liver disease may be required before taking these pills.

  • Terbinafine: 250 mg once a day for two weeks
  • Itraconazole: 100 mg twice a day for two weeks
  • Fluconazole: 100 mg once weekly for two to three weeks

Topical corticosteroid creams can act as a fertilizer for fungus and may actually worsen fungal skin infections. These topical steroid medications have no role in treating fungal foot infections.

If the fungal infection has spread to the toenails, the nails must also be treated to avoid reinfection of the feet. Often, the nails are initially ignored only to find the athlete's foot keeps recurring. It is important to treat all the visible fungus at the same time. Effective nail fungus treatment may be more intensive and require prolonged courses (three to four months) of oral antifungal medications.

Return to Athlete's Foot

See what others are saying

Comment from: itchy feet, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

Everyone in my family seems to be vulnerable to fungal infections of various kinds. I have had athlete's foot almost continuously since high school or younger (I'm 48 now.) Chlorine seems to knock it down pretty well (though I don't think it's ever really cured). I discovered this when I would super chlorinate (shock) my swimming pool with a product called Burn Out, which has to be pre-dissolved in a bucket of water. It has all kinds of warnings about not getting it on your skin, but some is bound to spill. I discovered by accident that it beat down the fungus. After that, I started deliberately dipping my feet in the bucket and then rinsing it off after 30-60 seconds. I have also used a solution of about one part household bleach to two parts water. It's strong stuff! But I've never been burned, and it does manage the fungus.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Elizabeth, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I had an awful case of moccasin athlete's foot on one foot that had spread to my toe nails. I tried all the OTC creams and could not get rid of it. I thought I would eventually have to take the oral medication, but the side effects sounded awful. I read an article on a "natural health" website that said to soak in apple cider vinegar. I bought a 99 cent bottle of apple cider vinegar and swabbed my foot and nails with a paper towel dipped in the vinegar morning and night. I also used the Vicks as it was very soothing. It took a year, but the fungus is gone, even in the nails. This really works! Good luck!

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!