Athlete's Foot - Treatment Overview
infections, or blisters, usually appear on
the foot instep but can also develop between the toes, on the sole of the foot,
on the top of the foot, or on the heel. This type of fungal infection may be
accompanied by a bacterial infection. This is the least common type of
Treatment of vesicular infections may be done at your
doctor's office or at home.
- Your doctor may remove the tops of the
blisters and soak your foot until the blister area is dried
- You can dry out the blisters at home by soaking your foot in
Burow's solution several times a day for 3 or more
days until the blister area is dried out. After the area is dried out, use a
topical antifungal cream as directed. You can also apply compresses using
- If you also have a bacterial infection, you will
most likely need an oral
- If you have a severe
infection, your doctor may prescribe
corticosteroid pills. After improvement,
corticosteroid pills are gradually stopped, and antifungal creams and/or pills
are used until the infection is gone.
Even when treated, athlete's foot often returns.
This is likely to happen if:
- You don't take preventive measures and are
again exposed to the fungi that cause athlete's foot.
- You don't use
antifungal medicine for the specified length of time and the fungi are not
- The fungi are not completely killed even after
the full course of medicine.
You can prevent athlete's foot by:
- Keeping your feet clean and dry.
- Dry between your toes after swimming or
- Wear shoes or sandals that allow your feet to
- When indoors, wear socks without shoes.
socks to absorb sweat. Change your socks twice a day.
- Use talcum or
antifungal powder on your feet.
- Allow your shoes to air for at
least 24 hours before you wear them again.
- Wearing shower sandals in public pools and
What to think about
You may choose not to treat
athlete's foot if your symptoms don't bother you and you have no health
problems that increase your chance of severe foot infection, such as
diabetes. But untreated athlete's foot that causes
skin blisters or cracks can lead to severe bacterial infection. Also, if you
don't treat athlete's foot, you can spread it to other people.
Severe infections that appear suddenly (acute) usually respond well to
treatment. Long-lasting (chronic) infections can be more difficult to
Toenail infections (onychomycosis) that can develop with
athlete's foot tend to be more difficult to cure than fungal skin infections.
For more information, see the topic
Fungal Nail Infections.