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Athlete’s foot is a fungus that, despite its name, really has nothing to do with being an athlete. While a hot, damp athletic locker room IS the perfect environment for this fungus, it doesn’t discriminate and can thrive anywhere with the right conditions. Unfortunately, when you have athlete’s foot on your skin, it becomes itchy, dry, and sometimes raw.
Luckily, there are many options for athlete’s foot treatment you can use.
Medication – You have probably seen all the commercials that make bold promises. Sure, many of these promises have yet to be delivered, but when it comes to treating athlete’s foot, the commercials are pretty accurate. The over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, if used as prescribed, can get your feet back in great shape. Creams are generally the best option.
Alternative Treatments – While OTC options are effective, you may choose not to use them. You can generally get rid of athlete’s foot by soaking your feet in a vinegar/water solution for about half an hour. Mix about 2 quarts of water with one cup of vinegar for your foot bath.
Saltwater can treat the fungus, too. Add one teaspoon of salt per cup of water to a large basin. Allow your feet to soak for 10 minutes.
Iodine – If there are cracks on your feet, a bacterial infection may have already set in. Make a mixture of warm water and iodine to soak your feet in. Soak daily for 20 to 30 minutes to get rid of or prevent any infections on your feet.
Shoes – Do your best to keep your shoes clean. Kill any fungus that may be living in them with a powder made for fighting fungus or an antibacterial or anti-fungal spray.
Environment – Take your feet out of the dark, damp, fungus-loving environment as often as you can. You can do this by taking off your socks and shoes whenever you get the chance.
A Podiatrist’s Attention – If you find the symptoms getting worse or not improving after a couple weeks, it is likely that you need professional care. Other signs you should watch for are pus, oozing, or extreme cracking as these are all signs that you need the attention of a podiatrist right away.
Most cases of athlete’s foot can be treated with persistence and time. Just because symptoms go away, doesn’t mean the fungus is gone. Continue treatment for six weeks to completely eliminate the problem.