Athlete’s foot, which can also be called tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the feet caused by Trichophyton and other fungi. It causes scaly, flaky patches on the skin that are often red, sore and unbearably itchy, giving people the incentive to find a quick and effective athlete’s foot treatment.
The condition gets its name from the way the fungi transfer from person to person in changing room environments, where sportsmen and women walk around barefoot in warm, damp conditions. This is then exacerbated by the fact that active people tend to wear tight fitting trainers of synthetic material, which keep their feet warm and moist, providing ideal conditions for the fungal spores and hyphae to thrive. Not surprisingly, teenagers and young adults are the most likely to suffer from athlete’s foot and are the biggest users of athlete’s foot treatments.
This article on athlete's foot treatment is written by Kathryn Senior, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.
Practical athlete’s foot treatment
The first stage of athlete’s foot treatment is to change the conditions in and around your feet, to make the environment less friendly to the fungi that cause the infection. There are several steps you can take to achieve this, including:
- Regular washing and thorough drying of the feet
- Choosing cotton socks and leather shoes
- Wearing sandals in summer or going barefoot outdoors
- Wearing flip flops in changing areas and showers
- Not sharing towels
Since the fungi prefer warm, damp conditions, these strategies work well as an athlete’s foot treatment as they make it more difficult for the fungi to survive.
Medical athlete’s foot treatment
These simple can work well but often don’t clear the problem up completely. The next stage of athlete’s foot treatment is to kill the remaining fungi that have probably penetrated the skin, so are more difficult to get rid of. You should not need to visit your doctor for this, as there are many effective athlete’s foot treatments available over the counter at your local pharmacist.
These come in three forms – spray, cream and powder – each containing anti-fungal medicines. The most common are Miconazola (found in Daktarin) Tolnaftate (found in Mycil) and Terbinafine (found in Lamisil).