Updated: October 14, 2016

Athletes Foot Symptoms:

What is athlete's foot? What are the symptoms of athlete's foot? Let's start with the basic of just what athlete's foot is and what causes it. If you have athlete's foot then you have a skin infection that is caused by fungus. Trichophyton, the fungus that causes Athlete's Foot, arises when your feet stay warm, moist and irritated. The athlete's foot fungus can be spread from person to person by contact with socks, clothes, or floors in which the infected person has either walked on or worn. Almost 70% of the population will experience athlete's foot at some point in their lives. The reason it's called "athlete's foot" is because often sports athletes are the ones who get it from constantly being in sweaty socks or taking showers in damp, moist areas of locker rooms used by other athletes. Wearing flip flops in the shower or removing wet socks and clothing after practice can help eliminate the start of this frustrating skin disorder.
athletes foot

How do you know that you have athlete's foot and not some other skin infection? The symptoms of athlete's foot are: dry, cracked skin, that results in severe itching and burning and the area remains wet and oozy. The fungus is found between toes and on the bottom of feet. Since athlete's foot is highly contagious, getting it under control is key because it can spread really fast. If you leave it untreated, athlete's foot can spread to other parts of your body, potentially cause jock itch, ruin the nail plates of your toenails, and keep coming back. Severe cases can be very painful and include bleeding. When your skin is effected by the fungus, there is a greater chance that bacteria can enter your body through the skin and cause a "bad smell" per skin experts. People with diabetes or chronic leg swelling are susceptible to cellulitis (infection of the skin). Some jobs are definitely at higher risk of getting something like athlete's foot and include carwash employees, professional sports athlete's, pool lifeguards, etc. If you work in an area with moist conditions and your shoes or socks are constantly damp, make sure you do all you can to change socks a few time a day or medicate your feet daily to help prevent athlete's foot from starting.

Athlete Foots Cure/Medication:

How do you get rid of athlete's foot? The good thing is that there are numerous medications and treatments available that will help cure your athlete's foot and the symptoms that go with it. Athlete's foot medications come in powders, creams, or sprays. Keep in mind that your choice in shoes and socks will have a direct impact on beating this skin fungus. Buy shoes made of leather or other breathable materials and stay away from vinyl shoes. Keep your feet clean and dry and try to wear cotton socks whenever possible. In terms of over the counter medicines, the top brands for treating athlete's foot are Lamisil, Lotrimin, Loprox cream, Nizoral, and Tinactin. Some other remedies for athlete's foot include Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Oil) or crocodile oil in a topical application on the affected area. Since athlete's foot is very contagious we highly recommend staying away from home remedies unless they have been proven to work. You can browse the top selling athlete's foot medications online here.

Tinactin vs Lamisil vs Lotrimin:

Lamisil spray is about $10 per container and works well on eliminating athlete's foot between your toes but the effectiveness on the bottom or sides of your feet is not known. Lotrimin Ultra Antifungal Athlete's Foot Cream is $17 for the tube and cures most athlete's foot between the toes relieving itching and burning sensations. Lotrimin, just like Lamisil is not able to help with athlete's foot on the bottom or sides of feet. One of the active ingredients in Lotrimin cream is the antifungal Butenafine Hydrochloride Cream (1%). Desenex and Zeasorb are 2 powders that do an excellent job on curing all athlete's foot symptoms and they are available at your local drugstore. Many reviews we read online were favorable towards both athlete's foot powders and less positive towards the cream and sprays. Our overall winner is the Tinactin line of products that are "tough actin" as the commercials say. The Tinactin Athlete's Foot Cream, Tinactin Liquid Spray, and Tinactin Super Absorbent Powder all get praise from consumers for wiping out athlete's foot. We suggest visiting Tinactin.com to read up on each treatment product and find out which one is best for you.

Athlete's Foot Prevention:

There are lots of ways to help prevent athlete's foot from ever creaping up on your in the first place. We have tried to list the most common preventive measure below.
  • Wash feet daily
  • Dry feet thoroughly (especially between toes)
  • Avoid tight shoes (especially during the summer months)
  • Wear sandals during warm weather
  • Wear cotton socks (change often when damp)
  • Stay away from socks made of synthetic material
  • Go barefoot outdoors when possible
  • Wear flip flops in public bathing or showering areas
  • Use a good quality foot powder
  • Always wear socks when wearing tennis shoes
  • Wash towels, contaminated floors, and shower stalls well with hot soapy water if anyone in the family has athlete's foot