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23 May 2005

Athlete's foot - treatment and prevention

Anyone's who has suffered the burning and itching of athlete's foot, will be hesitant to repeat the experience. Here's how to treat and prevent it.

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Anyone's who has suffered the burning and itching of athlete's foot, will be hesitant to repeat the experience. Here's how to treat and prevent it.

Step 1. Keep your skin clean and dry at all times. Wash thoroughly with soap and water and dry the area carefully and completely. Drying your feet with a hairdryer will dry them off more effectively than when you just towel dry them. It is important to dry your feet properly in between your toes.

Step 2. Wear clean socks and change socks and shoes as often as necessary to keep the feet dry. Take off sports shoes and socks after exercising – don't sit around wearing them for hours afterwards, as it could create ideal circumstances for fungal infections in which to thrive. The worst thing to do is to wear a pair of sports shoes again before they have dried out properly from the last bout of exercise.

Step 3.
If you have itching and burning on your feet, you may have athlete's foot. The affected area may appear red and scaly. This is very uncomfortable, but fortunately not very difficult to treat. However, it can easily recur, so it's probably best to take steps to prevent this from happening.

Step 4. Topical over-the-counter antifungal powders or creams, such as those that contain miconazole or clotrimazole, may be used to control the infection. Infections can recur, so be on the lookout for symptoms. It is important to follow instructions on the leaflets carefully.

Step 5. If the infection persists, your health care provider may give you oral antifungal medications. Other topical antifungal medications, such as ketoconazole or terbafine, may be needed. Antibiotics may be needed to treat secondary bacterial infections.

 
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