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Overview

Athlete's Foot: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Athlete’s foot is also known as tinea pedis in medical terms.

How is the treatment done?

Athlete's foot is a common but contagious fungal skin infection that affects the skin on the feet. It can also spread to the toenails and the hands. It is usually a red,scaly and raw-appearing eruption that may be occasionally weepy and oozing with small blisters. Athlete’s foot dermatitis can be caused by a number of factors like contact allergens, irritants, sweat and rash (intertrigo), poorly fitting shoes, psoriasis, and interdigital bacterial toe web infections, and fungal infections. But, mostly athlete’s foot is caused due to fungal infections. The group of fungi is known as dermatophytes which preferably thrive in closed, warm, moist environments and feed on keratin, a protein that is found in hair, nails, and skin.

Athlete’s foot show symptoms like itchy scaly red rash between the toes, small red blisters on the sole and ulcers or sores that leak fluid, smell bad, and look red. The skin continues to dry and scale on the soles and upsides of the toes.

Athlete’s foot should be treated as early as possible to prevent further damage of the skin. There are over the counter products and medicines which provide treatment to this infection. Usually, over-the-counter antifungal creams are sufficient for treating athlete's foot. Some common brands of these creams include clotrimazole (Lotrimin) and terbinafine (Lamasil). Also, oral antifungal medication can also be used. Also, maintaining personal hygiene is an important factor in the treatment of athlete’s disease.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Doctor’s can diagnose athlete’s foot by looking at the symptoms itself. The skin condition with rashes, scaling, et cetera are indicative of athlete’s foot. Doctor’s may use a skin sample for other tests. A skin lesion potassium hydroxide (KOH) exam is the most common test for athlete’s foot. A sample of the skin is scraped off the surface and looked under a microscope. The sample is placed in potassium hydroxide (KOH) which destroys normal cells and leaves the fungal cells untouched. The fungal cells along with the fungi are then clearly seen to the doctor under microscope.

Treatment of athlete’s foot is often done with over the counter (OTC) medications. If these topical antifungal medicines are not able to cure the infection, then topical or oral antifungal medicines are provided with a higher dosage. There are a number of over the counter medicines available for the treatment of athlete’s foot. Some of them are miconazole (Micatin, Zeasorb powder), econazole (Spectazole), clotrimazole (Lotrimin), terbinafine (Lamisil), naftifine (Naftin), butenafine (Mentax), ciclopirox (Loprox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), efinaconazole (Jublia), luliconazole (Luzu), sertaconazole (Ertaczo), sulconazole (Exelderm), and tolnaftate (Tinactin). More advanced or resistant cases of athlete's foot require oral antifungal pills like clotrimazole or miconazole, itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan), or prescription-strength terbinafine (Lamisil) etc. These topical steroid medications help to reduce painful inflammation and other bacterial infections.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If a person notices any signs and symptoms of redness, increased swelling, bleeding, or recurring infection, then he or she should see a health-care professional. People with diabetes, a compromised immune system and other associated health issues will face additional problems and greater pain because of which they should see a physician for treatment as early as possible. If the condition inhibits the normal daily activities, one should seek medical attention and take antibiotic or antifungal medicines.

Are there any side effects?

Athlete’s foot can be cured with definite home remedies and proper self care. If it does not bother the person and is only a cosmetic annoyance, then a visit to a medical professional may not be necessary. Also, if there are no signs of bleeding, oozing of fluids and pus and skin condition seems to get better with self care and home remedies, then doctor’s consultation is not needed.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The topical antifungal medicines that are used in the treatment of athlete’s foot disease have some side effects on the patients. Antifungal foot cream may cause burning, itching, stinging, swelling, irritation, redness, pimple-like bumps, tenderness, or flaking of the treated skin. Allergic reactions may also cause severe adverse effects like severe dizziness, trouble while breathing. The drug Tolnaftate also have some side effects of which are less severe ones include skin irritation and skin inflammation while the rare yet severe side effects include giant hives and life threating allergic reactions. The person’s hair may start showing discoloration with an abnormal texture and hair fall, skin may become dry etc. These are all the adverse effects of these topical medicines used for the treatment of athlete’s foot.

How long does it take to recover?

Athlete’s foot infections can be mild or severe but can be treated well with a positive outcome. However, sometimes fungal infections are difficult to eliminate even with antifungal medications. Long-term treatment with antifungal medications even after the rashes have disappeared is necessary to keep athlete’s foot infections from returning. The topical medicines or oral antifungal medicines should be taken for at least two to three weeks after cure to stop further recurrence. Also, other preventive measures like keeping the feet clean and dry, using socks, avoiding prolonged moist environments, avoiding contact where infection can be possible, etc. must be taken. People can also use antifungal powders on a daily basis before wearing shoes for long. This will help to keep the feet fresh and prevent fungal growth.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot can be mild or severe with symptoms varying from person to person. Recovery from the same can be within two to four weeks if the symptoms are mild and treatment is done as early as possible. Some symptoms are more advanced and do not go away for months even with treatment. They gradually start to wear off after six or seven months and recovery may take a year.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Treatment of athlete’s foot infection is a comparatively cheap treatment. The medications do not incur high expenditure. Over-the-counter creams, ointments, powders or sprays for athlete's foot cost from Rs. 300- Rs 800. The overall expenditure may be around Rs 300- Rs 2000 /- including doctor’s consultation fees and tests.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Usually, in most of the cases, the outcomes of the treatment is positive as well as permanent. But taking adequate self care is mandatory in order to prevent athlete’s foot infection from coming back. Thus, medicines which include creams and ointments must be applied for sometime even after the rashes disappear. People who have had the fungal infection once are at a greater risk to have it again. If proper care and preventive measures are not taken, then the fungi may again come back and affect the toes and soles.

Safety: Condition Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Low Price Range:

Rs 300- Rs 2000/-

Popular Health Tips

Ringworm - Decoding Common Myths!

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Ghaziabad
Ringworm - Decoding Common Myths!

Ringworm is something which is quite unpleasant to have, to say the very least. However, there are just so many myths about it and if a person is to avoid it, debunking of these myths is something which is quite critical!

It comes in all forms!

Ringworm can affect a person even when he or she thinks it is something else. As a matter of fact, a barber’s itch is not a form of lice, as many people believe it to be. In actuality, it is a beard ringworm! The effect of this sort of ringworm can be quite irritating as what happens is that there is swelling of the face and sometimes even the person’s neck. There are various parts of the body which can be affected by ringworm, apart from the face. These include the scalp, the feet and sometimes, even the groin area.

Anyone can get it!

Many people are of the opinion that it is only children who are at risk to get ringworm. While it is true that children seem to have the propensity to be diagnosed with it, it is something which can affect people across all age groups. As a result, it is very important for a person to be aware of ringworm and what it looks like regardless of his or her age.

It is not caused by worms!

No matter how misleading its name may be, there is actually no worm as such which leads to the problem known as ringworm. In fact, it is caused by dermatophytes, which are a sort of fungi. The reason why it is called ringworm is due to the effect it has on the skin; it red spots on the skin in the pattern of rings, usually. However, if a person happens to get ringworm of the scalp, then he or she may not develop the rings which are associated with ringworm. In its stead, he or she may see that the scalp is getting progressively flaky. A flaky scalp is often seen due to the effects of dandruff. In fact, both conditions are often confused.

Antibiotics don’t work!

When a person in a house has ringworm, it is generally thought that the problem is one which would go away as a result of following a course of treatment which involves some antibiotics. However, when it comes to ringworm, this is not the case. On account of the fact that it is a fungal infection, it is treated with anti-fungal medicines. Antibiotics kill bacteria. The fact that ringworm can be caught or given to a pet makes it something worth worrying about!

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2588 people found this helpful

Fungal Infection - 8 Things That Put You At Risk!

MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, MBBS
Dermatologist, Gurgaon
Fungal Infection - 8 Things That Put You At Risk!

Fungal skin diseases are brought about by various sorts of fungi and are the main reasons behind an irritated skin. Fungi attack and develop in dead keratin, a protein that makes up your skin, hair and nails. The various sorts of fungal diseases are caused by various groups of fungi. Some common fungal skin infections include ringworm, intertrigo, nail infections, Athlete’s foot, etc.

The likelihood of fungal infections increase in the following cases:

  1. If you are overweight
  2. Not drying your skin completely after a shower or wash
  3. Walking barefoot in shower and wet locations
  4. In case of a pregnancy
  5. If you have a weak immune system
  6. If you suffer from diabetes
  7. If you come into contact with a person or animal with fungal infections.
  8. Due to a recent course of antibiotics

Fungal rashes can at times be mistaken for other skin conditions, for example, psoriasis and eczema. Fungal skin diseases can bring about a number of skin rashes; some of them being red, textured and itchy. The organism can influence only one region, or a few zones of your body. In the event that you get a fungal disease of your scalp, you might lose some hair. There are steps which can be performed in order to protect yourself from getting a parasitic skin contamination:

  1. Dry your skin properly after a shower
  2. Try not to share hairbrushes, towels or combs since they might be carrying fungi
  3. In case a family member has been infected with scalp ringworm, hats, pillows, combs or scissors should be soaked using water and bleach
  4. Allow your shoes sufficient time to dry out by alternating them every two or three days
  5. In order to keep moisture away from the skin, wear loose clothes that are made of cotton or other breathable materials.
  6. Socks, bed linen and clothes should be washed regularly to prevent the growth of any fungi
  7. In communal and wet areas like saunas, swimming pools, showers, etc., wear clean plastic shoes or flip-flops.
  8. If you have diabetes, try to keep your blood sugar under control 

    If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

2451 people found this helpful

Vaginal Discharge and Foul Odour - Know the Reason Why?

MD, MBBS, Advanced Infertility
Gynaecologist, Jalandhar
Vaginal Discharge and Foul Odour - Know the Reason Why?

Vaginal discharge or odor is one of the most common conditions in women, yet the least talked about or taken help for. It is of vital importance that more and more women become aware of the condition and stop neglecting it. It is this neglect towards the condition that leads to some ancillary side effects and the increase in the complexity of the situation. Before things take a turn for the bad, it is imperative that you take help from concerned medical specialists and fight the condition during its initial days itself.

Why consult a specialist?
Treating the condition as soon as you notice it leads you to stem other diseases and infections that may be caused as a side effect. Also, vaginal discharge and foul odor can become not only the cause of discomfort for your day to day life, but also a great hindrance in your private life. Don’t let a curable condition hamper your personal life and most importantly your conjugal life. Visiting a doctor will help you get rid of both the excessive discharge and foul order. All you have to do is shred that mental neglect and confining attitude, step out of the home and make way to the doctor’s clinic.

What causes vaginal discharge?
Some of the most common causes of vaginal discharge include-

  1. Yeast Infection: Vaginal yeast infection is by far the most common cause of vaginal discharge. This relatively common condition is caused by fungus. This factor is characterised by itchiness, irritation and swelling.
  2. Urethritis: Another cause influencing excessing vaginal discharge includes Urethritis. This condition is influenced by the inflammation and irritation in the tube carrying urine, also referred to as the urethra.
  3. Gonorrhea: Gonorrhea is an alarming cause of vaginal discharge. This disease is sexually transmitted and affects warm and wet areas of the body.

Other causes of vaginal discharge include pregnancy, anxiety, cervix inflammation, cervical cancer or history of the same.
Causes of vaginal foul odor:
Some of the most common causes of vaginal odor are-

  1. Infection: Fungal infection is a major cause of vaginal odor.
  2. Sweat: Accumulation of sweat in wet and humid areas of the body leads to a certain amount of odor. The same goes for the vagina.
  3. Hormonal change: Change in hormone and discharges also lead to a foul-smelling vagina.
  4. Overused tampon: Using a tampon for a longer period than prescribed can also lead to accumulation of periodical blood and bacteria, leading to foul smell from the vagina.

Treating vaginal discharge and foul odor:
In case that vaginal discharge and a foul odor is becoming a major concern in your life and making things uncomfortable for you, it is the time that you make your way to a medical specialist. Other preventive practices often suggested by doctors include- wearing loose clothes, not wearing a tampon for a long time, losing weight, consulting a gynaecologist before starting a specific treatment or medication, etc.

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Myths and Facts About Ringworm

Myths and Facts About Ringworm

Ringworm is a skin condition that is caused by certain kinds of fungi. It causes severe itching and is mainly found around the scalp and feet. This contagious skin condition can also occur as athlete's foot. The symptoms include red, itchy and scaly patches on the affected areas. These patches may also develop blisters and develop crusted red edges, giving it the appearance of a ring. These patches are usually raised or defined. There are many myths and facts surrounding ringworm. Let us find out more about them.

  • Causes: It is a common myth that this skin condition is caused by a worm. This is not true. This fungal skin infection is caused by fungi known as dermatophytes, which can cause a crusty and red patch on the skin. Ringworm is actually the name given to a class of skin ailments and infections caused on the scalp, feet and other parts of the body.
  • Treatment: Another common myth is that this skin infection will clear up on its own. This is not true either. One will have to start treatment of the condition with the help of proper diagnosis, which can be done by a skin specialist or dermatologist. Not treating this condition on time with topical ointments can lead to a spread of the condition where it can affect other parts of the body. This condition can also lead to other symptoms like hair loss. It can also become a permanent issue if not treated on time and with proper medical intervention.
  • Over the Counter Medication: Many people think that using over the counter antifungal creams can help in treating this condition effectively. This is part myth and part fact. One will have to visit the doctor in case the condition does not clear up on time with the use of such topical ointments. The creams should typically be prescribed by a skin specialist after due diagnosis of the problem so that it suits your individual symptoms and condition. Further, these creams should usually be prescribed for a period of at least four to six weeks so that the treatment is effective.
  • Contagious: It is a myth that ringworm is not a contagious skin disease. The fact is that this skin ailment is a highly contagious one, that can happen even when there is contact with an infected animal. There are 50% chances of contracting this condition with mere touch that can happen with an infected animal or person.
  • Barber's Itch: This is not a form of lice, as many people believe. This is a form of ringworm that can be found in the beard with symptoms like itching as well as swelling.

If you wish to discuss about any specific skin problem, you can consult a specilized dermatologist and ask a free question.

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All About Athlete's Foot

MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Bangalore
All About Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot is a common form of a fungal infection. It most commonly occurs between the toes and is medically known as tinea pedis. The most common cause are sweaty feet which when enclosed inside a tight-fitting shoe for a prolong time leads to this condition. The most common symptom of athlete's foot is a scaly rash which causes itching and burning on your foot. It is a contagious disease and is most commonly spread through towels or clothing of people who have that disease. It can also be spread through the floors which people with athlete's foot walk on. Here is everything you need to know about athlete's foot.

Causes:

  1. Dirty wet socks inside covered shoes: As mentioned earlier, athlete's foot is a contagious disease which originates from wearing dirty wet socks inside covered shoes. 
  2. Infection: You may also get it by coming into contact with an infected person or their towels and/or clothing. Even walking on the same floor as they walk on may cause an infection.

Symptoms:

  1. Scaly red rash: There is usually a scaly red rash in between the toes when you have athlete's foot.
  2. Itching: There will be severe itching throughout the persistence of this disease especially when you first take off your shoes.
  3. Blisters and ulcers: This is not a very common symptom of athlete's foot. However, blisters and ulcers do occur on certain types of athlete's foot.
  4. Chronic dryness and scaling: This occurs on the soles of the feet and then slowly starts spreading upwards. These symptoms only occur on the type of athlete's foot known as moccasin. Due to this, athlete's foot is often mistaken for eczema and sometimes even dry skin.
  5. Spreading to the hand: Athlete's foot always starts in your legs and in some cases spread to your hands as well. The likelihood of athlete's foot spreading to your hand is increased if you scratch or pick at the areas of the foot infected.

Treatment:
There are three stages of treatment and these depend on the severity of the infection.

  1. Over-the-counter medicines: In the first stage of treatment, the doctor will simply prescribe over-the-counter antifungal ointments, sprays or powders.
  2. Prescription medications: In the next stage of treatment, prescription medications need to be applied to your feet.
  3. Antifungal pills: If nothing else works, only then should antifungal pills be prescribed.
3093 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I was infected like ring worm skin disease. I am taking medicine and ring worm sign is disappeared. Still body is getting reddish colour in the ring worm affected area. It comes and goes but spreading slowly .So what type of body powder should be used to protect ,itching ,burning and spreading?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Mumbai
You may be suffering from tinea cruris which is fungal infection of the inner thighs, groin and buttocks area. It is also called jock itch. It can be treated by taking four to six weeks of anti fungal treatment which includes tablets along with creams. Do not use soap over that area. Mistreatment with over the counter Steroid containing creams like fourderm, panderm, quadriderm, dermi5, betnovate, dermikem OC, candid b etc lead to repeated case of recurrence and also side effects due to application. Do not use steroid containing combination creams. Please call me or contact me using online consult option with photos for detailed prescription. Do not delay treatment as it may spread further on your body and also to other people living in the household.
1 person found this helpful

My wife had laparoscopic surgery on 19 January 17. Afterwards my wife effected from ringworm and itching with round shape marks near pussy area and thighs. Please suggests me medicines.

Diploma In Dermatology And Venerology And Leprosy (DDVL), MBBS
Dermatologist, Ranchi
Your wife is suffering from fungal infection which needs proper local and oral medicine for complete cure.. Send problem snaps for proper diagnosis and treatment..
9 people found this helpful

My wife had laparoscopic surgery on 19 January 17. Afterwards my wife effected from ringworm and itching with round shape marks. Please suggests me medicines.

MBBS, DVD
Dermatologist, Nagpur
They cannot be prescribed in this platform. Kindly visit your dermatologist. Use personal soap, towel and clothes. Avoid washing clothes together.
2 people found this helpful

Hi doctor, I am suffering from Ring worm past 1 and half years, tried all medications (ketoconazole, itraconazole, terbinafine) 250 mg in tablet form, soap and medicine as well, please suggest me some good cream to apply which can cure the ring worm permanently, thank you.

MBBS, DNB (Dermatology)
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Fungal infection tends to affect folds of the skin, moist areas like groins, armpits, mouth, genitals, under the breasts, webs between fingers and toes, etc. Our skin protects us from fungal/yeast attack, but any cut or break in the continuity of the skin can allow penetration of fungus. It gives rise to rash, eruptions, redness, burning, intolerable itching and abnormal discharges at times. Fungal infection tends to last for many years if not treated well. Apply Candid cream twice a day
3 people found this helpful

I am suffering from itching ringworms and spots and rashes since one months. What should I do I am in very very tension.

MBBS, DNB (Dermatology)
Dermatologist, Mumbai
1. Hygiene is important to keep fungal infection at bay. Take bath twice and change your inner garments too. 2. Keep your private area clean and dry. Fungal infection is contagious, one should avoid sharing towels, handkerchief, and inner garments with 3. Use pure cotton clothes as cotton tends to absorb moisture, keeping your body dry. Synthetic fibers tend to cause fungal infection. 4. Wear loose fitting clothes so that air circulation is proper in groin areas and axillae. 5.Never keep your skin wet for too long.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?