Also known as tinea pedis, athlete's foot is a type of rash that appears between a person's toes and is caused by fungus. Skin affected by this rash will be scaly, cracked, blistered, dry, red, and/or itchy. This contagious fungus particularly thrives on the floors of showers and in locker rooms. Luckily, athlete's foot is rarely serious, but many patients still wonder "does athlete's foot ever go away". You should treat it so it won't spread to other areas of your body or to other people. It can usually be treated with creams, liquids, or sprays which can be bought at the pharmacy.
Does Athletes Foot Ever Go Away?
Without any treatment, athlete's foot will not go away by itself. You cannot treat fungal infection with just soap. If, however, you actively treat it using antifungal lotions or creams, the fungal infection and athlete's foot will disappear.
It is important to treat athlete's foot since the fungus can get worse over time and eventually spread to other areas of the body, including the toenails. If it gets severe, the skin that is damaged by the fungus may develop a bacterial infection.
You should notice athlete's foot going away within five or seven days by using an over-the-counter antifungal product. If your symptoms don't improve, contact your doctor. Also visit your doctor if your skin is cracked with pain or bleeding.
How to Treat Athlete's Foot
Since you need to start a treatment to get a positive answer to "does athletes foot ever go away", you will want to know some of the best treatment options.
1. Rub on Cornstarch
Cornstarch can help by absorbing moisture. Put a half cup of cornstarch on an oven-safe plate and put it in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes until it becomes light brownish. An alternative method is to put some cornstarch in a small cooking pot and briefly place it on the stovetop until it slightly turns brown, but be careful and make sure that it doesn't burn. After browning your cornstarch, rub it on your toes and feet. Wait for five to ten minutes and use a clean towel to wipe it away.
2. Soak in Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent way of killing fungus and bacteria. Soaking your feet in a hydrogen peroxide solution can help fight the fungus that causes athlete's foot. However, this process may sting, particularly if your skin is cracked. Just mix a pint of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of lukewarm water. Soak your feet in this mixture in the morning and night for 20 to 30 minutes. Never use more concentrated hydrogen peroxide since it can damage your skin.
3. Keep Good Hygiene
To get a positive answer to "does athletes foot ever go away", you also need to practice good hygiene, including drying your feet thoroughly after washing them. Wash your feet twice a day using water and soap. Be sure to clean the entire feet, including the areas between your toes. Afterwards, dry your feet with a clean towel since moisture encourages fungal growth. Wash the towel in extra-hot water between uses. If your feet are still damp, finish the drying process with a hairdryer.
4. Rinse with Lemon Water
Use a lemon water rinse to get rid of the unpleasant smell associated with athlete's foot. Just mix half cup of lemon juice in ten cups of water, and soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes one or two times every day.
5. Try Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known to destroy fungus in areas that are heavily infested, and prevent the fungus from spreading to new areas. Make a foot bath with a mixture of a big bowl of water and 40 drops organic tea tree oil. Soak your feet for ten minutes and dry your feet thoroughly. Finally, massage several drops of the oil right onto the affected skin.
6. Keep Your Feet Dry
Since fungus breeds in heat and moisture, you should keep your feet as dry as possible. Put a bit of antifungal powder on the feet before you put on socks. Bring extra socks with you so you can change them when they get sweaty. People with athlete's foot should change their socks at least once a day. In acute cases, expose your feet in the air as much as possible with open-toed shoes.
7. Use Medication
You can find a range of over-the-counter antifungal medications for athlete's foot, including Tinactin (tolnaftate), Lotrimin Ultra (butenafine), Lotrimin AF (clotrimazole), Lamisil AT (terbinafine), and Desenex (miconazole). Your doctor may also prescribe stronger medications for the condition, including stronger versions of miconazole or clotrimazole. Oral antifungal medications like prescription-strength Lamisil, Diflucan (fluconazole), or Sporanox (itraconazole) can also be prescribed. Your doctor may suggest topical steroid medications as a way to reduce pain and inflammation, or oral antibiotics if skin blisters lead to bacterial infections.
Other Patients' Experiences About Athlete's Foot
"I've had athlete's foot on several body parts for a while. I tried all the over-the-counter treatments and they only gave me temporary relief, leaving me wondering 'does athletes foot ever go away'. Finally, I tried diluted eucalyptus oil on the infection. It cleared the infection in just two weeks and I kept using the treatment for another three weeks and the symptoms haven't come back!"
"I got rid of my athlete's foot with white vinegar. I filled a plastic bag with it and put my foot inside the bag for an hour. I got incredible relief for my athlete's foot and fungal infection in the nail bed. I also put corn starch or baby powder in my socks before putting them on to reduce moisture."
"I've tried a few athlete's foot medications, but only got significant relief with Tinactin and those that have clomethiazole. One night, I didn't have Tinactin so I tried my hand sanitizer and it actually helped. I'm not sure if that should be used frequently, but it worked temporarily."