Athlete’s foot is one of the easiest foot conditions to treat—or at least, it’s supposed to be. Yet for many people, athlete’s foot can linger and linger, or keep coming back time and time again. The over-the-counter creams and sprays don’t seem to work—or maybe they do for a little while, but the athlete’s foot comes right back as soon as you stop.
If you’ve been using an over-the-counter antifungal and still not getting the results you want, here are some reasons why your athlete’s foot might be lingering.
Possibility No. 1: The treatment plan wasn’t completed. If the directions say to apply a cream twice per day, don’t think you can get away with once. And if they say the treatment course should run for four weeks, go for four weeks—even if symptoms clear up earlier than that. Fungi could still be living on your skin, and if you stop treatment too soon, they’ll only be too happy to start causing problems again.
Possibility No. 2: Your feet aren’t staying clean and dry. The fungi that cause athlete’s foot love to be hot and wet. Here are some tips to make your feet a more hostile environment for that fungi:
- Wash your feet every day.
- Dry your feet thoroughly, including between the toes, after you wash them.
- Change socks whenever they get damp—at least once per day, more often if necessary.
- Rotate between shoes so that they get 24 hours to dry out between daily uses.
- Use antifungal powders or sprays inside your shoes every day.
Possibility No. 3: You keep re-exposing yourself to the fungus. Athlete’s foot can spread easily through both direct and indirect contact, along shared surfaces such as pool decks, bathroom floors, towels, or shoes. The same fungi also cause problems like fungal toenails, ringworm, and jock itch, so they can spread from one part of your body to another. Avoid walking barefoot in public spaces or sharing mats, linens, clothes, towels, or other items with others with fungal infections.
Possibility No. 4: You’ve got an especially tough case—or something else entirely. In rare cases, a particularly stubborn case of athlete’s foot may require prescription-strength antifungal medication to be cleared. There is also a possibility that what you have isn’t athlete’s foot at all, but a separate skin condition that can produce similar symptoms.
If your attempts at home care aren’t working, make a call to the team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. We’ll be able to provide a full diagnosis and prescribe whatever treatments will be necessary to finally eradicate your troublesome skin condition for good. Request an appointment online, or give us a call at (480) 963-9000.