Athlete's Foot Treatment: Sprays, Creams or Powders?

In order to find the most appropriate athlete’s foot treatment, it is important to understand what athlete’s foot is and what methods of treatment are available. Medically, athlete’s foot is known as tinea pedis, a fungal infection that occurs on the bottom of the feet. Excessive moisture and sweating creates a warm, moist environment in which fungi can thrive and reproduce. Because this type of infection was originally seen more commonly in athletes, it derived the term “athlete’s foot.” Now, let's take a look at some of the different ways that athlete's foot can be treated.

Treatment Components

In most cases, athlete's foot can be treated from home without the help of a physician. As you begin looking for a treatment for athlete's foot, you will notice that there are creams, powders and sprays available. The first thing to do is be sure that you are keeping the affected area dry and clean, therefore creating a less hospitable environment for fungi to reproduce. You might also try wearing thick cotton socks, which are great for absorbing moisture and will interrupting the lifecycle of fungi.

Ensuring that the area is clean and dry and combining this concept with an over-the-counter athlete's foot remedy should help the condition to clear quickly. The key to determining which treatment solution will work best for your individual case of athlete's foot is to understand the benefits of each solution.

Powder Treatments

Most athlete's foot powder treatments contain the active ingredient miconazole, an antifungal agent. The reason that powders are so effective at curing athlete's foot infections is that powder absorbs moisture. Powder combined with an antifungal agent makes treatment increasingly effective. By eliminating the moisture, you are taking away the environment in which fungi live.

Another benefit of athlete's foot powder treatments is that you can also use them to douse the insides of your shoes and provide longer lasting protection. This helps to ensure that the powder is working as an absorbing agent while you are wearing your shoes, which is an extra benefit that you cannot get from creams and sprays.

Athlete's foot powder treatments are generally inexpensive and can be found in any local drug store or grocery store. Some of the more common brands include Tinactin, Desenex and Gold Bond.

Spray Treatments

Another athlete’s foot treatment to try is a spray medication. Spray medications generally contain either tolnaftate or terbinafine. Both are antifungal agents that stop the growth of fungi, but terbinafine is made to use on the feet, toenails and fingernails. The benefits to using athlete’s foot sprays are that they are quick, easy to use and much less messy than creams or powders.

Cream Treatments

The last type of athlete’s foot treatment that you might try is a cream. These types of treatments generally contain either clotrimazole or terbinafine. While these are both antifungal agents as well, the difference between them is that clotrimazole can also be used to treat fungal infections of the mouth and other areas of the skin. Both, however, are highly effective remedies to use as an athlete’s foot treatment.

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