Athlete's foot can cause pretty intense itching and soreness between your toes and even on the base of your foot. Caused by fungi, this condition can be pretty stubborn and difficult to get rid of! If you've been treating athlete's foot with over-the-counter antifungal creams for a few weeks but are still experiencing symptoms, it's time to kick your treatment into high gear. Here are some tips to help you finally get rid of that stubborn fungus.
Wear Open-Toed Shoes
The fungi that cause athlete's foot love warm, moist places. That's why they mainly attack between your toes where it's very warm and moist. If you can make your feet cooler and dryer, the fungus will eventually die off. The easiest way to do this is to start wearing open-toed shoes rather than closed ones. Flip flops and sandals work well. If you feel your feet starting to get warm or moist, air them out by spreading your toes or placing your foot in front of a fan.
Wash Your Socks and Shoes
Part of the problem might be that the fungi have taken up residence in your socks or shoes. Each time you put them back on, you re-introduce the infection to your feet. Wash all of your socks in bleach water to kill the fungi. Purchase a disinfectant spray made specifically for shoes, and follow the label instructions to disinfect all of your footwear.
Re-launder your socks after every wear, once again using bleach water. Also sanitize your shoes at the end of every day.
Apply Medication More Often
Most anti-fungal creams tell you to use them one or more times a day. If you've only been using the medication once a day or rather sporadically, this could be why you still have the infection. Whenever there's a break in medication use, the fungi have a chance to make a comeback -- and they you're right back where you started. To get rid of them for good, you need to apply the cream more often. Use it as often as the instructions allow for -- which is typically every four hours -- and don't skip an application until you no longer have symptoms of athlete's foot.
If you're really struggling to get rid of athlete's foot, consider making an appointment with your podiatrist. They may be able to prescribe a stronger antifungal medication that allows you to get over the symptoms a lot faster.