Treatment of athlete's foot

Synonyms in a broader sense

Tinea pedis, tinea pedum, foot mycosis, athlete's foot, athlete's foot, dermatophyte infection of the foot
Notation: Athlete's foot
engl .: athlete`s foot

Read on in the main article here: Recognize and treat athlete's foot in the early stages

Local treatment

When treating Fungal diseases of the skin (Athlete's foot) are usually so-called Antifungal drugs, so Antifungal agents used the Antibiotics are similar. These are supposed to kill the fungi.

It is about acutely inflamed skin areas should first of all the inflammation with the help of moist envelopes or soothing skin lotions without antifungal agents such as Oleum Zinci Oxid, i.e. zinc oxide oil, applied until the inflammation has resolved. An anti-mycotic agent appropriate to the skin condition can then be used. If the fungus is to be treated more acutely, one uses Creams, at dry flaking rather Anoint. The fungus located between the toes is treated with solutions after the scales have been removed. These topical therapies must be continued continuously for approximately four weeks. Treatment should also go beyond an established cure to eliminate all fungi.

Furthermore, between the local (Creams, ointments) and the systemic (Drops, tablets) treatmentwhich can have an effect on the whole body. The main criterion for the selection of the drug, besides the pathogen detection, is the relationship between effectiveness and tolerance.

To the locally applied drugs count on the one hand Azoles, how Clotrimazole and Miconazole, as well as the newer representatives like Bifonazole and sertaconazolein the form of Creams, gels and solutions can be used in treatment.
You can find a lot more information under our topic: Ointments against athlete's foot

The disadvantage of this therapy is that which occurs in some cases Azole contact allergy (allergy). An alternative to the azoles are the Pyridone as the Ciclopiroxolamine, especially with severe cornification disorders (Hyperkeratosis) this drug is used because of its strong ability to penetrate the skin. This is each time Broad spectrum antifungal agents, this means that almost all forms of fungus are attacked. An application should about four weeks last for. This is to be distinguished from the Allylamineswhose effect on dermatophytes is greater than that of other fungi found on the skin. This includes the 1% terbinafine cream which should be treated twice a day for over a week. So it is superior to the azoles in handling.

Athlete's foot creams

There are different creams with different active ingredients for the therapy of athlete's foot. One of the most famous representatives is probably Canesten®which contains the active substance clotrimazole. Another frequently used cream for athlete's foot is Daktar® creamwhich contains the active ingredient miconazole. There are many other antifungal creams that can fight athlete's foot with various antifungal agents.

Generally, most creams need 2 times a day generously on the athlete's foot for about 2 weeks be applied. The attending physician should decide which cream is most suitable and when.

Systemic therapy - treatment with drugs

In addition to local therapy with creams or home remedies, athlete's foot - if it is stubborn and spreading over a large area - can also come with Medicines in tablet form (so-called systemic antifungal drugs) be treated.The decision as to which means of treatment is chosen should be made by the attending physician respectively.

In general, this form is only chosen if the athlete's foot could not be treated successfully with creams or even the Risk of superinfection (Infection of the athlete's foot with other dangerous germs such as bacteria). There are also various active ingredients in drug therapy (e.g. griseofulvin, itraconazole, fluconazole, terbinafine) that are administered individually.

These are usually given over the mouth in the form of Tablets taken. It is about Griseofulvin, a Narrow spectrum antifungal agentthat can be used from the age of 1. A treatment lasting several weeks is often sufficient, but when it is excessive keratinizing athlete's foot (Hyperkeratosis) the drug must be used for months. It is very well tolerated, but is allowed Not in the pregnancy can be applied and can be used with nausea and a headache accompanied.

Also the Azoles can be used systemically. Itraconazole and Fluconazole become at Adult used when they do not respond to topical therapy. You should be over two to four respectively seven weeks be applied. Also here is allowed no pregnancy and nausea and headache may occur.

Furthermore, the drug can also Terbinafine be used systemically if topical therapy does not resolve the disease.

Home remedies for athlete's foot

There are several Home remedieswho can fight a mild athlete's foot or can support the healing of more stubborn athlete's foot with other drugs.

That's why there is a popular method treating with baking powder: Sprinkled on the foot after showering, it sucks the Residual liquid immediately and ensures a dry environment. The application should continue until the Athlete's foot completely disappeared is. Baking powder can also be sprinkled on shoes, this on the one hand eliminates the odor, and on the other hand draws the moisture.

Another method is to apply one homemade baking powder paste. This is mixed from baking soda and lukewarm water and then for 5 Leave minutes on the athlete's foot. After that, the paste should be thorough rinsed off become. With any moist treatment, care should also be taken to ensure that the feet are in retrospect thoroughly dried ensure that the athlete's foot does not spread further in the damp environment.

Another home remedy is that black tea, its active ingredient Tannin kills the fungus. Treat your feet by giving them one half an hour to a full hour immerse in the tea water. Simply fill a tub with hot water and add several "black tea" tea bags. Wait for the water to run out comfortable temperature reached and start the foot bath. This relieves both the pain and the itching, and also works against the fungal attack.

Additionally can Foot baths with various additives (Tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, lavender oil) accelerate the healing of the athlete's foot in the water. Also the direct application of lavender oil or Tea tree oil Can be used in the treatment of athlete's foot. In addition to the fungicidal effect of the two oils, the itching that is usually associated with athlete's foot is also reduced.

You can also find more application instructions under: Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil used to treat athlete's foot

One of the most famous non-drug treatments is this Tea tree oil. This “all-rounder” from the Leaves of the Australian tea tree not only helps against Pimples and inflammation, but also against athlete's foot.
Tea tree oil can be found in the Pharmacy or drugstore, treatment becomes easy using a cotton swab spread the oil on the affected area. In individual cases the infestation is already there after a few days survived.

Similar to the treatment with black tea, however, you can also treat athlete's foot with a Foot bath to treat. To 10-15 drops of tea tree oil put in a tub and take a foot bath. The duration of the foot bath should 15-30 minutes be. Home remedies and tea tree oil can be an effective alternative to drug therapy, but should be no improvement show is a Urgent visit to the doctor advisable.

Duration of treatment

The duration of the treatment depends on the one hand on the medication used and on the other hand how serious the athlete's foot is. The daily cream treatment for athlete's foot of most medications - such as when using Canesten® (Active ingredient: clotrimazole) - is 2-3 weeks. There is also other preparationsthat only applied once and then develop their effect for 2 weeks on the part of the body that has been creamed.

When treating athlete's foot, it should also be ensured that the treatment - even if the symptoms improve after a few days - until the end or at least a week after Disappearance of Symptom continued to prevent athlete's foot from occurring again.

In the case of athlete's foot treatment, it may be possible that a longer treatment time due to larger areas or more stubborn athlete's foot must be done. Therefore, a Therapy also extend over 6 weeks. Whether this is probable should then be discussed individually with the attending physician. With regular follow-up visits, the doctor can check the progress and, if necessary, adjust the treatment.


Complications are rarely to be expected with this disease (athlete's foot). Because of the inflamed areas on the skin, it can too Superinfections with bacteria that make the disease worse, such as a Sore rose (Erysipelas), being able to lead. Another problem is that the diagnosis of athlete's foot is often made too early and without evidence, and so another disease that is the cause of the flaking skin is often undetected.

They are too Side effects of strong drugs, of the Antifungal drugs, especially if currently one Desire for children is to be observed.


Of the Athlete's foot has no self-healing tendency, which means it must always be treated correctly. Although the acute attacks of inflammation subside, the skin disease keeps coming back. Relapses can also occur in particularly susceptible patients after successful treatment.


Especially the Foot hygiene, as the Keeping the foot dry and drying the spaces between the toes after bathing are the most important forms of athlete's foot prevention. Shoes and socks should be changed daily and disinfected with antifungal agents, especially during and after a fungal infection. The Wash at 40 degrees cannot kill the pathogen. Socks and bath mats should be best at 95 degrees getting washed. Breathable and comfortable shoes are preferable to tight shoes that create a warm and humid climate. If you tend to excessive perspiration to the Feetwhich can also make infection easier anti-secretion sprays be useful.

Read more on this topic: How contagious is athlete's foot?

Treating athlete's foot during pregnancy

A Athlete's foot infection is unfortunately also nothing unusual in pregnancy. Often enough single swimming pool visit to deal with the pesky fungus. But how can such an infection be treated?

In principle, caution should be exercised when treating any illness during pregnancy, as there are many Drugs foetotoxic are, that is, the Harm fetus can. That is also the reason why you can get athlete's foot infection in pregnant women treat differently must, than with non-pregnant women: from one oral intake is not recommended, through which the active ingredient via the Gastric mucosa immediately into blood and with it would also get to the fetus, i.e. the systemic athlete's foot treatment is not suitable for pregnant women.
Instead, the active ingredient is mostly used externally - in Ointment form applied.

Active ingredients that can be applied externally are Clotrimazole and after consulting the attending physician too Bifonazole respectively Canesten®. For the latter lie insufficient empirical values for application. Of course, in addition to drug treatment, the patient also has one non-drug treatment open. Above all on the Internet you will find various home remedy tips or tea tree oil cures, which have already been discussed in more detail above.

Athlete's foot treatment during breastfeeding

Certain athlete's foot medications can be used while breastfeeding but others cannot. Therefore, one should definitely be used during breastfeeding Consulted a doctor - even if athlete's foot was known before pregnancy and breastfeeding. Self-medication should not be used.

In principle, the Active ingredient clotrimazolewhich is also in Canesten® should be applied to the athlete's foot using a cream, as the active ingredient in athlete's foot treatment does not pass into breast milk. Creams containing the active ingredients are also available during breastfeeding Ketoconazole and bifonazole generally with athlete's foot harmless apply.

In addition to medication, the breastfeeding mother should also try general measures to contain the athlete's foot. This includes, for example frequent changes of socks. Towels should also be through more often than usual fresh towels be replaced.
The cleaning the feet should be with lukewarm, clear water. After washing the feet must thoroughly dried become. Also should be unnecessary Avoid sweating of the feet because athlete's foot grows better in a humid environment.