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Athlete's foot - What treatments work for athlete's foot?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

There are good treatments for athlete's foot. Even if you've had it for a long time you should still be able to get rid of the infection. But you may need to have treatment for several weeks.

In most of the studies that we found, people treated their athlete's foot for about four weeks. You may need to treat yours for longer if it's more severe. But it depends on what sort of treatment you use.

The drugs that doctors use to treat athlete's foot are called antifungals. This means they kill the fungus that's causing your athlete's foot.

Key points about treating athlete's foot

  • It's important to treat athlete's foot. If you don't, the infection can spread and it will be harder to treat.

  • Most treatments come as creams, gels, or lotions that you rub into your skin.

  • You may have to treat your infection for some time, possibly for as long as six weeks.

  • Rub any cream, gel, or lotion into your skin really well so that your skin doesn't feel wet. Fungi like to grow in damp, wet places.

  • If you have athlete's foot between your toes, sprays may be a better treatment.

  • There are tablets and capsules you can take for fungal infections such as athlete's foot. Tablets or capsules don't work any better than creams or gels. But they may cause more side effects.

Which treatments work best for athlete's foot? We've looked at the best research and given a rating for each treatment according to how well it works.

For help in deciding which treatment is best for you, see How to use research to support your treatment decisions.

Treatments for athlete's foot

Treatments that work Treatments that need further study
  • Improved foot hygiene: You can improve your foot hygiene by washing and drying your feet carefully and by changing your socks every day. More...

Last Updated: May 21, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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