ZocdocAnswersWhat causes Athletes foot and how do you get rid of it?

Question

What causes Athletes foot and how do you get rid of it?

I'm a 19 year old college student. Recently, I started working out at the college gym. Last week, I my foot started itching badly and my friend said I had athletes foot. It is really annoying. What caused it? I have good cleaning habits and shower usually twice a day. Once I get it once, will I never get it again like chicken pox? What is the best way to get rid of it?

Answer

Your symptoms could be due to Athlete's Foot. This refers to a fungal infection of the skin which can result in redness, itching, scaling and flaking of the skin that is affected. Usually it is the skin between the toes that is the most affected. The same type of process can occur elsewhere on the body (jock itch, ringworm). Usually the infection is picked up by walking barefoot through a common area such as a public bathroom or shower with moist floors. If you have been walking barefoot in the college gym, it is likely that this is where you contracted the infection. Fortunately, there are a number of effective over-the-counter (and prescription medications, if needed) that can completely eradicate the infection. These products include miconazole or ketoconazole cream or ointment, as well as terbinafine. If the product is used as prescribed and the infection persists, then you can talk with your primary care doctor about the need to use a prescription-strength medication. Just as important, since it is possible for the infection to recur in the right setting, you must continue to practice good foot hygiene to prevent infection from a new source.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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