Athlete's Foot - The dreaded foot condition, and how to get rid of it.

Dec 18, 2004

The Bottom Line The OTC medications offered for Athlete's Foot are effective, but there are some better options that can be used instead or adjuvantly.

Athelete's foot has proven to be one of the worst struggles in my life that I've had to face. This can also affect very many people... While Athlete's foot isn't a serious disorder, it can have some very negative consequences. Different people might suffer from different symptoms. Some have itchy feet, while some may have a very offensive odor or excretion. These symptoms can really affect one's life where their friends, family, and other people might notice the symptoms and be repulsed... Athlete's foot can be treated though... Here's how to get rid of it.

-The Precription Regimen-
*If you go to your dermatologist, he or she can identify the condition and offer prescriptions to combat it. Athlete's foot is a fungal infection so it needs to be treated with medications.

*AZOLE-Based - A common type of regimen used to treat Athlete's foot are azole-based creams. The most commonly-used being Spectazole. They are very effective and in clinical trials have had lower relapse rates than over-the-counter medications, but they are extremely expensive. I was on Spectazole and a tube of cream costed $45. This is considerably more expensive than buying something such as Lamisil for around $10 or so. The treatment course for the prescription medications are usually long, around a few weeks. This can be a big nuisance to many people since the feet need to be cleaned and soaked before applying medication, usually twice a day. But if you have the money and the time and want a low relapse rate, then using prescription medications must be your best options.

-OTC Regimen-
*There are a large variety of medications that you can use without a prescription. They come in many forms which include powders, gels, swabs, and cream. I have used Lamisil AT creat and was happy with the results.

*ANTI-FUNGAL MEDICATIONS - These include brands such as Lotrimin, Lamisil, and others. They come in different types of forms as I've already previously mentioned. Some of the treatment cycles require less time than prescription azole creams. Some OTC treatments require only one week of usage! But after reading about studies, they have higher relapse rates than using prescription medications for a longer period of time. But compared to prescriptions, the OTC medications are considerably cheaper. So if you want a quick solution to this, using OTC medications might be a pretty good choice. Other cost-effective options can also be used adjuvantly with the OTC medications to effectively destroy the fungus completely with no relapse.

-Home Regimens-
*There are a few things that you can do that are much cheaper and easier than using prescription or OTC medications. While I wouldn't recommend using them alone, they can be used in conjunction with OTC medications to create very desirable results.

*WHITE VINEGAR - Vinegar is considered to be an effective treatment against the fungal infection. The best way to do this is by making a solution consisting of 50% warm water and 50% white vinegar. Mix them in a bowl and then soak your feet in it for about 15 minutes. This was recommended to me by a dermatologist and also I read up on vinegar being used to help treat vaginal yeast infections. I used this treatment at the same time as Lamisil and have been fungus-free ever since. The only bad effects from this is that the feet will smell like vinegar until they are washed. There was no stinging sensation or any pain since the acid was diluted pretty thoughroughly with water.

*YOGURT - Another type of home remedy that is commonly used is by soaking the feet in yogurt. I have not tried this, but this was once again recommended by the dermatologist and I also read about it being used for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections. Yogurt appears to be a messier alternative compared to using vinegar or even any cream in general. My recommendation would be to buy Russian yogurt since it has a very smooth texture and would therefore be easy to use. You can probably pick it up at any store that sells Ethnic foots. I do not know if this creates any undesirable effects because I haven't used it, but if you want to try it, I'd recommend it because it should prove to be cost-effective.

-Other Things To Do-
*Walking bare-foot or in sandals will airate the feet. This can help in the treatment process.

-What I Did-
*When I was stricken with the condition, I had it for over a year and lived with it. I didn't have any itching but otherwise my feet looked absolutely horrible. I first underwent one month of Spectazole cream. After that I used Lamisil AT for a week and a half and alongside vinegar treatments every night. One dermatologist told me that it was an ongoing problem that I could only control and not get rid of. But by combining all of these methods together, I proved her wrong.

-So Are OTC Medications Good For It?-
*It all depends on the person. I would recommend trying prescription drugs first because statistically they have given more favorable results. But still, OTC medications are considered to be pretty effective. If you combine OTC alongside some home methods such as vinegar and yogurt, you might say goodbye to the fungus forever.

-In Conclusion-
*Athlete's foot can be a horrible condition. But if you're determined to get rid of it, you can. After a couple months of aggressive treatments, you can say goodbye to the fungus forever. But you must remember that everyone is different and have different results from treatments. For some OTC medications can completely cure it, while others might relapse. But knowing your options, combining treatments, and being responsible can combat this horrible condition.

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