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How do I Choose the Best Athlete's Foot Cream?

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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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There are several factors to consider when selecting an athlete's foot cream to treat a fungal infection, including the active ingredients, the severity of the condition, and other aspects of care to improve the health of the feet. Athlete's foot is caused by fungi most active in moist environments, such as sweaty socks and shoes, locker and shower room floors, and infected cloth items such as towels. Most fitness and medical experts recommend wearing waterproof shoes in public shower rooms and pool areas to cut down on the possibility of contracting this fungal infection. The symptoms of athlete's foot include redness of the affected skin, severe itching, and flaky skin. Use of an appropriate foot cream can be incredibly helpful in eliminating the fungal infection and restoring good foot skin health.

Most athlete's foot cream products contain one or more of five base ingredients proven most effective in treating foot and toenail fungus. Butenafine, miconazole, and tolnaftate are often found in foot infection creams, as well as clotrimazole and terbinafine. Consumers are advised to look for an athlete's foot treatment that contains at least one of these chemical compounds. In addition to creams, these ingredients are also often found in foot powders that may be used to treat the condition or be added to the person's shoes to eliminate fungus. It may be necessary to try several foot creams before finding the most effective product for the patient.

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In most cases, athlete's foot infections can be treated easily with creams and other over-the-counter products with a great deal of success. When the infection has not been treated quickly enough or the infection has progressed quickly, it may be necessary to visit a doctor or dermatologist for a prescription athlete's foot cream. Patients should seek medical attention for fungal infections that are not improving or are limiting activities due to severe itching and burning. Doctors sometimes prescribe oral medications to aid the patient's recovery as well.

Once an appropriate athlete's foot cream has been found, the affected person should adopt other useful habits to kill the infection as well as prevent future outbreaks. Dermatologists suggest wearing socks made from breathable materials, such as cotton, during exercise as well as changing footwear frequently to reduce potential exposure. Keeping the feet clean and dry is also a good habit for promoting foot skin health and reducing the likelihood of infection. People are encouraged to seek medical advice for any foot and skin related concerns they are unable to treat themselves.

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