Athlete’s foot (sometimes called tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the skin marked by flaking, scaling, and itchy red patches between the toes and along the side of the foot. It spreads in moist, warm areas such as bathroom or locker room floors and through infected towels, socks, shoes, and clothing. In some cases, the infection may spread to the groin (where it is called “jock itch”) or other body parts (where it is called “ringworm”). There are many different drugs used to treat this infection, including prescription and nonprescription oral medications, as well as topical treatments.
Do Oral Drugs Work To Treat Tinea Pedis?
A review of 15 trials involving 1438 participants found that terbinafine and itraconazole were more effective than placebos — and that terbinafine is more effective than griseofulvin. These newer treatments have received much more attention in scientific evaluations. Unfortunately, all oral drugs for athlete’s foot contain some sort of side effect risk, with the most common being gastrointestinal issues. Researchers concluded that future trials are needed to identify the most effective drugs for treatment, with special consideration taken for isolating the most cost-effective methods.
What Drugs Are Used To Treat Athlete’s Foot?
– Butenafine: A cream applied 2x daily for a week to stop growth; may result in burning, blistering, itching.
– Ciclopirox: A shampoo, lacquer or 2x-a-day cream that prevents fungal growth; may cause headaches, irritation.
– Clioquinol: A cream used 3-4x a day for a month to inhibit fungal growth; may cause blistering, swelling, itching.
– Clotrimazole: A cream that interferes with fungal cell reproduction that may cause stinging, redness and rash.
– Econazole: A once-a-day cream that interferes with fungal growth; may cause local stinging, redness and rash.
– Fluconazole: An oral pill that slows the growth of fungus; may cause headache, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion.
– Griseofulvin: A daily tablet taken for 6 months to make the skin resistant to fungus; may cause liver damage.
– Itraconazole: A 2x/day capsule that interferes with fungal membranes; risk of high blood pressure, liver failure.
– Ketoconazole: Daily oral or 2x/day cream that kills fungi; risks include liver damage, increased blood sugars.
– Oxiconazole: Daily cream that inhibits fungal growth; side effects include tenderness, bumps, irritation.
– Sertaconazole: 2x/day monthly cream that kills fungus in immunocompromised patients; swelling, rash risks.
– Sertaconazole Nitrate: 2x/day cream that kills fungus in compromised patients; hyperpigmentation risk.
– Sulconazole: 2x/day cream that blocks fungal growth; may cause itching, burning, stinging.
– Terbinafine: Tablet or topical solution that stops fungal growth; liver risks, abdominal pain, hives, nausea.
– Tolnaftate: 6-week cream or spray that blocks fungal growth; risk of irritation, itching and inflammation.
SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer: What It Can Do For Athlete’s Foot Patients
If you have athlete’s foot, you are probably hoping it will be completely cured by the time you finish your course of treatment. Unfortunately, little flakes of skin and fungal spores can infect socks, sheets, towels, floor surfaces and shoes. It’s easy to wash most of these items in a laundry machine or spray down surfaces with antifungal chemicals. However, the footwear we use day in and day out can be a difficult area to sanitize properly.
That’s why we developed the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer, a device that uses UVC light to kill up to 99.9% of the fungus, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in your shoes within 45 minutes. While UV light cannot be used directly on the body to cure athlete’s foot, it is a clinically-proven, doctor-recommended method for preventing re-infection and the spread of athlete’s foot.