Even though athlete’s foot is usually not a debilitating condition, it can still cause a lot of discomfort. The itching and burning will affect your walking, sleep and even work. This is not to mention the blistering and scaling that will leave you ashamed of being barefoot when there are people around.
Except for the most severe cases where a visit to the doctor may be necessary, athlete’s foot is pretty easy to treat at home. All you need is a good antifungal cream and the infection will clear within a few days. An antifungal cream will treat the symptoms too, helping reduce the feeling of itchiness and burning.
It is important that you use the right cream. Don’t buy a cream that takes weeks to work or never works at all. Also avoid creams that do not provide instant relief from the itching and burning between your toes.
Best cream for athlete’s foot
To help you get the best value and relief for your money, we went out and looked for the 5 best athlete’s foot creams in the market. To choose the best we looked at the ingredients, the brand and customer feedback.
The ones we recommend below are made from ingredients that sooth your feet while also providing nourishing and healing to your infected skin. These include anti-fungal components as well as moisturizing ingredients.
This antifungal cream is a Jack of all infections, effectively treating everything fungal related from ringworms to athlete’s foot. When you first apply it on the affected areas, it immediately relieves any itching or burning. It also prevents the infection from spreading to any other part of your skin.
It then gets to the work of healing. Apricot kernel oil and peppermint oil are absorbed into the skin for deep moisturisation. This tackles cracked, dry and scaly skin. Your skin will soon start softening.
Shea butter is used to make sure the ointment stays longer on your skin. This gives antifungal ingredients time to work their magic and keeps your skin soft and supple through the day.
With daily application, this balm can also prevent the infection from recurring.
- Quick relieving action.
- Softens and heals.
- Uses a natural formula.
This spray contains Tolnaftate, a common compound used to treat fungal infections. It kills fungi on your skin, preventing it from spreading to other parts. It also protects against future recurrence especially if you frequent swimming pools or a gym.
It also contains other ingredients that provide powerful immediate relief upon application. If you are feeling itchy, a single spray will cool down the itchiness and burning sensation. Because the bottle is small, you can even carry it around with you and apply it whenever the itching causes too much discomfort.
Even if you don’t have an infection but spend most of your day in thick shoes and socks, it can still help you. It will keep your feet dry and prevent a fungal infection from occurring.
- Fast acting.
- Prevents recurrence.
If your athlete’s foot has been accompanied by cracked and dry skin, try this cream. It has been formulated specially for severe athlete’s foot. It will help re-soften your skin using deep moisturizing ingredients. At the same time, it provides quick relief from itching and burning.
Antifungal components in the cream immediately stop the infection from spreading. As you heal, it also prevents a recurrence. If you have broken skin, antimicrobial agents create a barrier over it, preventing any pathogens from finding their way under your skin and causing more serious infection.
You can use it on your soles, between the toes or on a jock itch.
- Fast acting.
- Effective against severe athlete’s foot.
- Prevents spread of infection and recurrence after recovery.
This is a fast acting antifungal cream that also functions as a moisturizing balm. Apply it in the affected areas and any itching or burning sensations fades away quickly. It also gets to work on your infection, deploying its prescription-strength anti-fungal formulation against fungi on your skin.
Most customers praise its quick acting nature. Many noticed a difference within days of application with the infection going away completely after just a couple of weeks. It even works on fungi infected nails.
If you are in sports or frequent places like the gym or swimming pool, you can continue applying it in vulnerable spots to prevent the infection from recurring.
- Quick recovery.
- Immediate relief.
- Prevents spread and recurrence.
This cream contains Clotrimazole, a well-known antifungal compound that is effective at clearing infections.
The cream does not just treat the symptoms of the infection, it also treats the infection itself, ensuring complete recovery and low chances of recurrence.
Whether the infection is on your soles, between your toes or on your nails, this cream works well. It can also help even when the infection is severe.
You’ll notice a difference immediately with reduced itching and burning. Over the next few days, the infection should begin to fade.
- Acts quickly.
- Prevents spreading and recurrence.
- Can be used on different parts of the skin (see full instructions on label).
Athlete’s foot cream buying guide
Like us, you will encounter numerous choices when you go looking for a good cream to treat your athlete’s foot. There are creams, sprays and powders. There are also countless brands, all claiming to be the most effective.
The easiest way to choose the right product – be it a cream, spray or powder – is to have a checklist of important things to look for. By checking different brands against that list, you can narrow down your options to the best ones.
Also check athlete’s foot cream reviews for insights into the effectiveness of a particular brand. Customer comments can tell you a lot about how fast the cream works, whether it has any adverse side effects and anything else you need to know.
Here are four things I consider most important in any antifungal cream.
Before anything else, check that the cream you are about to buy is safe for use. There are some shady brands with dangerous ingredients that can cause adverse reactions and leave you with long term effects.
If you can get a natural but effective formulation, that would be best. But natural antifungal creams are not common. So just check the ingredients to make sure that there is nothing that has been flagged by experts as dangerous.
Even if the cream is safe make sure it does not interfere with your current medications. Certain antifungal creams have been known to interact with various medications including benzodiazepines (sleeping aids), cimetidine (for treating indigestion) and hydrochlorothiazide (for hypertension) among others resulting in serious health problems.
If you are currently taking medication, check in with your doctor before you buy a specific brand. Also note that certain antifungal medications have been known to cause adverse side effects such as allergic reactions or severe peeling of the skin. But these effects are rare.
Generally, topical fungal creams are low risk compared to intravenous and oral antifungal medications. But if you experience any serious side effect, take it seriously and see a doctor.
A good antifungal cream should start making a difference within a day or two. You should notice less itching, a softer skin and reduced cracks. Within a couple of weeks, your athlete’s foot should be greatly reduced or no longer present. Of course this depends on closely following the manufacturer’s instructions.
If users say they have been using a certain cream for more than four months without any difference, find another one.
A good cream should also prevent a recurrence. For some creams, they work well for some time but then the infection strikes again even with continued application. Others fall on the other extreme end, making your athlete’s foot worse instead of healing it.
Read a lot of customer feedback and questions to find out just how effective a cream is for your situation. Does it work for nail infections as well as between-the-toes fungus? Can it relieve a jock itch? Is it ideal for athletes?
3. Provides immediate relief
A good fungal cream should provide immediate relief from any itching or burning sensation. If users say they felt nothing immediately after applying the cream, I’d recommend you find an alternative.
Itching is one of the most common forms of discomfort people with athlete’s foot experience. Others feel a burning sensation especially when they have shoes on.
So most antifungal creams and sprays contain ingredients that provide quick relief from this discomfort. You can go about your day without curling your toes inside your shoes or taking off your shoes to feel some cool relief.
Again, user feedback here is important. Find out from buyer’s comments whether the cream soothed their itching and for how long. Find a cream that relieves itching immediately and keeps the discomfort at bay throughout the day.
One of the contributing factors in the occurrence of athlete’s foot is moistness. The fungi thrive in a damp environment such as between your toes. But once the infection takes hold, your feet turn dry and crackly.
Most athletes foot creams come with moisturizing ingredients such as oils to help re-nourish the infected skin by moisturizing it. This fades away the cracks and ensures your skin is smooth and soft once again.
You can check the ingredients list to see if there are any moisturizing agents like teat tree oil or lavender. Some creams may use other compounds other than oil to soften the skin and form a protective moisture barrier over the infected area.
5. Prevents recurrence
Finally, a good antifungal cream should be effective enough to protect against a recurrence of the infection. This is especially important if you often go to places where there is a high risk of getting infected. Such places include a public swimming pool, the gym, dance studio or sports field.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection, meaning it can spread from person to person even through other objects and surfaces. Experts recommend finding a safe foot cream that you can apply every day to prevent an infection.
I would recommend something with a natural formula such as Puriya Wonder Balm. Scholl Athletes Foot Spray is also a popular antifungal product for those who need daily applications whether they are infected or not.
1. Do I have to buy cream for my athlete’s foot? Won’t it go on its own?
By leaving the infection untreated, you are risking it spreading further and getting more severe. It could get to a point where it becomes so serious you need to see a doctor. A good athlete’s foot cream will stop the infection in place before it gets worse.
2. Can I use an antifungal spray or powder instead of the cream?
Of course you can. There are many effective athlete’s foot sprays and powders you can use. The most important thing is to follow the instructions given.
3. How quickly does an antifungal cream work?
It depends on the type of cream and the severity of your infection. As I mentioned, most people see positive changes within a couple of days and full recovery within 2 to 3 weeks. If it takes longer or your infection keeps getting worse, see your doctor.
4. Will the infection recur after using an antifungal cream?
Look for a good cream that not only heals your infection but also prevents any future recurrence. In most cases, you will be asked to keep applying the cream for continued protection.
Apart from using an antifungal cream, it is also important you take preventive measures. Make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on shoes, use light breathable socks and check that your shoes are breathable too.
5. Can I use an athlete’s foot cream on another part of the body?
Most athlete’s foot creams are also marketed as general antifungal creams that can be used on many other areas of your skin where you have a fungal infection. Look at the instructions accompanying the cream to see the manufacturer’s recommendations and warnings.