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The 7 best treatments for athlete's foot

Despite the name, athlete’s foot can affect anyone — and if you’ve got it, you’ll no doubt want to relieve your irritated feet ASAP. The best treatments for athlete’s foot contain antifungal and skin-soothing ingredients to fight the infection and help relieve symptoms like itching, burning, and dry, cracked skin.

Athlete’s foot treatments come in various forms: creams, sprays, powders, wipes, and foot soaks. The right choice will mainly depend on which application method you prefer and whether or not you want to use an over-the-counter antifungal medication or natural essential oils. No matter what, you’ll want to keep your specific needs in mind. A fast-acting cream will do the trick in many cases, but if you have sweaty feet, you’ll want to opt for an absorbent powder or powder spray to keep you dry, since fungus thrives in moisture. And if the fungus has spread to your toenails, you may want to go with an antifungal essential oil foot soak that addresses your skin and nails at the same time.

After your athlete’s foot has gone away, you can prevent recurring infections by regularly using a powder or spray in your shoes or socks. You may also want to consider wearing shower shoes if you rinse off in communal spaces, like a gym locker room. And while most cases respond well to antifungal treatments, you should always check in with your doctor if symptoms of athlete's foot persist.

With all that in mind, read on for the best treatments for athlete’s foot, which are all available on Amazon.

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1. The tried-and-true cream

With over 7,000 ratings from Amazon reviewers, this prescription-strength athlete’s foot cream is one of the most popular and fast-acting treatments on the list. The cream contains butenafine hydrochloride, which is known to fight fungal infections of the skin and can help clear up some cases of athlete’s foot within one week if used as directed. In the meantime, it can also help relieve any aggravating symptoms you have, like itching, burning, and cracked skin. Plus, the cream is non-greasy, non-staining, and odorless, so you don’t have to worry about it ruining your socks or sheets. Use one to two times daily until symptoms are gone.

One reviewer says: “I needed an anti-fungal to treat athletes foot. Looking online I came across this ointment and after reading the reviews decided to give it try, I have to say it’s the best over the counter anti-fungal that I have come across."

2. The liquid spray

If you’re feeling the burn of athlete’s foot, this antifungal liquid spray can offer cooling relief. The active ingredient is tolnaftate, which helps stop fungal growth and can clear infections within four weeks. Even better: You should see significant symptom relief within two to three days. The convenient spray allows for quick and easy application twice a day.

One reviewer says: “My go-to for foot funk. Easy to go on, not greasy.”

3. The powder spray for sweaty feet

Moisture is a breeding ground for athlete’s foot, so if you have sweaty feet, this deodorizing powder spray can keep your skin dry while the infection clears. The formula contains miconazole nitrate, which can combat athlete’s foot while also helping to reduce symptoms like itching, burning, and cracking. The spray also offers odor protection, so your feet will smell fresh and clean while you're using it. Apply it twice daily for four weeks.

One reviewer says: “I am on my feet at work all the time and these help control the foot sweat I have. These also help with the itchiness I had before I started using this product and is clearing up my athletes foot in no time. I highly recommend this product!”

4. The absorbent powder

Another sweat-absorbing option, this antifungal foot powder is a favorite among Amazon reviewers, earning consistently high ratings. Formulated with miconazole nitrate, it can keep feet dry while offering relief from itching, burning, and scaling. You can even sprinkle some powder directly in your socks or shoes for extra relief or to help prevent future infections. The recommended application for athlete’s foot is twice daily for four weeks.

One reviewer says: “This stuff is great! I work construction and use it to prevent or cure some pretty serious Athletes Foot. If I use it daily I don’t have any issues.”

5. The tea tree oil foot soak

If the fungal infection has spread to your toenails, a tea tree oil foot soak is a soothing (and relaxing) option that can address both issues at once. The soak contains seven essential oils that offer different therapeutic benefits, including antifungal tea tree oil, disinfecting eucalyptus, antibacterial spearmint and chamomile, and antimicrobial peppermint. There’s also rosemary, which may help ease pain, and lavender, which not only helps fight fungus but can reduce stress, as well. Other ingredients include Epsom salt and Dead Sea salt, which work to soothe skin and ease muscle tension.

Just add the blend to warm water and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes — though you’ll probably need a few soaks to clear up the fungus.

One reviewer says: “Love the smell of the fragrant salts. Just two treatments cured my athlete's foot.”

6. The antifungal travel wipes

Not only are these antifungal foot wipes handy for on-the-go symptom relief, but they can also help prevent future infections. The natural wipes contain five essential oils with antifungal and antibacterial properties: tea tree, lavender, rose, jojoba, and carrot seed. They also offer quick relief from athlete’s foot symptoms, like dryness and cracking, while reducing odor and refreshing your feet. Plus, they're easy to stash in your bag, so you can use them to swipe your feet after every workout.

One reviewer says: “These wipes work great for fungus and athletes foot. Great for college students who shower in shared facilities. Definitely, a must have!”

7. The essential oil spray for feet & shoes

If you're wondering how to disinfect your shoes when you have athlete's foot, this essential oil sanitizer spray can do the trick. The natural formula — which can also be used on your feet — contains six essential oils with powerful antifungal and antimicrobial properties: tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, grapefruit, and clove bud. Plus, the spray can soothe itching and other annoying symptoms while also reducing odors, so your feet can feel fresh, calm, and irritation-free.

One reviewer says: “I wear steel toe boots everyday for work and I sweat a lot, meaning I'm prone to athletes foot. […] Since I started using this product as well as alternate my boots everyday, I no longer get athletes foot! Would highly recommend. Smells good and does the job!”

Also helpful: The shower shoes for communal spaces

How do you get athlete's foot? Well, the fungus thrives in showers, around pools, and on locker room floors, so if you want to know how to prevent athlete's foot in the first place, you can start by wearing these rubber shower shoes in the gym locker room or in communal bathrooms. The lightweight, flexible, waterproof shoes have holes in the footbeds to allow water to flow through, and the textured soles give you better traction on slippery surfaces They’re available in several colors, including gray, black, and navy.

One reviewer says: “I use these everyday to shower at the gym and they are perfect! Very grippy and I've never slipped in the slightest. They also dry very quickly and are completely dry by the time I get dressed after showering."

  • Available sizes: men's 6.5 - 12, women's 7.5 - 13

Studies referenced:

Shellow, W. (1982). 2% Miconazole nitrate powder in aerosol spray form: its efficacy in treating tinea pedis. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7060822/