The 5 Best Athlete's Foot Treatments of 2020

Nix athlete’s foot pain with these OTC solutions

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First Look

Best Overall: Lotrimin Athlete's Foot Liquid Powder Spray at Amazon

"Comes in a spray form, which is great for coating every single crevice of your foot."

Best Spray: Lamisil AT Antifungal Spray for Athletes Foot at cvs.com

"This particular application method clears up symptoms in just one week, but make sure that you follow the instructions on the box exactly."

Best for Kids: Lotrimin AF Cream at Amazon

"Soothes irritated, cracked skin while working to clear up the fungal infection."

Best Cream: Lamisil AT Antifungal Cream at Amazon

"Cures most athlete's foot between the toes within one week while providing relief from the itching and burning of athlete's foot."

Best Natural: Truremedy Naturals Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak at Amazon

"Not only does it help eliminate athlete's foot, but it leaves your feet feeling fresh and smelling clean."

Not only can an athlete’s foot be painful, but it’s also just downright annoying. Known in the medical community as tinea pedis, the condition causes itchiness, redness, and even cracking skin on the bottoms of the feet and toes. Verywell Health spoke with Alan Bass, DPM, an American Podiatric Medical Association member, podiatrist, and spokesperson, to find out what causes this condition and how it can be properly treated. “It is caused by a fungal organism, and fungal organisms like hot, wet, moist places,” explains Dr. Bass. “That makes the foot, especially in shoes and socks, a perfect breeding ground for the fungal organisms.”

The best solution, according to Dr. Bass, is a fairly simple one: keep your feet clean and dry. This means changing your socks often if you’re prone to sweating, and definitely if you’re planning on squeezing in a workout during the day. In addition to keeping your feet clean and dry, Dr. Bass recommends looking for antifungal powders, which can be applied to your feet before putting on socks. Dr. Bass says any of the popular antifungal creams can help as well. Most importantly, Dr. Bass says it’s important to know when to go to an actual podiatrist. 

“Athlete’s foot infections can become serious,” says Dr. Bass. “If the redness, cracking or flakiness does not resolve in two weeks with the use of home treatment, it’s time to see the podiatrist.” It can also be time to see a doctor if the fungus gets under the toenail bed because then it becomes impossible to treat with at-home topical creams and powders.

But if you're looking to treat a mild form of athlete's foot at home, here are a few options that will help clear it up in no time.

Our Top Picks

1

Best Overall: Lotrimin Athlete's Foot Liquid Powder Spray

Powders may seem annoying and messy to apply, but they’ve come a long way. This Lotrimin option comes in a spray form, which is great for coating every single crevice of your foot. 

This formula contains two percent miconazole nitrate, which has been clinically proven to relieve itchy skin and can even be used as initial prevention of Athlete's foot. The best part about powder formulas, in general, is that they can contain active ingredients while working to dry out any moist areas. They truly might be the best option for those who are trying to prevent recurrence or even reduce itching. 

2

Best Spray: Lamisil AT Antifungal Spray for Athletes Foot

Lamisil

The leading brands in athlete’s foot treatment are topping the list: Lotrimin and Lamisil. These formulas have been perfected over the years, and while they may come in different forms than they did when you were a kid, they’re just as effective. This particular application method clears up symptoms in just one week, but make sure that you follow the instructions on the box exactly.

3

Best for Kids: Lotrimin AF Cream

Lotrimin's formula soothes irritated, cracked skin while working to clear up the fungal infection. This formula can also be used on ringworm breakouts, so it's great to keep in your medicine cabinet. It can be used on children over the age of two, so if your little one is dealing with a bout of athlete's foot, turn to Lotrimin.

4

Best Cream: Lamisil AT Antifungal Cream

Since you’ll probably want to use the powder treatments during the day or before workouts, consider the creams your go-to nighttime or at-home solutions. The creams are generally more soothing than powders, so they’re perfect for use after bathing. Don’t worry, this won’t stain your clothes or bed linens. 

Lamisil's Antifungal Cream cures most athlete's foot between the toes within one week while providing relief from the itching and burning of athlete's foot. It's one ounce pack makes it an easy addition to any gym bag, so you can keep it with you anytime you workout.

5

Best Natural: Truremedy Naturals Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak

If you want to stick with a natural athlete's treatment route, try Trueremedy Naturals' Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak. Tea tree oil is a natural anti-fungal, and in bath salt form, it's particularly non-invasive. Not only does it help eliminate athlete's foot, but it leaves your feet feeling fresh and smelling clean.

When you’re heading to a workout or any time you’re putting on shoes for a full day, you definitely need Lotrimin Athlete's Foot Liquid Powder Spray as the first line of defense. Luckily, even though it’s a powder, it’s easy to apply to and the spray form makes it simple to get in between the toes and into cracks in irritated skin. When you head home for the day, make sure you’re applying a cream like Lamisil AT Antifungal Cream. In addition to using two different active ingredients, these treatments will see you through different activities.  

What to Look for in an Athlete's Foot Treatment

Form: Choose between powders and creams based on what works best for you and your schedule. Remember that powders are good for wicking away moisture, so you might want to consider the application before putting on shoes for the day. Creams are more immediately relieving, so they are best to apply before bed. 

Ingredients: There are a few active ingredients that have proven to be super effective in the treatment of athlete’s foot. Dr. Bass says to look for one percent terbinafine hydrochloride, which is usually found in creams; two percent miconazole nitrate, which is found in powders; or one percent terbinafine hydrochloride, which can pop up in both cream and powder forms. 

Why Trust Verywell Health

Brittany Loggins is a freelance writer who has covered everything from wellness to politics. She has a degree in journalism from University of Georgia and lives in New York City.

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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Piérard, G.e., et al. “Biometrological Assessment of the Preventive Effect of a Miconazole Spray Powder on Athlete's Foot.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 27 Apr. 2006, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2230.1996.tb00119.x. 

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