Athletes Foot Powder Versus Cream

Treating athlete’s foot effectively begins with an understanding of what it is. So let’s begin with a question.

Have you ever experienced cracked, dry feet?

If the answer is yes, you know how embarrassing and painful it can be. In some cases, these cracks are indications of athlete’s foot, which is a common foot condition.

Fortunately, remedies for treating athlete’s foot are easily accessible. When addressed immediately before the condition becomes serious, you can treat athlete’s foot with a variety of over-the-counter remedies such as athlete’s foot creams or athlete foot sprays. 

However, when left untreated, athlete’s foot will get progressively worse and exceedingly more difficult to cure, especially if your feet display signs of deeper cracks on the heels. So it is in your best interest to act quickly.

Before we get into the powder versus cream debate though, let’s review some basics so you can avoid athlete’s foot altogether, or at least a serious case of it!

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection, medically referred to as “tinea pedis.” Typically it occurs between the toes, but it can also spread to other parts of the feet and body. One way that athlete’s foot spreads is through contact with fungi or infected skin scales. That means you can contract the infection from damp areas like swimming pools or public baths.

Common Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

Below are a few primary symptoms of athlete’s foot. Do you recognize any of these on your feet or body? If so, don’t worry. Remember that treating athlete’s foot is easy when you address it right away!

  • Scaly red

    Athletes Foot / Dry Skin

  • Ulcers
  • Itching, especially after removing socks or shoes
  • Chronic dryness
  • Scaling on the soles that extend up the sides of the foot
  • Blisters

How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot

Although the name doesn’t imply it, athlete’s foot can be contracted by anyone—both athletes and non-athletes alike. However, it can also be prevented by taking the following precautions.

  • WASH AND DRY YOUR FEET. Wash your feet regularly and dry them meticulously. In fact, keep your feet dry as much as possible, particularly between the toes where athlete’s foot infection usually settles.
  • ALWAYS WEAR FOOT PROTECTION.  Wear sandals and slippers in pool areas and shared places such as locker rooms. Do not walk around barefoot, especially in wet areas. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot thrives in soggy areas, and it can adhere to the floor. Walking barefoot also can harden the skin of the heel which can lead to cracks, thus giving fungi an easy entrance into your skin.
  • WEAR SOCKS. Wear socks made of fabrics that protect your foot from moisture or those made of natural fabrics like cotton. If you tend to have sweaty feet, change your socks often. Remember it’s important to keep your feet dry!
  • DON’T SHARE. Do NOT share shoes, flip-flops, towels, or even clothing.  Sharing increases the risk of contracting infection since the fungus clings to these items.
  • ONLY WEAR DRY SHOES. Make sure that your shoes are dry when you put them on.  If not, wear another pair that is dry. The fungi love damp, watery environments, such as the area inside a sweaty shoe, especially if the shoe is made of rubber or plastic.

Treating Athlete’s Foot

Even if you are the most cautious person, you still can pick up athlete’s foot. Fortunately, as we mentioned at the start of this article, many cases of athlete’s foot can be treated with antifungal products that you can purchase without a prescription.

There is no single method for treating athlete’s foot.  In fact, there are many options from which to choose.  Most of these remedies are available in a variety of forms such as creams, powders, and spray powders. Some of the common medicine readily available for purchase include miconazole (Zeasorb powder), clotrimazole (Lotrimin), terbinafine (Lamisil), and tolnaftate (Tinactin).

Powder Versus Cream

So, back to the main question—powder versus cream. Actually, both treatments usually contain the primary anti-fungal medication that takes care of athlete’s foot fungi, and either choice will serve your feet well. Treating athlete’s foot with either powder or cream will lead to similar results. The key is based on the severity of the infection and the medium that you prefer.

Let’s take a look at the different advantages of foot powder versus cream to figure out which option might be best for you.

Advantages of Foot Powder

  • Absorbs wetness such as sweat and moisture
  • Can be applied without touching the infection
  • Useful for treating large infected areas
  • Easy to use
  • Available in a spray powder
  • Affordable and readily available in stores and online

Advantages of Foot Cream

  • Goes on smoothly
  • Typically stays on the skin and doesn’t diminish or fall off
  • Can be used on the sides of the foot
  • Penetrates the skin
  • Adds moisture, which is critical for very dry skin
  • Affordable and readily available in stores and online

In the athlete’s foot powder vs. cream debate, the former has a good advantage for those who have sweaty feet. The powder helps to get rid of moisture and to dry the feet where fungi thrive.  Additionally, you probably will not have to touch the infection if you are using a spray powder.

On the other hand, creams usually can penetrate the skin better than powders. Plus, creams adhere to the skin, especially on the sides of the foot, and they add moisture if your foot is very dry or scaly.

You can easily find both creams and powders at the drugstore or grocery store, and they are both affordable.

In Conclusion

Athlete’s Foot can be an annoying condition. However, it is treatable and you have many choices. Ultimately, the form of treatment you choose depends on your situation. Do you need a medicated powder that can absorb sweat? On the other hand, do you need a cream that will add moisture to help remedy your dry, cracked skin?

Even when treated with antifungal medication, the condition may take a few weeks to disappear. However, advanced and resistant cases may require consultation with your doctor, especially if your symptoms worsen or do not clear up.


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Athlete’s Foot Photo: Depositphotos

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