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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Treatment

Doctors usually begin treating athlete's foot with antifungal medications applied to the feet. Theses medications include ciclopirox (Loprox), clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex), econazole (Spectazole), ketoconazole (Nizoral), miconazole (Micatin), naftifine (Naftin), oxiconazole (Oxistat), sulconazole (Exelderm), terbinafine (Lamisil), terconazole (Terazol), and tolnaftate (Desenex, Tinactin and others). Some are available without a prescription. Many weeks of treatment may be necessary. For people with long-standing or recurring athlete's foot, topical antifungal drugs may relieve symptoms without actually curing the infection.

Medications by mouth can be more successful at curing an infection. However, you still can be susceptible to recurrences, and oral medications may be more likely to cause side effects. These require a prescription and include griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grifulvin, Grisactin), itraconazole (Sporanox) and terbinafine (Lamisil).

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