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Skin Care and Diseases




is rubbing alcohol of any use in preventing or controlling athlete`s foot? what is the best across-the-counter medicine for controlling athlete`s foot? thank you


Rubbing alcohol is not a very effective method to control athlete's foot. There are several over the counter medications that are more effective. Products containing, terbinafine (such as Lamisil AT), or tolnaftate (such as Tinactin), undecylenic acid (such as Desenex) clortimazole (such as Lotrimin) are all effective agents. Some require longer therapy than others, please read directions carefully

Your question however asks about controlling athlete's foot which leads me to believe that you have had more than one episode. This is a very important question as chronic athletes foot can result in fungus nails (onychomycosis). Once any acute episode has resolved I recommend continued daily foot washing followed by drying well by patting not rubbing. Since the shoe is the only article of clothing that is never laundered, an antifungal foot power on a daily basis is a good idea in the shoe to help disinfect it from the common fungi which are found almost everywhere. You can also apply the powder directly to the feet or use an antifungal cream a few times a week to prevent recurrence.

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Response by:

Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University