Tackling athlete’s foot can feel like a never-ending marathon of topical treatments and creative home remedies, but the
best antifungal athlete’s foot creams can help you beat the condition’s most irritating skin symptoms — from raw, itching skin to discolored toenails to blisters. And here's the best part: They can be purchased over the counter.
But, it can help to know what you’re up against when treating athlete’s foot. According to
New York City-based podiatrist Dr. Nelya Lobkova, DPM at Step Up Footcare, “Athlete's foot is a fungal infection in the skin. Like most fungal infections, fungus prefers a moist and dark environment. Thus it is important to keep the feet and the surfaces touching the feet clean and dry.”
Dr. Lobkova continues, “The best over-the-counter topical medications are derived from the allylamine family, such as topical terbinafine, because they are fungicidal and actually kill the fungus. Topical azoles, like clotrimazole, are fungistatic, meaning they limit fungal growth but they do not completely get rid of the athlete's foot." As you shop keep an eye out for creams that are formulated with terbinafine and clotrimazole to eliminate or reduce athlete’s foot.
The creams below feature all-star active ingredients including terbinafine and clotrimazole, as well as other fungistatic ingredients like
tolnaftate or miconazlole. And, since keeping your feet clean and dry are also important, there’s also a great pair of moisture-wicking socks, and an awesome foot powder on this list.
Keep scrolling: The
best antifungal athlete's foot creams are gathered up below. 1. A Fast-Acting Cream With Terbinafine That Doctors Recommend
Thanks to the superstar of antifungal agents, terbinafine hydrochloride,
LamisilAT cream for athlete’s foot is the best overall cream for athlete’s foot. This pick claims to cure most cases of athlete's foot in just seven days of treatment, and it reportedly helps prevent athlete's foot from recurring for up to three months. This cream also treats jock itch and ringworm, and Amazon shoppers give it an impressive 4.8-star overall rating. According to one reviewer: “Recommended by my physician and it works. This is a very effective product.” 2. An Athlete’s Foot Cream For Extra-Stubborn Fungal Infections Lotrimin AF antifungal cream for athlete’s foot uses clotrimazole as its active antifungal ingredient, and it promises to improve most athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm. With this greaseless, odorless cream, it should take a maximum of four weeks to cure athlete's foot and about two weeks to cure jock itch. This pick also promises to relieve itching, burning, cracking, scaling, or other discomfort you may be dealing with in the meantime, and Amazon shoppers give it a 4.6-star overall rating. According to one reviewer: "This stuff just works. Knocks out my foot fungus in a couple of days of use." 3. A Multipurpose Antifungal Cream With More Than 1,200 Reviews Family Care Clotrimazole antifungal cream boasts a 4.3-star overall rating on Amazon and more than 1,200 reviews — and as the cream's name suggests, clotrimazole is the active antifungal ingredient. This pick works to relieve all the worst symptoms of athlete's foot — from itching to burning to cracking to scaling — and promises to relieve athlete's foot within four weeks. According to one reviewer: “I go to the gym a lot, so I'm constantly being exposed to athlete's foot, ringworm, etc. I always put this stuff on my feet after I get out of the shower in the locker room. Works great as a preventative measure; haven't had a breakout in forever. Also kills ringworm within two to four days. Definitely worth having a couple tubes.” 4. A Tough Athlete’s Foot Cream That Prevents & Cures Tinactin antifungal cream for athlete's foot uses tolnaftate as its active ingredient, which has fungistatic properties and it promises to cure most cases of athlete's foot and ringworm within four weeks. This pick also promises to go on smoothly and stay put, and it's formulated to simultaneously heal athlete's foot while relieving the itching and burning you may be dealing with. Additionally, Amazon shoppers give this cream a solid 4.7-star rating. According to one reviewer: “I followed the directions, using the cream twice each day, and in three weeks, all signs of athlete's foot, [were] gone. No more cracked, scaling skin and most importantly, no more itching.” 5. A Water-Resistant, Sweat-Proof Antifungal Cream
If you're looking for a cream you can apply before a workout and won't sweat off, try
Triple Paste antifungal ointment, which uses miconazole nitrate, a fungistatic ingredient, to treat athlete's foot and jock itch. This pick promises to start healing and relieving your symptoms immediately but advises that you see a doctor if your symptoms persist longer than two weeks. Also worth noting: This cream boasts a 4.7-star overall rating on Amazon and thousands of reviews. According to one reviewer: “After reading the reviews on this product, I thought I'd give it a try for my husband’s athlete’s foot (other OTC products were not working). THIS worked GREAT!!! Cleared the athlete's foot up after the two week period and his feet feel much better. The extra money for this product is well worth it.…” Also, Great: These Breathable Socks That Are Moisture-Wicking
One additional product you might need? A great pair of socks. Dr. Lobkova says, “ I also highly recommend using Smartwool or Darn Tough socks. The specially designed Merino wool material is a natural material (instead of synthetic like microfiber) that wicks away moisture from the foot. Cotton socks absorb moisture and keep the foot moist all day."
best-selling Darn Tough socks are made with a high blend of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking so it’ll keep your feet dry even when you’re in hot weather or working out. The seamless design is comfortable, and there is a heel tab so you can pull them up if they slip down in shoes. Best of all, Darn Tough guarantees these socks for life so these are a great investment you can have forever. According to one reviewer: “These are my favorite pair of socks for exercise. I love that little extra padding it has, the tab for my heel rub, and the moisture-wicking property of the wool. My feet sweat-and these keep the skin dry when I am running. I LOVE THEM so much, I bought more pairs so I always have clean ones to use!” Also, Great: This Foot Powder That’ll Keep Your Feet Dry
Keeping your feet dry is super important when fighting fungus, and for this Dr. Lobkova has another recommendation: “"Before you put on your socks, spray some foot powder. I like
Arm & Hammer Foot Odor Control Powder which uses cornstarch to absorb moisture and prevent excessive sweating." This formula uses baking soda and cornstarch to absorb moisture, and also has odor-neutralizing ingredients that can help if your feet tend to smell, as well. According to one reviewer: “Not only is this great foot powder, the dispenser works really well also; it sprays a fine spray of powder when you squeeze the dispenser! It doesn't emit a huge cloud of powder when you squeeze it.” Expert: