What is athlete's foot?
One of the most common foot infections in adults, athlete's foot, is a fungus that usually starts out in the area between the toes and then spreads. Several fungus types can cause it, and some of them already live on healthy skin but do not become a problem until they multiply. The condition commonly results in itching and burning, as well as cracking and peeling of the skin.
What is a fungal skin infection?
Everyone has microbes living on their skin. Most of the time they're harmless and don't cause problems. However, at certain times – e.g. in moist, warm conditions – fungi can grow, multiply and invade, causing your skin to become infected. Dermatophytes are species of fungus that can cause fungal infections to develop in areas such as the outer layers of the skin, nails, scalp and hair. Fungi are parasites and live on other organisms and feed off broken-down tissue, including human skin. Fungal infections are very contagious and can be spread through direct and indirect contact: Direct skin-to-skin contact and indirect contact whereby the fungi are passed on to others through touching contaminated objects.
What are the causes and sources of Athlete’s foot?
An infection usually occurs via direct contact with the fungi. For example, walking barefoot in public places like changing rooms, showers and swimming pools will make you vulnerable to a fungal infection. It can also be spread through wet floors, socks, shoes and damp towels.
Athlete's foot is most commonly caused by the fungi Trichophyton rubrum or Trichophyton mentagrophytes (Dermatophytes). Under favourable conditions these fungi can grow and multiply, causing the skin to become infected, leading to an outbreak of athlete’s foot. Fungal infections mostly occur on moist feet, especially between the toes. Athlete’s foot can also occur on dry and flaky skin due to a lack of natural protective oils. If left untreated, athlete’s foot can spread, infecting the whole foot and even the toenails. Other areas of the body can also become infected.
Take a look at the most common triggers of athlete’s foot below:
• Humidity: Wet, warm and sweaty feet are ideal conditions for the fungi to live and multiply.
• Poor hygiene: Athlete’s foot Fungus lives in and feeds on dead skin tissue. Therefore, it is important to wash feet regularly and change shoes and socks regularly to avoid re-infection.
• pH increase: As skin pH rises the barrier function may be damaged making skin more susceptible to attack. pH of skin has been shown to be higher in areas where two layers of skin meet or rub together e.g. between toes.
• Maceration (disrupted surface): These organisms gain entry and establish themselves in the cornified layers of damaged skin, such as cuts or grazes and multiply.
What are the most common symptoms of Athlete’s foot?
There are two common types of fungal athlete's foot: between the toes (interdigital) and on the soles of the feet (moccasin). If you want to know how to recognise athlete’s foot look out for any of the following signs:
• itchy, red rash in the spaces between the toe
• increased thickness of the skin on the soles of your feet
• scaly, flaky and dry skin
• varying degrees of itching and burning
• cracking and peeling skin
These wounds and cracks are potential spots for bacteria to enter.
What are the implications of Athlete’s foot?
An untreated fungal infection can lead to secondary infections. This is because it weakens the skin’s defence functions and allows other germs to enter the skin.
Athlete’s foot can be painful and also unsightly. It is advisable to tackle athlete’s foot as soon as possible because if left untreated, it can spread, infect the toe nails and even the whole foot. What’s more, the fungal infection can also spread to other parts of the body.
Do not neglect your feet, it is important to give them enough attention as part of your personal grooming routine.
How to treat Athlete’s foot
From creams to sprays, athlete’s foot can be tackled in a number of ways. Scholl Athlete’s foot care products contain Tolnaftate, which will help to clear up and treat the infection. It is important to use the products for as long as directed because the fungus may still be present even after symptoms completely disappear. Should symptoms persist, seek expert advice for athlete’s foot treatment and cures.
Scholl Product FAQs
How does Scholl's Athlete Foot Complete Pen and Spray differ from other treatments?
It is a unique 2-step solution: The Pen and the Shoe Spray not only treat athlete’s foot but also help restore and protect the skin to reduce the risk of a reoccurring infection.
How does Athlete's Foot Complete Pen & Spray Kit treat athlete's foot differently?
It interacts with the fungus on a physical level and does not interact with the cells of the body. It targets the fungus directly and creates a hostile environment where the fungus cannot grow. It supports skin repair and reinforces the skin barrier to help prevent re-infection.
How does the Treatment Pen work?
The precision applicator delivers just the right amount of cream to form a thin layer on the infected skin. The cream is easy to apply and absorbs quickly, delivering the moisture you need without the greasy feeling afterwards. It is specially formulated to create an environment on the skin that is unfavourable to fungus growth. Do not touch the infected area.
How does the Shoe Spray work?
The spray helps to prevent (re)infection by reducing the levels of bacteria and microorganisms that cause fungal infections.
How do I apply the pen to the infected skin area?
Start the treatment at the first sign of symptoms of athlete’s foot infection.
• Before use wash and carefully dry your feet
• Hold the pen upside down and turn the base of the pen to dispense the cream.
• If the pen is used for the first time, keep twisting the base of the pen clockwise until the cream is dispensed.
• Apply the cream on the infected area on the sole of the foot or between the toes and let dry for 1-2 minutes
• Apply the formulation twice daily for a period of 4 weeks
If symptoms worsen during the use of the product or persist after treatment, please contact your doctor or chemist.
How do I need to use the spray?
Apply the spray into your shoes at the start of treatment. Spray each shoe once a week, with 3 sprays per shoe. Allow the shoes to dry before wearing.
How long does the spray last?
The Shoe Spray can treat 2 pairs of shoes for 4 weeks. Always read the label.
Can I use the Athlete's Foot Complete Pen & Spray Kit for children?
Yes, the Scholl Athlete’s Foot Complete Kit is suitable for use for children from 4 years old. However, for children, adult supervision is recommended.
How should I store Athlete's Foot Compete Pen & Spray Kit?
Keep the product in the original packaging at room temperature (15-25°C).
Is there anything I need to be aware of when using the product?
Do not use this product after the expiry date printed on the Spray and Pen, as well as the packaging. Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes. Do not spray the shoe spray directly on the skin. Only use the product for one person to prevent contamination. Do not use the product if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in this product.
Do I need to use both the spray and the pen during the entire treatment time?
Yes, in order achieve best results it is strongly recommended to use both the spray and the treatment pen until the treatment period of four weeks has been finished.
What should I do if I apply too much of the pen?
If you use too much product, we suggest using a tissue and carefully wiping off the excess liquid from the skin. Make sure you also wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching any sensitive areas such as your eyes.
What happens if I don't finish the full treatment?
To achieve best results, it is always highly recommended to complete an entire treatment period of four weeks. If the symptoms do not improve, please see a doctor.
Can I use the spray for all types of shoes?
The spray can be used for all kinds of shoes. However, if you’re not sure about the sensitivity of the material we recommend spraying on only a small part to ensure the spray doesn’t cause any discoloration of the material.
What happens if I accidentally use the spray on the outer area of the shoe?
If you accidentally spray the outer area of the shoe, you should carefully wipe it off.
What happens if the symptoms do not improve when using Athlete's Foot Complete Pen & Spray Kit?
If the symptoms of the infection do not improve after applying the treatment, we strongly recommend seeing a doctor.
What happens if I accidentally get some of the product on my hands/fingers?
Make sure to thoroughly wash hands avoiding touching the face or any other sensitive areas of the body.
How many spray pumps do I need to apply to my shoe?
Depending on the size of the shoe, it is recommended to spray at least three times per shoe.
Are there any ingredients that I need to be aware of if I'm allergic?
Do not use the product if you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed below:
Pen: Olile-Active™, Aqua, Paraffinum Liquidum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Trilaureth-4 Phosphate, Alcohol Denat., Sodium Polyacrylate, Solanum Tuberosum Starch, Panthenol, Undecylenic Acid, Urea, Potassium Sorbate, Allantoin, p-Anisic Acid, Sodium Benzoate.
Can I use the product together with other creams or should I stop using any moisturiser?
It is not recommended to apply any other products on your foot in conjunction with the Athlete’s Foot Treatment Pen during the entire treatment period.
How long does one Athlete's Foot Complete Pen & Spray Kit last?
When used according to the instructions, the kit lasts for a minimum of one treatment schedule. The expiry date can be found on the packaging and the Pen and Spray applicators.
Can I use the Athlete's Foot Complete Pen & Spray Kit several times a year?
Yes, the Kit can be used for treatment and prevention purposes several times a year
Scholl’s Top Tip For Athlete’s Foot
Athlete's foot thrives in warm, moist conditions. After washing your feet, dry them thoroughly, taking particular care between the toes. Put the towel in the wash, before using it again!
Let your feet breath and the blood flow by walking around barefoot in a clean environment. Walking barefoot may not be suitable for people with diabetes.
Follow our well-being steps here
More Useful Tips
Do not wear overly tight shoes and ensure good air ventilation around your feet. Trainers with air ventilation holes or open shoes will help to achieve this.
Avoid wearing wet shoes and always thoroughly dry them. The same applies to socks. Shoes and socks should be changed on a regular basis, preferably daily.
Wear socks made of cotton, as it is more breathable than synthetic cloth.
Foot care equals prevention: Feet should be washed daily and also thoroughly dried. Do not put on socks until feet are completely dry.
Talcum powder applied to feet and around toes can help reduce problems with sweat. It has a hygroscopic effect, absorbing moisture and will also help reduce bad odours.
Avoid walking barefoot, especially in public places. Protect your feet with thongs or shower shoes at the swimming pool or when going to a sauna.
If you already have an athlete’s foot infection, think about other people and avoid spreading the fungus. Therefore, you should avoid walking barefoot, and you should also change towels and bedclothes on a regular basis.
Athlete's foot care products
Scholl products do not only treat athlete’s foot but also help restore and protect the skin to reduce the risk of infection reoccurring and to keep your foot in good condition.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. See your doctor if symptoms persist.