Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most-asked questions about athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm.

Athlete's Foot Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. What is athlete's foot?

    A. Athlete's foot is a contagious fungal infection caused by a certain group of fungi that loves warm, moist conditions (like in your boots or shoes). You can contract the infection—and spread it to others—from touching infected skin, surfaces, or materials.

  • Q. Can I get athlete's foot if I've already had it before?

    A. Yes, you can get athlete's foot even if you've previously had it and treated the infection. If you are exposed to the fungus again, you can develop another athlete's foot infection.

  • Q. What is LamisilAT® and how does it work?

    A. LamisilAT® is fungicidal, it contains terbinafine, a powerful active ingredient, which is formulated to stay in the skin and kill the fungus, not just inhibit the growth, until it is gone. After completing the 7-day athlete's foot treatment, LamisilAT® stays in your skin to provide protection for up to 3 months. Stopping treatment early could cause athlete's foot symptoms to reappear.

  • Q. How long should I treat my athlete's foot?

    A. An antifungal like LamisilAT® Cream acts quickly to treat athlete's foot. For athlete's foot between the toes, treat twice-a-day (morning and night) for 1-week, or as directed by a doctor. For athlete's foot on the bottom or sides of the feet, apply twice a day (morning and night) for 2 weeks, or as directed by a doctor. Follow the entire course of treatment for as long as directed, even if your symptoms disappear. Not treating for the amount of time recommended puts you at risk for reinfection.

  • Q. What happens after I stop treating my feet with LamisilAT®?

    A. After completing the 7-day treatment, the terbinafine in LamisilAT® Cream stays in the skin for up to 3 weeks after treatment has stopped and provides protection for up to 3 months.

  • Q. How common is athlete's foot?

    A. Athlete's foot is a common, treatable condition that affects 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives.

  • Q. Is athlete's foot caused by skin infections?

    A. Athlete's foot is a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on your feet.

  • Q. What does athlete's foot look like?

    A. Athlete's foot causes peeling, redness, and cracked skin on the soles of the feet, and between the toes. Other symptoms include blistering, oozing and raw, inflamed skin. To see examples of what athlete's foot looks like, see the athlete's foot symptom page.

  • Q. Can athlete's foot spread to other parts of my body?

    A. Yes, the fungus that causes athlete's foot can spread to your hands from scratching or picking at the infected skin, or by touching infected sheets, towels, or clothes.1 Touching other areas of your body after touching an infected area can spread the infection to your torso, groin, or other areas.

    1. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016, July 26). Jock Itch - Symptoms & Causes. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jock-itch/basics/causes/con-20021468

  • Q. Is athlete's foot contagious?

    A. Yes, the types of fungi that cause athlete's foot are very contagious. You can contract the infection–and spread it to others–from touching infected skin, surfaces, or materials.

  • Q. Is athlete's foot a fungal infection?

    A. Yes, athlete's foot is a fungal infection known as tinea pedis . It's caused by mold-like fungus called dermatophytes that reproduce on the skin. In many cases, the fungus will not go away on its own and must be treated with a topical antifungal treatment like LamisilAT® creams and sprays.

  • Q. What are the symptoms and signs of athlete's foot?

    A. Athlete's foot symptoms can vary somewhat from person to person. The following are the most common symptoms of athlete's foot:

    •  Itching, burning, or stinging on the soles of your feet or between your toes
    • White, wet-looking skin between your toes
    • Flaky or cracked skin, or small tears (fissures) on your feet or between your toes
    • Redness, rash, blisters, or oozing on the skin of your foot
    • Thick, dry, scaly skin on the bottom of your feet (chronic, moccasin-type athlete's foot)
  • Q. Is athlete's foot eliminated when my symptoms disappear?

    A. No, this is a common misconception that often leads to recurring infections. It's important to follow the entire treatment, even if symptoms disappear.

  • Q. Can athlete's foot be cured?

    A. Yes, most cases of athlete's foot can be cured with topical antifungal treatments like LamisilAT®. A small percentage of sufferers have a chronic infection, which requires prolonged and more extensive treatment. If you suspect you have a chronic infection, talk to your doctor.

  • Q. Am I definitely infected if I come into contact with the fungus that causes athlete's foot?

    A. No, just because you may have come into contact with the fungus that causes athlete's foot does not mean that you will be infected. However, if you think you have come into contact with the fungus, you should follow these guidelines for good foot care and watch out for any of the common symptoms.

  • Q. Can proper foot care prevent athlete's foot?

    A. Yes, athlete's foot prevention begins with good, regular foot care. Good foot care includes: 

    • Thoroughly washing and drying your feet 
    • Avoiding wearing the same shoes every day so your shoes stay dry
    • Wearing a clean pair of cotton socks every day
    • Using LamisilAF Defense® Spray Powder to help keep your feet dry
    • Wearing shower shoes, flip-flops, or sandals when walking around pools, gyms, showers, or locker rooms
  • Q. Can routine foot care treat skin infections?

    A. No, a fungal infection like athlete's foot should be treated with antifungal medication. Routine foot care can help prevent infection, but it will not treat infection if you have already contracted athlete's foot.

  • Q. When is the best time to apply LamisilAT® products?

    A. LamisilAT® should be applied in the morning and at night. Feet should be clean and dry, so directly after a bath or shower is a good time to apply LamisilAT® treatments.

  • Q. What is LamisilAF Defense® Spray Powder and how do I use it?

    A. LamisilAF Defense® Spray Powder treats and prevents most athlete's foot infections and relieves symptoms while absorbing wetness. To prevent athlete's foot, apply LamisilAF Defense® Spray Powder twice daily (morning and night, or as directed by a doctor) for 4 weeks. You should not use LamisilAF Defense® Spray Powder for longer than directed.

  • Q. When should I stop using LamisilAF Defense® Spray Powder?

    A. If your irritation occurs or gets worse, or there's no improvement of the fungal infection within 4 weeks, you should stop using LamisilAF Defense® Spray Powder and consult a doctor.

Jock Itch Frequently Asked Questions

Ringworm Frequently Asked Questions