This article was reviewed by Dr. Emilija Ashtalkoska on August 9th, 2018. Products listed therein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
Athletes foot is one of the most common fungal infections in the world. In fact, it is estimated that over 3 million people contract the disease every year in the United States alone, and millions more are infected worldwide. People are plagued by incessant itching, burning, scaling, and cracking. Unfortunately, what many people don’t realize is that athletes foot (and other fungal infections) can quickly spread throughout the body, to the toenails, fingernails, groin, and hands.
If you’re reading this, it means you most likely have athletes foot on your hands, arms, and other parts of your body. Don’t worry! This article will teach you everything you need to know about getting rid of your fungal infections once and for all.
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Background Info About Athletes Foot
- 3 How Did I Get Athletes Foot?
- 4 How Did Athletes Foot Spread To My Hand?
- 5 What Are The Symptoms?
- 6 How To Treat Athletes Foot On The Hand
- 7 1. Shower With An Antifungal Soap
- 8 2. Reinforce With A Topical Solution
- 9 3. Disinfect Your Belongings With StinkBOSS
- 10 4. Repeat Until Your Athletes Hand Is Gone
- 11 What About Home Remedies?
- 12 Look Out For Nail Fungus And Other Infections
- 13 Tips For Preventing The Spread Of Fungal Infections
- 14 Watch Out Other Conditions That Look At Athletes Foot
- 15 Can It Spread To Other Parts Of The Body?
- 16 Can You Get Athletes Foot On Your Hands?
- 17 Is Athletes Foot/Hand Contagious?
- 18 Will My Infection Go Away On Its Own?
- 19 Conclusion
Background Info About Athletes Foot
Before we teach how you to treat your fungal infection, it is important to know a little bit about athletes foot from a medical perspective. Athletes foot (aka moccasin foot) is one of many colloquialisms for Tinea Pedis. Tinea means ringworm, and Pedis is Latin for “of the foot”.
So to put it all together, athletes foot is ringworm in your feet. It is caused by a variety of fungi penetrating the skin and causing the itching, scaling, and burning symptoms known as athletes foot. Unfortunately, the term “athletes foot” is extremely misleading.
First of all, people think only athletes can contracting the disease, which is not true at all. And secondly, it downplays the seriousness of this fungal infection. In many scenarios, people leave their athlete’s foot untreated for long periods of time because the terminology is innocuous. “Athletes foot” undoubtedly sounds less medically significant than “Ringworm of the foot.”
How Did I Get Athletes Foot?
How did you contract athletes foot? This is a great question. Similarly to nail fungus, you must have come into direct contact with infected fungi somewhere along the way. Did you walk barefoot through a sauna? Did you share shoes with someone? Could you have visited a less than sanitary nail salon? Did you touch a piece of unsanitized gym equipment? Unfortunately, it can be difficult, if not impossible to pinpoint the exact place and moment you contracted athletes foot.
How Did Athletes Foot Spread To My Hand?
Although less common than traditional athletes foot, in certain cases, athletes foot can spread directly to the hands. This is known as Tinea Manuum (Latin for “Ringworm of the Hands”) and is traditionally accompanied by extreme itching, burning, and scaling. Usually, these symptoms are more extreme than their foot-based counterparts.
Tinea can spread to the hands through a variety of methods, the most common being direct contact with the fungal infection, regardless of where it is located. Have you been itching your athlete’s foot with your bare hands? Do you have nail fungus and an open cut on your hand?
Have you been scratching your jock itch and then forgotten to wash your hands? Unfortunately, there is an endless number of ways to contract a fungal infection of the hand. In some cases, a fungal infection of the hand can even be contracted sexually.
What Are The Symptoms?
Most people who contract athletes foot of the hand experience burning, itching, cracking, scaling, and other symptoms that are typical of fungal infections. These symptoms can appear all over the hand, such as between the fingers, or even on the palms. Some people may experience an allergic reaction to the fungus, in which these symptoms are actually magnified and typically accompanied by a rash or even hive-like symptoms.
Other people may actually experience no symptoms at all, which is especially dangerous because they are still able to spread the infectious disease and are likely unaware that they are contagious.
How To Treat Athletes Foot On The Hand
If athlete’s foot has spread to your hands, we recommend a two-prong treatment approach; an antifungal soap and topical treatment. Utilizing two treatments creates a synergy effect that maximizes the results. Below we will outline our two favorite treatment options and tell you exactly how to stop your fungal woes.
1. Shower With An Antifungal Soap
The first step to treat your athlete’s foot is to utilize a high-grade antifungal soap while bathing. Purely Northwest Antifungal Soap is an extra strength antifungal soap made of therapeutic grade essential oils. Ingredients include Tea Tree Oil, Oregano Oil, Rosemary Oil, and more that wash away harmful fungi and bacteria from the hands, arms, feet, and skin. We strongly believe it is the best antifungal soap on the market today.
Simply incorporate the antifungal soap into your regular shower routine. Take extra precaution to apply it directly to the infected spots. Once you are finished showering, make sure you dry yourself completely to prevent spreading.
2. Reinforce With A Topical Solution
The second step is to apply a topical antifungal agent in order to maximize the treatment results. Puriya Wonder Balm is a powerful antifungal and antimicrobial balm that can be applied throughout the body to treat fungal and bacterial infections. It is made of therapeutic grade Eucalyptus Oil, Lavender, and Tea Tree Oil. Wonder Balm is a fantastic choice because it is extremely versatile and treats a variety of fungal infections.
Apply the balm directly to the infection sights morning and night, and let it sit for upwards of thirty minutes. Feel free to read our in-depth review of Puriya Wonder Balm for additional information.
3. Disinfect Your Belongings With StinkBOSS
The third and final step is one which most people forget – you have to disinfect your belongings. Unfortunately, fungi spread, and they spread easily. Did you just walk around all day with gloves on? There are now fungi spores in your gloves. Enjoy a good nights sleep in your sheets? There are now spores in your linens and sheets.
The good news is that that StinkBOSS Shoe Deodorizer, Ozone Sanitizer and Dryer easily disinfects all of your infected belongings. Gloves, long sleeve t-shirts, sheets, socks – whatever you have come into direct contact with, StinkBOSS can easily handle. The powerful appliance dries, disinfects, and deodorizes, meaning you don’t have to worry about spreading the athletes foot on your hand to other parts of your body, or to your loved ones. Stinkboss is incredibly easy to use, has no mess, smell, or filters to replace, and will prevent fungal spores from spreading.
4. Repeat Until Your Athletes Hand Is Gone
We recommend utilizing both the antifungal soap and topical solution daily. The two treatments compound and create a synergy to treat your fungal infection and provide you relief from the itching, burning, and scaling. You can utilize StinkBOSS or another deodorizer twice a week initially.
Your fungal infection will most likely start to clear up within a few weeks, but we recommend continuing treatment for up to a year in order to prevent reinfection. In many instances, reinfection occurs because a user starts seeing immediate relief but stops treating the infection, allowing residual fungi to grow back.
For some extreme sufferers, an oral anti-fungal such as griseofulvin may need to be prescribed.
What About Home Remedies?
Some users have asked us about the efficacy of home remedies when treating athletes foot that has spread to the hands or arms. We believe that if the fungi have spread from the foot, that a home remedy is not an ideal solution. Home remedies tend to work best for mild fungal infections. We highly recommend utilizing an antifungal soap and topical solution.
Look Out For Nail Fungus And Other Infections
Unfortunately, if you have athletes foot that has spread to your hand, it is also highly likely that you have contracted toenail or fingernail fungus as well. Are your nails yellow and thick? Are they emitting a foul odor? Do you have a black spot or other discoloration affecting the nails? Is there area around your nail infected? If so, your athlete’s foot has spread to your nails. This is known medically as Onychomycosis. Fortunately, many of the anti-fungal agents that treat athletes foot also treat nail fungus.
Purely Northwest has an awesome 3-in-1 system that includes their anti-fungal soap, ReNew nail solution, and Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak. This can treat both your athlete’s foot, infected hands and arms, and nail fungus. When the infection spreads to the nails, a sample of the infected nail needs to be examined by a doctor to confirm that it is nail fungus and not another issue.
Tips For Preventing The Spread Of Fungal Infections
If you have already contracted a fungal infection, such as athletes foot or athletes hand, it is imperative that you take certain steps so you do not spread the infection to your loved ones.
- Never share your socks, shoes, or sandals with other people
- Remove the fungi from your shoes or gloves using an anti-fungal powder, spray, or UV light
- Always wear sandals when visiting a pool or public beach
- Start treating your fungal infection immediately
- Alternate between different pairs of clothing every day
- Do not share towels
Essentially, you want to keep your infection as far away from other people as possible in order to prevent them from coming into contact with the fungi. Additionally, you want never want to keep your infected body part in a closed environment for too long, and never with moisture. So if your gloves, socks, or shoes are always getting sweaty, make sure you disinfect them and swap them out for different pairs regularly.
Watch Out Other Conditions That Look At Athletes Foot
It is important to note that there are other conditions that look like athletes foot, but are actually different. Dyshidrotic Eczema, Erythrema multiforme, Psoriasis, and even Syphilis all have similar symptoms to athletes foot.
This is why it is crucial to get your athletes foot diagnosed by a doctor, especially if it is hard to cure and home treatments have not been working for you. A doctor will scrape the skin and examine it under a microscope, thus confirming that it is athletes foot.
Can It Spread To Other Parts Of The Body?
Yes, if you leave your fungal infection untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body such as your groin, nails, legs, mouth and even face. This is why it is so extremely important to treat your fungal infection as soon as any symptoms appear.
Can You Get Athletes Foot On Your Hands?
Yes, you can absolutely contract athletes foot on your hand. Athletes foot is the colloquial term for Tinea, also known as ringworm. Ringworm can spread all over your body, including to your nails, face, skin, head, feet, and hands.
Is Athletes Foot/Hand Contagious?
Unfortunately, athletes foot is highly contagious regardless of whether it is actually on your feet, hands, or anywhere else on your body. Start treating your infection as soon as possible in order to prevent spreading it to your partner, friends, or even children.
Will My Infection Go Away On Its Own?
No, unfortunately, athletes hand or any other type of ringworm infection will not go away on its own. This is a common fallacy that makes life worse for a number of people – instead of treating their infection when it is relatively new, they wait for months or even years, and it becomes significantly harder to get rid of the infection. At this point, it has possibly spread to other parts of the body, and their fungal spores have spread throughout their clothing.
This is why it is so important to start treating your infection at the first sign of trouble, while also disinfecting various the clothing and linens that you come into contact with on a regular basis. Do not wait! Start treating your infection now before it gets worse.
When athletes foot spreads to the hand or other parts of the body it can be embarrassing, confusing, and even scary. However, armed with the knowledge in this guide, you can finally start treating your fungal infection and get the results you are looking for.
Please keep in mind that no fungal infection is going to disappear overnight, and you need to be diligent about applying the treatment every day. But with patience and dedication, you can finally get rid of your fungal infection!
Sources for more information on athletes foot:
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9055360 – reference about the antifungal properties of tea tree oil
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4595230/ – reference about the antifungal properties of eucalyptus