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Athlete's Foot in Children: Care Instructions

Vesicular-type athlete's foot between the toes

Your Care Instructions

Athlete's foot is an itchy rash on the foot caused by an infection with a fungus. Your child can get it by going barefoot in wet public areas, such as swimming pools or locker rooms. Many times there is no clear reason why your child gets athlete's foot. You can easily treat athlete's foot by putting medicine on your child's feet for 1 to 6 weeks. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe pills to kill the fungus.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Your doctor may suggest an over-the counter lotion or spray or may prescribe a medicine. Use medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think your child is having a problem with the medicine.
  • Keep your child's feet clean and dry.
  • When your child gets dressed, have your child put socks on before his or her underwear. This can prevent the fungus from spreading from your child's feet to his or her groin.

To prevent athlete's foot

  • Have your child wear flip-flops or other shower sandals in public locker rooms and showers and by the pool.
  • Have your child dry between his or her toes after swimming or bathing.
  • Have your child wear leather shoes or sandals, which let air get to your child's feet.
  • Have your child change socks as needed so his or her feet stay as dry as possible.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.