Athlete's Foot During Pregnancy - Causes And Home Remedies You Should Be Aware Of

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It is not recommended to treat an Athlete’s foot during pregnancy with over-the-counter antifungals creams since many of these medicines are not safe for pregnancy. You must have forgotten to keep up with your beauty regimen and even avoided pedicures in pregnancy. But sweaty feet should not be ignored as the symptom could increase the risk of developing fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot. Hence, keeping your feet dry and clean can help prevent infections. Keep reading as we tell you the causes and treatment of an Athlete’s foot in pregnancy.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot occurs due to poor foot hygiene. Parasitic fungi can thrive well in moist, dark and warm environments.

Some of the typical symptoms of the infectious disease are:

  • Blisters
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Scaling (Rough, hard and white patches appearing on the feet)
  • Painful inflammation

Causes Of Athlete’s Foot During Pregnancy

Some common causes of Athlete’s foot while you are pregnant, include:

1. Improper Feet Hygiene:

  • During pregnancy, it becomes difficult for you to bend down to wash and scrub your feet due to abdominal distention.
  • It can significantly increase the impact of fungal spores and sweat between the digit of your feet, and you are at a higher risk of developing Athlete’s foot.

2. Hormonal Changes:

  • You may tend to sweat profusely due to the hormonal imbalance closely associated with pregnancy.
  • Your feet tend to remain moist, and can be an ideal breeding ground for fungal growth.

3. Staying Barefoot:

  • If you often go to the damp loo barefoot, your risk of suffering from Athlete’s foot is higher.
  • It is advisable to wear clean sandals and pat your wet feet dry with a soft towel. It prevents the fungal growth on feet.

4. Skin To Skin Contact:

  • As the germ happens to be contagious, having a skin to skin contact with an infected person can elevate your risk of developing Athlete’s foot.
  • For such reasons, you need to wash your feet immediately after having a skin to skin contact with an infected person.

Treating Athlete’s Foot During Pregnancy

You should never use regular anti-fungal medications for treating Athlete’s foot in pregnancy. As these drugs can be detrimental to the health of your unborn baby. If your doctor allows it, or the rash turns aggressive, you can use basic home remedies and over-the-counter aids. OTC medications for athlete’s foot treatment during pregnancy can lead to many side effects.


Please note that some of the OTC fungal sprays for Athlete’s foot contain harsh chemicals that can harm breastfeeding and pregnant women. Hence, you need to acquire requisite medical assistance (1).

Preventing Athlete’s Foot During Pregnancy

Here are some helpful tips that may help you avoid the fungal infection during pregnancy:

  • Wash your feet, whenever they come in contact with common surfaces like the ladies toilet or the locker room.
  • The foot fungus readily thrives in damp and humid climate. You need to maintain dryness of your feet and turn it inhospitable for the fungus to survive.
  • To maintain dryness of your feet and wear well-ventilated socks and shoes. You can wear the items made out of breathable materials like wool, cotton and leather.
  • Wear sandals, as they allow proper air circulation around your feet and keep them dry for a longer time span.
  • Keep changing your regular-wear socks every day and try to wash them in lukewarm soapy water (2).

Home Remedies For Athlete’s Foot During Pregnancy

The most recommended way of treating Athlete’s foot during pregnancy is through the usage of safe, home-based, natural cures.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Solution:

  • Herbal foot soaks made using one cup of apple cider vinegar and two cups of water help in alleviating the fungal infection.
  • You can soak your feet for about 15-30 minutes in the acidic solution.
  • The solution reduces the dryness and flakiness of your skin.

2. Essential Oils:

  • Adding herbal oils like tea tree oil to your foot soak disinfectants your skin.
  • The soothing effect of the essential oils helps in reducing stress during pregnancy, especially when you suffer from mood swings, headaches and abdominal cramping.
  • Foot baths infused with potent essential oils like Neem oil and lavender oil serves as an excellent way of reducing the irritation caused by athlete’s foot.

Improper foot hygiene, hormonal changes, or staying barefoot, especially in damp areas, are common causes of an athlete’s foot during pregnancy. Seek medical guidance if you develop an athlete’s foot. Do not use over-the-counter anti-fungal medicines as they can adversely affect your baby. After consulting your doctor, you can try simple home remedies, such as applying essential oils and apple cider vinegar solution to the affected area. Washing feet when they come in contact with common surfaces, keeping feet dry, and wearing well-ventilated socks and sandals or shoes are a few ways to prevent an athlete’s foot.


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Dr. Michael Tahery

Dr. Michael Tahery is an American board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. He graduated in ob/gyn from the University of New York and Advanced Pelvic Surgery and Urogynecology from The Mayo Clinic.    Dr. Tahery is a member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, American Urogynecology Society, and American Urology Association. Before... more

shreeja pillai

Shreeja holds a postgraduate degree in Chemistry and diploma in Drug Regulatory Affairs. Before joining MomJunction, she worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. As a writer, she aims at providing informative articles on health and pharma, especially related to... more