Athlete’s foot in pregnancy: what to look out for!


Table of Contents

How is athlete’s foot treated during pregnancy?

What to look out for?

Skin patches on the feet or between the toes that peel can be a sign of athlete’s foot. The contagious infection can affect anyone, including pregnant women.

It should not be treated lightly. The pathogen can spread through the feet to the nails and cause nail fungus.

If athlete’s foot is discovered during pregnancy, there are a few things to keep in mind when treating it.

In the following, I explain to you what to look out for in athlete’s foot in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Which medicines can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

In the following, I have compiled a table with the most important information on various drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Athlete’s foot during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not a case for self-medication. A doctor should always be consulted.

The respective active ingredient of the preparations is given in brackets:

The medications mentioned are all intended for external treatment. If the infection is more severe and the effect of local therapy is not sufficient, the doctor may prescribe oral tablets.

However, since internal treatment of fungi should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy, it is important to see a doctor immediately as soon as you notice skin changes on your feet.

Even greater caution is required with prescription medications for ingestion than with preparations for external use.

Pregnancy: Clotrimazole is one of the agents of choice for fungal infection in pregnancy.

Lactation: May be used (except in the breast area).

Clotrimazole is one of the drugs of choice for a fungal infection during lactation.

Causes, symptoms and risk factors of athlete’s foot in pregnant women.

Athlete’s foot (med.: tinea pedis) is mainly caused by dermatophytes (filamentous fungi) and the pathogen spreads on the skin surface.

Characteristic symptoms of the infection are scaling skin, especially in the spaces between the toes, and itching. The affected area may also become red and oozing.

On the soles of the feet, the disease tends to appear dry, as if it were dry callus. Therefore, athlete’s foot is often detected too late and treatment is not started in time.

Infection occurs in public places where people usually walk without shoes (for example, hotel rooms, saunas, swimming pools, gymnasiums).

Another major source of infection is one’s own household. If, for example, one person in the family has athlete’s foot, he or she can pass the pathogen on to family members through lost, infected skin flakes.

Especially during pregnancy, one is at a higher risk of infection because of hormonal changes in the body of women. In addition, blood production increases and the immune system changes.

Other risk factors caused by pregnancy:

  • Heavy sweating: Fungi like a moist, warm environment to grow.
  • Swollen, hot feet: warm climate, also ideal for the athlete’s foot pathogen.
  • Restricted mobility due to abdominal girth: feet and toes cannot be washed thoroughly and, especially after a bath, cannot be dried sufficiently. This in turn creates a moist environment for the fungus.

Is athlete’s foot dangerous during pregnancy?

In itself, the fungus is not dangerous for the child and does not affect the pregnancy.

Nevertheless, the fungal pathogen should not be ignored, as it can spread to other parts of the body.

Therefore, in case of fungal infection of the feet during pregnancy, a doctor should be consulted in any case, who will select the appropriate therapy.

Also during breastfeeding, the physician should determine the type of treatment.

In case of athlete's foot infection during pregnancy, a doctor must be contacted.
In case of athlete’s foot infection during pregnancy, a doctor must be contacted.

Treating athlete’s foot during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

If athlete’s foot occurs during pregnancy or breastfeeding, a doctor or pharmacist should be contacted. Self-medication is not recommended in this case. Athlete’s foot is not a danger to the child!

Athlete’s foot does not heal by itself and must be treated correctly in any case.

There are several ways to treat the infection. The focus is on eliminating the inflammation and killing the pathogen.

It is usually not enough to treat only the feet. Clothing such as socks or towels must be properly cleaned and floors and shoes disinfected.

The different forms of administration range from creams and ointments, which are used for dry and scaly skin of the feet, to powders and solutions, which are chosen for weeping areas, to sprays or gels.

Gels are particularly suitable for severe itching and burning, as they have a cooling effect.

You can find a comparison of the various preparations with instructions for use on the page on athlete’s foot treatment.

The treatment of athlete’s foot during pregnancy should always be carried out under the guidance of a doctor.

For most medications, you will find in the package insert the note that there are insufficient study results for treatment for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Therefore, therapy with the particular preparation should be carried out only after benefit-risk assessment under the guidance of a doctor.

Anyone suffering from the infection athlete’s foot in pregnancy should ask the attending physician for advice on which remedy is the most suitable. Normally, athlete’s foot is a disease of the feet that can be treated by self-medication under certain circumstances.

However, anyone who is pregnant should generally not treat the infection on their own.

Not only in the case of athlete’s foot, but also in the case of all other diseases for which medicines are necessary, special caution is required during pregnancy or breastfeeding and the doctor should always be consulted.

In the case of athlete’s foot, the dermatologist can usually help. In case of further questions, the midwife or the gynecologist can also be contacted.


Athlete’s foot in pregnancy: what to look out for!
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