Most cases of athlete's foot can be cured using over-the-counter antifungal powders, creams or sprays, according to WebMD. If used properly and promptly, an over-the-counter antifungal treatment may be able to prevent a visit to the doctor.
It is important not to tear or scrape off flaking skin from an area affected by athlete's foot, notes WebMD. Doing so may break the healthy skin surrounding the infected area, thereby spreading the condition. More stubborn cases of athlete's foot that are treated with antifungal medications can take several weeks to fully heal, and there is a possibility of the condition returning after treatment.