Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection occurring in between the toes. Also known as tinea pedis, it is a very common type of fungal infection. A group of mold like fungi called the dermatophytes is responsible for the athletes’ foot. These fungi are normal inhabitants of the skin, but, their growth is kept in check as long as the skin is clean and dry. Dematophytes flourish in moist, damp, warm and close environments.
It is strongly associated with other fungal infections like ringworm and jock itch. The condition is rather contagious; however, it can be treated easily using simple home remedies and food prescriptions.
Athlete’s foot usually occurs in the moist and warm areas between the toes and occasionally on other parts of the foot as well. It results in itching, burning and stinging.
The fungus thrives in tight shoes that constrict the toes together and produce a warm and moist area. Damp socks and shoes as well as warm, humid conditions support the organisms’ multiplication.
The condition is very infectious and spreads via contact with an infected person or contaminated things, like, floors, napkins and shoes.
Symptoms Of Athletes Foot
The clinical manifestations and symptoms of athlete’s foot are:
- Itching, stinging and burning between your toes.
- The skin between your toes and on the soles of the feet may crack and peel.
- Extreme dryness of the skin is a common accompanying feature.
- Toenails become thick and discolored.
- Offensive odor from the feet, occasionally.
Home Remedies For Athletes Foot
The following guidelines and home remedies will help you manage athlete’s foot effectively. In case you find no improvement in a week’s time, it would be advisable to confer with your health care professional.
- Stringently maintain hygiene levels. Keep your feet clean and dry, especially in between the toes. When you’re at home, stay bare feet; your feet will be able to breathe.
- Wear cotton socks; avoid synthetic materials.
- Change your socks every day. In case your feet sweat profusely, you must change your socks twice daily.
- Wear shoes that are well ventilated; and steer clear of shoes that are made of synthetic material, like, rubber or vinyl.
- Alternate your shoes as well; do not wear the same pair every day. Never share your shoes.
- Wear waterproof slippers in communal pools, showers, fitness centers and other public areas.
- Maintain strict levels of hygiene; and use powder on your feet, if possible anti-fungal.
- Aromatherapy essential oils are of immense help in managing athlete’s foot. Tea tree essential oil is recommended for the condition. Mix 5 to 7 drops of the oil with 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel. Apply this to the affected area and leave on for at least 1 to 2 hours. Repeat frequently. Tea tree is a powerful anti fungal that helps treat the infection speedily and effectively. Aloe Vera reduces itching and stinging significantly.
- Soak your feet in warm water to which lavender essential oil has been added. Soak the feet for about 20 minutes. Lavender essential oil reduces the itching as well as the burning sensation successfully. Thereafter, dry your feet well and powder them.
Along with the above measures, eat 1 flake of garlic every day. Garlic is an excellent anti fungal food that fights the infection rapidly.