What is Athlete’s Foot?
Before we get to the treatments and home remedies for athletes foot we should first consider what it actually is.
Athletes foot is also called tinea pedis. It is a fungal infection. It is caused by a fungus called tricophyton. The name is misleading as it lets one think that it affects only the athletes. In reality, it is not so. It may affect anyone. When the fungus infects the barefoot, anyone can get infected with the athlete’s foot.
Why did this fungal infection get the name athlete’s foot It affects people whose feet are wet. An athlete’s foot is damp often because athletes sweat a lot and they wear wet socks and shoes for a long time. The foot fungus is more common in damp and wet places like bathrooms and shower rooms. When the bare foot of the athlete gets contacted with the fungus in the shower room or locker rooms, they get infected with the disease. The athletes get affected with the disease more easily. That is why this infection caused by the toe fungus got the name athlete’s foot.
As seen earlier the disease is caused when the bare toes or feet gets in contact with the fungus. When a person walks barefoot in wet places like swimming pools, public showers or in locker rooms he is more at the risk of getting infected. You can also get infected with the disease when your toes or feet come in contact with the infected feet. The fungus that is in your toes starts to grow if your shoes, socks and feet are wet. If you touch a person’s foot infected with the toe fungus and touch another person’s toe, the other person is likely to get infected. You may spread the foot fungus unknowingly to others. A person who gets infected with this fungus is likely to get infected repeatedly. People who are on some medications like birth control pills, corticosteroids and other drugs that affect the body immunity are more susceptible to the disease however and luckily, home remedies for athletes foot are plentiful.
1. The skin between the toes get cracked and then peeled off.
2. The skin in the affected area becomes red and itchy.
3. As the fungi keep on growing the patient may experience pain and burning sensation.
4. The next stage is the formation of sores. The blisters start to ooze out pus like fluid.
5. If untreated, the fungi may even spread to your nails. You may get yellow toenails and can be quite painful.
The above are the common symptoms. There are three types of athlete’s foot and each one has different symptoms. If the skin between your fourth and fifth toes is affected, you may have toe web infection. If you have oozing blisters in the bottom of feet, there are chances that you are affected with vesicular infection. If the skin in your heel becomes thick and starts to crack, it may be due to mocassin infection.
The disease can be diagnosed by your doctor just by having a look at your feet because the symptoms of the fungal infection in your toes or feet are very obvious. To confirm the presence of the toe fungus, some tests may be recommended. The flaked skin is removed and tested under a microscope. This is called KOH test. Culture test may also be preformed.
As mentioned earlier athlete’s foot treatments are plentiful however over the counter topical medications are also available to treat the athlete’s foot. You can apply the topical medications on the area after washing and drying the area. If you there is no improvement, you can consult a doctor.
Antifungal powders, creams and ointments are prescribed by the doctors to treat athletes foot. Doctors may prescribe oral medications also apart from topical medications.
Easy Home Remedies
Home remedies for athletes foot are the best to treat this fungal condition. They are cheap, but effective in treating the disease. You need not wait in the doctor’s consultation room for hours. Natural remedies for athlete’s foot have no side effects. They are completely safe. If you get infected with the fungus in your toes or foot, first try to treat the toenail infection with home remedies. There are many home remedies for athlete’s foot and a few of them are listed below.
- Add a cup of white vinegar to water. Soak your feet in this solution for ten minutes. Dry your feet well. You can do it thrice a day. You can also tea tree oil instead of vinegar.
- Apply olive oil on the affected area.
- Never wear tight shoes.
- Place slices of garlic on your shoes. The garlic is a good infectant and will kill the fungus.
- You can also dissolve 5-6 aspirins in water and soak your feet in it.
- You can also rub the affected area in your foot with pumice stone and then soak your feet in warm water adding garlic and cloves to it. Dry your feet and apply neem oil over it. Repeat this daily till the infection goes away.
- Make sure all the areas in your home where you walk barefoot are thoroughly disinfected and are dry. Clean all your shoes and socks and apply a few drops of vinegar on them after they are dried. This will prevent the growth of toe fungus that may be present in them.
- Avoid eating bakery and processed foods that have high yeast content. Include a lot of fibrous vegetables and fruits in your diet.
- Chew raw garlic or add minced garlic in half a cup of water and drink it.
Special Herbal Remedy for Athlete’s Foot
These ingredients are known to promote skin health and when applied to the feet offer comfort and calming help.
How to avoid athlete’s foot: Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips on how to avoid athlete’s foot.
- Wear loose fitting socks and shoes.
- Keep your feet dry. Dry your feet, the toes and the gap between the toes with a towel.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public showers and locker rooms.
- It is better to wear cotton socks.
- If your shoes are wet, let them to dry. If you have to wear them immediately, dry it with a tissue paper or soft cloth.
- If your feet sweats a lot, it is better to wear open type foot wear.
You can easily avoid athletes foot if you take proper care of your foot and toes and if you do become afflicted by it I am sure that by applying some of the home remedies for athlete’s foot above you will get some well deserved relief.
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