I know it feels bad to have Athlete’s foot, it just ruins the look of your feet for the worse. But don’t be upset with constant attention and extra care to your feet in keeping it dry, your determination will fetch you great results in making that foot feel and look better again. You can make use of the remedies listed below to soothe the itchy feeling and to get rid of the fungus that causes it. Additionally, following the prevention tips will make your foot resistant to Athlete’s foot.
Remember that treating Athlete’s foot requires a lot of determination and patience so do not give up till you see the results. and keep your feet dry as much as possible.
So what is Athlete’s Foot
It is a condition caused when your foot is under a direct attack from a fungus called Tinea pedis. This fungus usually found in locker room floors, and warm and moist places in general. When your foot is exposed to these places and you do not give proper attention and care to take care of your feet, this fungus can infest your toes, places in-between toes, soles, sides of your feet, and even your toenails. This fungus usually multiplies pretty rapidly when your feet are wet and moist, like when you wear shoes with socks that don’t absorb the sweat.
Symptoms of Athlete’s foot includes cracks, burn, scales, reddening of the infected area, itchy feeling, flaking, and sometimes it can lead to severe oozing blisters.
How to Soothe the itchiness and Fight the Fungus
Miconazole nitrate or tolnaftate: When you browse the local drug store for creams and ointments to control the condition, look out for the ones that contain either Miconazole nitrate or tolnaftate. These creams will fight against the fungus infesting your feet and gets rid of that itchy feeling. Apply the cream two to three times a day and do not skip to apply it before hitting the bed at night. Use the cream for at least six weeks and do not stop using it once your itching sensations have subsided.
Baking Soda can help you to get rid of the itchy feeling, health the burns, and bad odor from your feet. Just make a paste out of 1 tablespoon of baking soda powder with water and apply it to the affected areas, leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it away in clean water. Make sure your feet it completely dry. You can make use of creams and ointments to fight the fungus after this process before going to sleep.
Salt: Add two teaspoons of salt to 500 ml of warm water, mix it well and soak your feet in it for five to ten minutes. Do this soaking exercise two to three times a day at equal intervals till you find your condition is completely cured.
Tea bags: Tea leaves are natural astringents, they contract the tissues and ensures they are completely dry. Put in three to four tea bags in a liter of water and boil it for 5 to 10 minutes. Let it cool down until its lukewarm and soak your feet in it for 20 to 30 minutes. Do it once or twice a day.
Domeboro powder or Burow’s solution: Both Domeboro powder and Burow’s solution contain Aluminium acetate which is a mild astringent, so they are very effective in bringing down the itchy sensation and drying out the affected areas and blisters. Mix a packet of Domeboro powder or two tablespoons of Burow’s solution in 500 ml cold water. Take a little cotton cloth, soak it in the liquid and dab it over the affected areas for three to four times a day for at least 17 to 20 minutes.
Yogurt contains a friendly bacteria known as acidophilus bacteria which fights against any fungus and keep it in check. Just apply some yogurt in the infected areas of your toe and let it dry for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off.
Mustard: Both mustard oil and mustard powder have anti-fungal properties that fight tinea pedis. Add two to three teaspoons of mustard oil or mustard powder to a liter of warm water and soak your feet in it for 30 minutes.
Tea-tree oil: Australian tea-tree oil is well known for its anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. When you lather some oil on your feet it alters the environment on your feet and hinders the growth of fungus-like tinea pedis. Mix equal amounts of tea-tree oil with olive oil and apply it over the affected areas. Olive oil helps to tenderize the skin areas which are toughened due to infection which makes the tea-tree oil to penetrate and gets absorbed into the skin.
Tea-tree oil with aloe-vera gel: Just like tea-tree oil and aloe vera gel also has antiseptic properties. Mix three parts of tea tree oil to one part of aloe-vera gel and mix it well. Apply this solution to the affected region two or three times a day. Continue this treatment for at least six to eight weeks to see a visible difference.
Lavender and Coconut oil: Lavender oil doesn’t just smell great, it also has anti-fungal properties that help to fight against tinea pedis. Mix three teaspoons of lavender oil to one teaspoon of coconut oil and use this oil to rub against the affected area once a day. Do this for at least 6 weeks time.
Calendula is a traditional herb that is being used to heal wounds and skin infections. It is well known for its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula ointment is easily available in most drug stores. Apply this ointment to the infected region, especially in-between toes before going to sleep at night.
Word of caution
Do you know that tinea pedis is the same fungus that causes another skin infection called jock itch that affects your groin area? You need to be very careful while handling and treating Athlete’s foot and ensure your hands are washed off using a hand wash or anti-septic after touching the infected areas. Wear socks while removing your undies. So that you do not accidentally infect your private areas.
When you should seek Doctor’s Help
Home remedies and relief measures take time to work, so give it at least a month’s time to work. If you find your infection getting bad or severe even after you have taken the relief measures and remedies mentioned here, then bring it to the attention of a dermatologist or podiatrist. When the fungal infection gets serious it can crack open the skin layers through which harmful bacterias can gain access and start multiplying. Whenever the infection becomes seriously reddish or starts oozing then make sure you get proper medical attention. Sometimes severe toe infections can lead to fever accompanied by severe swelling in the infected areas. These symptoms should be brought to a Doctor’s attention immediately.
How to Prevent?
- Use a blower to dry your feet completely after a bath or shower. Places between your toes must be completely dry.
- Make use of cotton socks opposed to ones made of synthetic fibers. Synthetic socks do not absorb your sweat leaving your feet wet. On the contrary, cotton socks absorb the moisture content and sweat away from your feet. If possible change your socks once or twice a day. Instead of wearing the same socks the whole day.
- Plastic and rubber shoes do not allow your feet to breath free, it denies access to external air making your feet to sweat more. Use canvas or leather shoes instead.
- If you have sweaty feet then use two sets of shoes which can be used on alternate days. Shoes take more time to dry out, if you have sweaty feet, using the same pair of shoe every day will make it increase your chances of infection.
- Make use of anti-fungal sprays or powder and use it inside the shoes before wearing and after removing them. These sprays and powders are easily available on most footwear shops.
- Fungus can spread from someone else’s foot to yours, especially in public places, locker rooms, gyms, swimming pools etc.. so always wear slippers or shower shoes in these places to avoid potential infection.
- Fungal infection can affect the toenails as well. When your toenails are affected by the fungus it becomes yellow, thick, brittle, and loses its shape. If you have an infected toenail it can grow into Athlete’s foot. So bring to the attention of a podiatrist or dermatologist immediately to stop it from spreading to other areas.
Some people have cured their toenail fungus and Athlete’s foot just by making use of their own saliva. Yes, our saliva contains a chemical substance called histatins which has anti-fungal properties, so it fights against tinea pedis.