What is Athletes foot?
As is clear from the name itself, Athletes foot is an infection on the foot. It is a common contagious skin infection of the foot. Fungal infections can occur anywhere on the body, like the scalp, trunk, hands, feet, nails, groin, and other areas. This fungus infects the upper layer of the skin and thrives on moisture, warmth and darkness. Dermatophytes (a group of mold-like fungi) are mostly held responsible for causing Athletes foot. They can be found in swimming pools, on floors in gyms, socks, locker rooms, nail salons, and similar places.
This disease can also spread directly from one person to another. Generally, this sort of infection lasts for a few weeks if treated well in time. However, it can last for several months or even years and spread to other body parts if ignored. Therefore, this infectious disease should not be taken lightly. At times, people use harsh chemicals to get rid of the infection, but these chemicals have an adverse effect on the skin. Instead of healing the disease, they often aggravate the disease by burning the sensitive skin. Consequently, more and more people are turning to the natural home remedies for Athletes foot disease’s treatment.
Causes and Symptoms of Athletes Foot
The organisms or to be specific, Dermatophytes flourish in tight and thick shoes that squeeze the toes together and create warm, moist areas between them. Damp socks and shoes where there is enough warmth and humidity encourage fungal growth in them. Plastic shoes provide a favorable environment for fungal growth and infection. As the disease is contagious, it can be spread from an infected person to uninfected person, from infected animal to uninfected person or by coming in contact with infected objects like socks, shoes, etc. It is to be noted that some people are more prone to skin infections than others and are more probable victims of this disease.
Itching, stinging and burning o the affected area are the signs of such an infection. These symptoms make the skin red and flaky and can lead to the formation of blisters. It may occur on the soles of the feet or between toes.
Natural Home Remedies for Athletes Foot
• Soaking the feet in a solution of Epsom salts in warm water provides relief from the symptoms.
• Apply plain yogurt on the affected area, let it dry and finally wash it off. This is one of the simplest yet effective natural home remedies for Athletes foot.
• Add vinegar and warm water in a 1:4 proportion. Soak the feet in this solution for half an hour two times a day.
• Soak the feet for about 10 minutes in a mixture of water and 40 drops of tea tree oil and then dry the feet properly. Drying is necessary because fungal growth develops in moisture.
• Corn starch is effective in absorbing any type of moisture, even sweat. Sprinkle cornstarch the toe fingers to get rid of moisture.
• The therapeutic properties of garlic can beat a number of conventional anti fungal drugs. Slice fresh garlic cloves and put them in the shoes that you wear throughout the day. None of the natural home remedies can beat this garlic therapy.
• Saline solution is one of the most popularly used home remedies for Athletes foot. Prepare this solution be adding two teaspoons of salt in about half a liter of water and soak the affected foot in it for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, and repeat until the results begin to show and the infection is healed.
• Olive leaf can be used as an anti bacterial for infections. Olive Leaf Extract facilitates the curing process.
• Drinking Pau d’arco tea is beneficial in the treatment of Athletes foot. In addition to this, one can also soak one’s feet in a more concentrated form of this tea (about 10 tea bags).
• Prepare massage oil by adding three drops of lavender oil to one teaspoon of any vegetable oil and rub this oil daily on the affected area.
• Boiling gullberry roots and soaking the foot in the solution is another useful solution for the prevention and cure of this disease. Follow this completely safe and natural home remedy daily, for at least one week.
• Mustard oil and mustard powder are effective home remedies for Athletes foot related bacterial growth infections. Soak the feet in bath water mixed with mustard oil or a bit of mustard powder for up to half an hour.
• Soak the feet in warm water and then file them to get as much hard skin off as possible. Next, apply oregano oil on the feet. Follow this procedure for three to four days to completely cure the disease.
• Sesamy Seed Oil is also known for its therapeutic properties beneficial in the treatment of Athletes foot. Rub the oil on the affected area.
• Apply a few drops of Grapefruit seed extract on the affected area. Follow this procedure 2-3 times daily. The anti fungal properties of Grapefruit seed extract help in getting rid of this contagious disease.
Diet for Athletes foot
The most obvious step in the prevention and treatment of Athletes foot is to maintain proper hygiene and keeping the feet clean and dry. Eat a healthy and balanced diet and include more fruits and vegetables in the diet. Fruits rich in vitamin C and with antioxidant properties help protect and improve the immune system which in turn inhibits fungal growth. Proteins aid in the recovery process of skin tissues and wound healing. On the other hand, sweets delay the healing process and facilitate the growth of bacteria. So, limit the intake of sweets.
In addition to sweets, one should also avoid eating baked products and products that have high yeast content in them. Plus, avoid fried, greasy and processed foods. Excessive consumption of yeast can worsen the situation. People suffering from chronic Athlete’s foot should definitely avoid these products. They should stay away from vinegar and alcohol too.