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Home remedy for athletes foot

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Athlete’s foot is a very uncomfortable condition for anyone’s feet to be in with all the itching, burning, peeling and it doesn’t smell so good either. Athlete’s foot can spread easily to other people, most commonly it is spread from person to person when a person comes in contact with the fungus in the shower or tub where someone who is infected with athlete’s foot has used the tub or shower.

When the shower is left unclean athlete’s foot seems to spread really easy. Athlete’s foot can be treated at home but if the condition persists or if the symptoms get worse or if the pain increases in intensity you should see a doctor. The following information is on how to mix and use essential oils to treat athlete’s foot.

What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is a very common skin infection of the foot caused by fungus. The fungus that commonly causes athlete’s foot is called Trichophyton. When the feet or other areas of the body stay moist, warm, and irritated, this fungus can thrive and infect the upper layer of the skin. Fungal infections can occur anywhere on the body, including the scalp, trunk, extremities (arms and legs), hands, feet, nails, groin, and other areas.

Athlete’s foot is caused by the ringworm fungus (‘tinea’ in medical jargon). Athlete’s foot is also called tinea pedis. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot can be found on many locations, including floors in gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, nail salons, and in socks and clothing. The fungus can also be spread directly from person to person or by contact with these objects.

However, without proper growing conditions (a warm, moist environment), the fungus may not easily infect the skin. Up to 70% of the population may have athlete’s foot at some time during their lives.

Athlete’s foot

Home remedy for athletes foot Athlete’s foot

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s Foot – Symptoms

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) symptoms vary from person to person. Although some people have severe discomfort, others have few or no symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Peeling, cracking, and scaling of the feet.
  • Redness, blisters, or softening and breaking down (maceration) of the skin.
  • Itching, burning, or both.

Toe web infection (interdigital)

Toe web infection (interdigital) is the most common type of athlete’s foot. It usually occurs between the two smallest toes. This type of infection:

  • Often begins with skin that seems soft and moist and pale white.
  • May cause itching, burning, and a slight odor.
  • May get worse. The skin between the toes becomes scaly, peels, and cracks. If the infection becomes severe, a bacterial infection is usually present, which causes further skin breakdown and a foul odor.

Moccasin-type infection

A moccasin-type infection is a long-lasting (chronic) infection. This type of infection:

  • May begin with minor irritation, dryness, itching, burning, or scaly skin.
  • Progresses to thickened, scaling, cracked, and peeling skin on the sole or heel. In severe cases, the toenails become infected and can thicken, crumble, and even fall out. For more information, see the topic Fungal Nail Infections.
  • May appear on the palm of the hand (symptoms commonly affect one hand and both feet).

Vesicular infection

A vesicular infection is the least common type of infection. This type:

  • Usually begins with a sudden outbreak of large fluid-filled areas under the skin. The blisters most often develop on the skin of the instep but may also develop between the toes, on the heel, or on the sole or top of the foot.
  • Occasionally occurs again after the initial infection. Infections may occur in the same area or in another area such as the arms, chest, or fingers. You may have scaly skin between eruptions.
  • May also be accompanied by a bacterial infection.

Athlete’s foot is sometimes confused with pitted keratolysis. In this health problem, the skin looks like a ‘moist honeycomb.’ It most often occurs where the foot carries weight, such as on the heel and the ball of the foot. Symptoms include feet that are very sweaty and smell bad.

Athlete’s foot

Home remedy for athletes foot Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s Foot – Home Treatment

You can usually treat athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) yourself at home by using nonprescription medicines and taking care of your feet. But if you have diabetes and develop athlete’s foot, or have persistent, severe, or recurrent infections, see your doctor.

Nonprescription medicines

Nonprescription antifungals include terbinafine (Lamisil AT), miconazole (Micatin), clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF), and tolnaftate (Tinactin). These medicines are creams, lotions, solutions, gels, sprays, ointments, swabs, or powders that are applied to the skin (topical medicine). Treatment will last from 1 to 6 weeks.

If you have a vesicular (blister) infection, soak your foot in Burow’s solution several times a day for 3 or more days until the blister fluid is gone. After the fluid is gone, use an antifungal cream as directed. You can also apply compresses using Burow’s solution.

To prevent athlete’s foot from returning, use the full course of all medicine as directed, even after symptoms have gone away.

Avoid using hydrocortisone cream on a fungal infection, unless your doctor prescribes it.

Foot care

Good foot care helps treat and prevent athlete’s foot.

  • Keep your feet clean and dry.
  • Dry between your toes after swimming or bathing.
  • Wear leather shoes or sandals that allow your feet to breathe.
  • When indoors, wear socks without shoes.
  • Wear cotton socks to absorb sweat. Change your socks twice a day. (White socks do not prevent athlete’s foot, as some people believe.)
  • Use talcum or antifungal powder on your feet.
  • Allow your shoes to air for at least 24 hours before you wear them again.
  • Wear shower sandals in public pools and showers.

If you have athlete’s foot, dry your groin area before your feet after bathing. Also, put on your socks before your underwear. This can prevent fungi from spreading from your feet to your groin, which may cause jock itch. For more information about jock itch, see the topic Ringworm of the Skin.

You may choose not to treat athlete’s foot if your symptoms don’t bother you and you have no health problems that increase your risk of severe foot infection, such as diabetes. But an untreated athlete’s foot infection causing skin blisters or cracks can lead to severe bacterial infection. Also, if you don’t treat athlete’s foot infection, you can spread it to other people.

Athlete’s foot

Home remedy for athletes foot Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s Foot – Prevention

Athlete’s Foot – Prevention

You can prevent athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) by:

  • Keeping your feet clean and dry.
  • Dry between your toes after swimming or bathing.
  • Wear leather shoes or sandals that allow your feet to breathe.
  • When indoors, wear socks without shoes.
  • Wear cotton socks to absorb sweat. Change your socks twice a day. (White socks do not prevent athlete’s foot, as some people believe.)
  • Use talcum or antifungal powder on your feet.
  • Allow your shoes to air for at least 24 hours before you wear them again.
  • Wearing shower sandals in public pools and showers.

If you have athlete’s foot, dry your groin area before your feet after bathing. Also, put on your socks before your underwear. This can prevent fungi from spreading from your feet to your groin, which may cause jock itch. For more information about jock itch, see the topic Ringworm of the Skin.

Tips to prevent athlete’s foot recurrence

Home remedy for athletes foot
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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