Athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis, refers a fungal infection which develops in the warm moist crevices of your feet and toes. This extensively annoying condition mostly develops in the skin between your toes. Its name was coined from the fact it mostly affects people who wear sweaty and smelly shoes for extended durations. While this condition is rarely serious, symptoms can be disturbing and cause a lot of trouble. Luckily, home remedies, some of which are readily available in a typical home, can effectively treat many causes. While we are generally dedicated to helping our readers avert and overcome preventable health conditions, in this piece we endeavor to help you find the best treatment for athlete’s foot.
What causes athlete’s foot?
The condition occurs when a fungus called tinea grows on your feet, the same types of bug responsible for jock itch and ringworm. So, how do you get the bug? Through direct contact with someone who is infected or by touching surfaces or water that is contaminated with the fungus.
As mentioned earlier, the fungus develops in warm and moist environments and as such is mostly found on locker room floors, showers, and near swimming pools.
Who is at risk for athlete’s foot?
While anyone can get this fungal infection, if you practice any of the following, you are at a higher risk;
- Visits public places like showers and locker rooms barefoot,
- Shares socks, towels or shoes with infected persons,
- Wears tight closed shoes for long,
- Keep their feet wet for extended periods,
In addition to the above risk behaviors, if you have sweaty feet or have a minor injury in any part of your foot, you have increased chances of contracting tinea.
What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot normally causes a scabby red rash. The rash usually starts in between your toes and gradually spreads to other areas. Your feet will itch immediately you take off your socks and shoes. Some forms of this fungal infection feature ulcers or blisters. Moccasin varieties, on the other hand, cause severe scalding and dryness on your soles that occasionally extend up one or both sides of your foot.
Some symptoms mimic those of dry skin and eczema. Although the infection mostly affects the feet, it sometimes spread to the hands, particularly if the person is fond of picking or scratching the affected parts.
Best Treatment for Athlete’s Foot Home remedies
Rubbing alcohol, readily available in a typical family, is very effective in killing germs that occur on the surface level of your skin. So, apply it directly on the affected skin, or you can soak your feet in a footbath containing 30 percent water and 70 percent rubbing alcohol for half an hour.
Baking Soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, has antifungal abilities and hence can be used to treat fungal infections on your skin. To make athlete’s foot remedy, mix a half cup of sodium bicarbonate in a basin filled with warm water.
Soak the affected feet for about 15-20 minutes two times a day. After each session, dry your feet carefully but do not rinse.
Iodine and hydrogen peroxide
Commonly used at home to disinfect minor cuts, these two are capable of killing germs on your skin. Research has convincingly established that a combination of iodine and hydrogen peroxide is effective in killing many types of germs including tinea.
So, mix solutions of hydrogen peroxide and iodine in a large bowl and dip your feet directly in the solution. Note that you must not use any of the two solutions alone.
Tea Tree Oil
This oil has remarkable antibacterial properties explaining why it is mostly used for other infections like candidiasis and ringworm. Research has even established tree oil has the same effectiveness in the infection as another widely-used treatment called tolnaftate.
To make this remedy, add carrier oil like coconut oil to teat tree oil to make a mixture of between 25 and 50 percent of the tea tree oil. Apply the mixture to the area 2-4 times per day.
Athlete’s Foot Powder Powder products are excellent treatments for this fungal infection, besides providing a way to prevent it from after a successful cure. Since Tinea thrives in moist places, by keeping your feet dry the powder prevents the emergence of the infection.
There are many varieties of powder products but the exact brand is not especially important. Make sure you apply an adequate amount of the powder in between your toes.
While the best treatment for the infection can help you eradicate the fungus, you have to dutifully follow the instructions and reduce the risk factors. The mistake that many people make is to discontinue the use of the remedy either before the end of the recommended period or immediately the symptoms disappear.
Doing so increases the chances of recurrence of the symptoms. So, follow the instructions carefully. If you do not notice positive changes after the stated time, consult a qualified doctor who will either prescribe oral or stronger topical medications to clear up the infections.