Athlete’s foot is an infection caused due to fungus in the genus trychophyton. Scaling, itching and flaking are caused in the affected area due to the Athlete’s foot. Moist areas such as showers and bathhouses where people walk mostly barefooted are the major source of transmission of the Athlete’s foot. Although the Athlete’s foot affects only the feet but sometimes it may spread to the groin and other parts of the body. Good hygiene is prevention for Athlete’s foot. The Athlete’s foot can be treated with pharmaceuticals or even some home remedies.
Symptoms of Athlete’s foot
Some common symptoms of Athlete’s foot are:
- Peeling of the skin surface
- Redness, blisters or softening and breaking down (maceration) of the skin
- Itching, burning, or both, in the affected area
- Scaling of the feet
- Slight watery discharge from the affected area
- Bumps on the feet
- “Cheesy” looking skin between the toes
- Unpleasant odor from the lesion
- Rash that spreads to the inside part of the foot
- Dry skin around the affected area
- Thick, crumbly, ragged or discolored toenails
- Cracking of the skin
Causes of Athlete’s Foot
The major causes of Athlete’s foot are:
- Keeping toe fingers wet or dirty for a long time
- Wearing unclean synthetic socks
- Wearing plastic shoes
- Bruising or cracks on foot
- Spending long hours in bathroom, shower, swimming pool or changing room
- Excessively sweaty feet
- Coming in contact with an infected person
Home Remedies for Athlete’s Foot
Certain home remedies prove to be very beneficial for the Athlete’s foot:
- For athletes’ foot, a simple home remedy would be a solution of one part vinegar and four parts warm water. Soak the feet in this solution for half an hour, twice in a day.
- Baking soda paste would also be helpful in curing this infection. Take a 1 tbsp baking soda and add some water, to form a paste. Apply the paste on the affected area. Once dry, rinse off and let your feet dry.
- Add 40 drops of tea tree oil to a liter of water. Immerse your feet in this solution for about ten minutes. After this, dry your feet with a towel. Use a dryer to make sure that there is no moisture left in between the toes. After that, apply a few drops of tea tree oil in the infected region.
- Mix one part of pure apple cider vinegar with one part of warm water and soak the feet, in the solution, for about 20 minutes. Cleanse the feet both before and after immersing, using a gentle soap. After the treatment, ensure that the feet are completely dry. Follow this remedy two times a day, for 1-2 weeks, depending on the severity of the situation.
- Using boric acid, Epsom salt and vinegar would be an effective way of getting rid of the fungus. Take a large bowl and partially fill it with hot water. Add 1 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup Epsom salt and 3 tbsp boric acid. Make sure that boric acid has been whisked well. Soak your feet in the water for about 15 minutes and dry thoroughly.
- Apply cornstarch on your feet, including the area between the toes as well, before putting on soaks and shoes. This will keep the feet dry and help in curing athlete’s foot.
- Another efficient remedy would be to put fresh garlic slices in your shoes and wear them throughout the day.
- Dissolve 6 aspirins in 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol. Shake the mixture well and apply on the affected area. Repeat this about thrice a day and continue it for three days or until athlete’s foot is gone.
- Take a large bowl of warm water and soak your feet in it. Try to remove as much hard skin as possible. After this, pat dry your feet and apply a thin layer of oregano oil. Though it may emit a terrible smell, it is very effective in treating athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s Foot Treatment and Advice
- Keeping your feet clean and dry
- 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.
- Use talcum or antifungal powder on your feet.