- Category: Athletes Foot
Home Medications and Treatments for Athletes Foot
Athlete’s foot, also known as Tinea Pedis, is a common fungal infection of the feet. This fungus typically thrives when the feet, and in particular the area between the toes, remain most, warm and irritated. Athlete’s foot infects the outermost layer of the skin. It occurs between the toes but in severe cases it may spread to the toenails, the sides of the feet and the soles. The infection can also spread to other areas of the body or a similar infection can be observed on other areas of the body, such as the armpits, knees, elbows, and groin.
The infection is known as athlete’s foot because it spreads commonly in changing rooms and communal showers that are shared by athletes, fitness enthusiasts and swimmers. Athlete’s foot is contagious and anyone can develop the infection if his or her foot is exposed to tiny flakes of skin from an infected person.
The typical symptoms of athlete’s foot are characterized as dryness, itching, stinging, burning, scaling, inflammation between the toes, and inflammation throughout other areas of the foot. Athlete’s foot may also incite the formation of blisters that can eventually burst and expose the inner layers of the skin. This exposure causes pain and swelling and increases the skin’s vulnerability to bacterial attack and further spreading of the infection.
The body hosts a variety of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. Some microorganisms may be beneficial for the body whereas some have the ability to rapidly multiply and cause infections under certain conditions. Athlete’s foot typically affects young people and active athletes whose feet are usually covered with shoes. This creates a warm, moist and dark environment that is optimal for fungal growth
The risk of contracting athlete’s foot increases under the following conditions:
Wearing tight-fitting and closed shoes, especially if they are not lined with breathable fabric.
Keeping the feet wet for a long duration or not properly drying the feet.
Developing a minor skin or nail injury in the foot.
Although children and women are capable of contracting athlete's foot, the risk for men is higher. Athlete's foot rarely occurs before adolescence.
Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be transmitted through contaminated materials such as floors, water, mats, towels, rugs, and clothes. Therefore individuals who utilize public showers, locker rooms, pools, gym mats, saunas and similar public services are more vulnerable to contracting athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot can also be transferred between individuals and from infected pets to their owners. Athlete’s foot can be contracted by simply touching an infected area and if untreated, it can last for an extended duration.
Preventive actions are crucial in avoiding athlete’s foot and the best way to prevent athlete’s foot is to utilize proper hygiene and care. To prevent athlete’s foot you should:
- Maintain dryness around the feet, particularly around the area between the toes. Fungus needs moisture to thrive so fungal growth can be prevented by the elimination of moisture around the feet. While at home, maintain bareness of the feet or remove shoes occasionally to allow the feet to breathe and sweat to dry.
- Wear socks made of natural fabric such as cotton or wool instead of nylon and lycra. Always wear clean socks and change them frequently.
- Avoid shoes that are made of synthetic material such as rubber or vinyl. Instead wear well-ventilated, light shoes made of natural, breathable material because these aid in maintaining dryness of the feet.
- Obtain more than one pair of shoes and utilize different pairs on alternate days because this will assist in reducing the moisture in shoes and in preventing fungal growth.
- Always use your own shoes and socks. Do not borrow shoes or socks from anyone.
- Use waterproof sandals while using public facilities like showers and saunas.
- Treat your feet with anti-fungal powder on a daily basis, especially after using public showers, locker rooms, saunas and swimming pools.
Athlete’s foot may still be contracted despite preventive actions. Fungal infections have the ability to grow quickly so rashes may develop suddenly. Some natural remedies may be utilized for treatment during the initial stages but it is advised to consult a podiatrist or health-care provider before trying any of these remedies.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known to have anti-fungal properties. It can be utilized on the affected area to obtain relief from itching and this relief aids in the healing of lesions and the control of the infection.
Prepare a mixture of white vinegar and warm water with a ratio of one to four, respectively. Soak feet in this solution twice each day for 20 to 30 minutes. Continue this process until the infection completely disappears or until the irritation stops.
Topical Application of Baking Soda
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is an excellent fungicide. The topical application of this white crystalline compound has the ability to soothe athlete’s foot. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to lukewarm water and rub the mixture on the affected area. Allow the solution to remain on the area for 15 minutes and proceed to rinse it off.
Rub cornstarch on the affected area to reduce the itchiness because this will aid in the healing process and prevent cracks in the skin that result from scratching. This remedy may be used simultaneously with baking soda.
Foods containing a significant amount of sugars and yeast, along with fruits, should be avoided when an individual is experiencing athlete's foot because fungus thrives from these things. Individuals should consume plain yogurt, green vegetables, and a large amount of water to aid in the treatment of athlete's foot.
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