Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that affects the feet. Athlete’s foot is caused by trichophyton fungus that results in cracking, itching, redness as well as scaling of the feet. At times, the trichophyton fungus affects the scalp leading to hair loss and patches.
On the body, Athlete’s foot fungus causes red scaly patches in round shape that itch. In the groin, this fungal infection is called ‘jock itch’. Athlete’s foot can be treated with the help of home remedies. Here are some of them.
Top 15 Home Remedies For Athlete’s Foot
Tea Tree Oil
In addition, it improves scaling, itching, inflammation, and burning sensation connected to Athlete’s foot.
Garlic has strong antifungal properties that keep Athlete’s foot at bay. Swabbing the infected area with garlic juice also helps.
To prepare the garlic juice, crush a garlic clove and add olive oil to it. Make a paste and apply it to nail as well as feet. Leave the juice on for at least half an hour.
Include red meat and other immune-boosting foods to your diet because poor immunity invites fungal infection.
Some other readily available immune-boosting foods are scallions, broccoli and red meat.
Yogurt is well known since long enough as a cure to fungal infections. It contains live acidophilus – an active
bacteria that controls oral yeast as well as vaginal yeast and is believed to give Athlete’s foot a good fight.
Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda into the shoes that you want to wear. The baking soda would absorb moisture from the shoes.
Cornstarch absorbs moisture from your feet. Light brown cornstarch or slightly baked cornstarch allows better absorption of moisture from your feet.
Cinnamon tea helps a great deal in treating Athlete’s foot. Soak your feet in cinnamon tea for at least half an hour
and repeat this procedure daily. To prepare the cinnamon tea, drop 10 sticks of cinnamon into water and let it simmer for up to 5 minutes.
If your feet sweat a lot, lemon is the solution. Rinse the feet with lemon juice mixed with water.
Tea contains tannic acid that keeps the feet dry and kills Athlete’s foot fungus. Take a pot of boiling water and put few tea bags into it and soak your feet into it.
Salt water is equally effective in alleviating symptoms of Athlete’s foot. Soak your feet in warm salt water for 10
minutes. Let your feet dry first and once it dries dab baking soda on it so that it remains dry.
Mix a cup of vinegar to water and soak your feet in the mixture for at least half an hour daily till the symptoms of Athlete’s foot and fungus is gone. You can swab the infected areas with vinegar solution.
Apple cider vinegar is recommended to treat Athlete’s foot. In case of new infection, the skin will sting a bit as soon as the vinegar mixture is applied.
Treating the Infection
First of all, it is mandatory that you cure the infection at the earliest. Many over-the-counter creams and medications containing tolnaftate, undecylenic acid, and miconazole help in curing Athlete’s foot. Don’t be in a hurry to stop using the antifungal creams because there is every possibility that the fungus would remain even if the symptoms of Athlete’s foot are gone. Apply the creams or powders on the infected area for at least 6 weeks.
When the area between the toes develops cracks, it is the case of Athlete’s foot and bacterial infection. Take two capfuls of Betadine solution and mix it with a quart of lukewarm water. Soak your feet into the solution for at least 20 minutes. When Betadine soaks, take the feet out and let it dry followed by application of antifungal cream. Pregnant women should avoid this treatment.
Most importantly, keep moisture away from the feet as well as the area between the toes. If the towel is not enough to keep the intact areas dry, try blowing air with a blow dryer. Wash the feet with soap at least twice a day. In moist environments, avoid wearing shoes. At work, when there is no option but to wear shoes, try going barefoot during the lunch hour.
Athlete’s foot can be prevented by avoiding contact with the infected area and by maintaining extreme hygiene. One should wash his/her hands properly (preferably with soap) after coming in contact with the infection. Always clean the bath tub with an effective antiseptic cleanser after bathing. Keeping towels and linens clean is mandatory.
Sharing of towels should be avoided at all cost. Use hot water to wash your socks at least twice daily. This will kill the fungal spores. Since one gets Athlete’s foot mostly in public showers, wearing thongs is recommended.
Treating the Shoes
One of the prime reasons for Athlete’s foot is fungus in the shoes. The best way to keep re-infection from shoes at bay is to treat them with an antifungal spray. Also, you can let your shoes out in the sun for some time. Sunshine and air circulation will dry the shoes and also kill the fungus. Avoid wearing the same shoe every day.
Keep at least two pairs handy so that when you treat one pair, you can wear the other one. In case of overly sweating feet, changing shoes twice a day is advisable. Thongs or slippers should be favored. But for those who cannot afford to wear otherwise should choose their shoes wisely. They should avoid watertight shoes made of rubber or plastic. Leather shoes, on the other hand, offer air circulation naturally. Avoid shoe swapping with others.
Choosing the Right Socks
Always opt for socks made of wool or cotton as they keep your feet dry by absorbing perspiration. Acrylic socks also wick moisture from the feet.
Although these simple home remedies for Athlete’s foot prove helpful in most cases, one must go to the doctor if cracks develop between toes and if symptoms do not alleviate with home remedies. You might as well be suffering from eczema or psoriasis.