Athlete’s Foot, also known as Tinea pedis in layman terms is a common fungal infection that involves the skin of the feet and is most commonly witnessed in between toes. Caused due to the tinea or trichophyton fungus, the infection is quite contagious and one can even contract this while walking barefoot on damp floors in locker rooms, public showers, health clubs around swimming pools etc. Also Read: Athlete's Foot Disease: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Although it is not a chronic infection, it can be quite annoying, uncomfortable and obstinate. In most cases, it is characterized by common symptoms like itchy, burning, stinging sensation in between the toes followed by dry skin, scales, cuts, peeling skin, blisters in between the toes or on the soles of the feet and an ugly odour exuberating from the foot. Once you get infected, even though you might wear shoes or socks to prevent spreading it to other parts, the infection thrives in the moist environment within the footwear, exacerbates the condition and causes the fungus to grow.
Much to our dismay, though acute, if not treated on time, the infection may spread onto different parts of the body which might be hard to get rid of. Try some of these home remedies to evade this infection from the root:
Home Remedies For Athlete’s Foot
Tea Tree Oil:
Touted for their strong antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, the essential oil obtained from tea tree leaves has been treating skin infections since ancient times. The presence of tannic acid in the oil not only gets rid of bacteria and germs but also acts as an astringent and helps dry out sweaty feet to prevent the growth and spreading of the infection. Also Read: Tea Tree Oil: 5 Health Benefits of This Incredible Essential Oil
Mix a few drops of tea tree oil combined with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil and apply it on the affected area 2-4 times a day to thwart off the infection.
Being a natural anti-fungal agent, they provide relief from many microbial strains that infect the skin and nails. This mixture of sodium and bicarbonate ions not only helps in absorbing unpleasant foot odours but also relieves the itchiness and burning sensation in between the toes or on the feet.
Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply in all over the infected skin to get rid of the foot infection.
Imbued with potent anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, the sea salt granules provide an effective remedy for athlete’s foot. It also holds high significance in healing cuts and sores by reducing inflammation and prevents smelly foot.
Soak your feet in a tub containing warm water infused with sea salt for 5-10 minutes to assist healing and prevent the spreading of the infection.
Famed for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic nature, the garlic cloves are considered as a natural antibiotic. Loaded with ricinoleic acid, an active ingredient, garlic bulbs not only kills the fungus but also reduces itching and inflammation.
Whip up a topical treatment with minced garlic and olive or almond oil and apply directly on to the affected area to get rid of the fungal infection.
Yogurt, which is generally obtained due to the Lactobacillus bacteria, turns out to be a hero in shielding the foot from the athlete’s infection. The good bacteria in fresh yogurt not only kills the fungus but also soothes the dry, irritated inflamed skin.
Apply the fresh yogurt directly on to the affected part to get quick relief.
The potent antifungal properties of vinegar works well to combat mild forms of toenail fungal infection. While the goodness of acetic acid soothes itching and acts as a drying agent that helps to control sweating. Soak the feet in vinegar solution for about 10 minutes daily that creates an acidic environment, which the foot fungus does not like and aids to lessen the infection.
Green tea bestowed with beneficial bioactive compounds offers potent antifungal characteristics that provide respite to athlete’s foot. Steep about 4-5 green tea bags, allow it cool down and then soak the feet for 10 minutes and then let your feet dry.
Tips To Prevent Reinfection:
Keep the feet clean and dry thoroughly, especially in between toes.
Wear cotton socks, ensure to wear a fresh pair every day. Always wash socks in hot water. Never share socks or shoes with others.
Sundry shoes to kill any fungus that thrives inside them, sprinkle a little baking soda or corn-starch in shoes at night that allows absorbing the moisture. Tap it out before wearing.
Avoid wearing tight closed-toe shoes, as moisture and heat may stimulate the growth of the athlete’s foot fungus.
If the symptoms don’t get better in a few days or new problems arise, then seek immediate medical help.