The term athlete’s foot may make you think that it is a health condition that affects only athletes. But the truth is, even if you are not an athlete you may suffer from it.
Athlete’s foot is medically known as tinea pedis. It is a fungal infection that occurs between the toes and causes itching, dryness, cracked skin, blistering, burning and discoloration of the toenails. This condition may also spread to the palms, groins and other areas of the body. In fact, tinea pedis is contagious and may spread from one person to another by direct contact, touching contaminated surfaces or sharing the infected belonging.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection. The fungus causing it thrives in damp, warm and moist places. Thus, sweaty foot covered with socks or shoes is an ideal place for their breeding. Thus, athlete’s foot is common in people who sweat more. Those with a weak immune system are more at the risk of acquiring athlete’s foot. In comparison to females, this condition is quite common in females.
Tinea pedis is troublesome but not a serious disease. You can kick it off by using simple home remedies. If you are suffering from itchy foot try home remedies for athlete’s foot mentioned below.
Home remedies for athlete’s foot
1. Vinegar- Fungus is unable to thrive in the acidic environment. This acid environment can be created by the vinegar. Also, vinegar draws extra moisture. Both these factors speed up the healing.
How to use
Add one part of vinegar to 3 parts of water and soak your foot in it. After 15 minutes of soaking, pat your foot dry. Repeat this 2 times in a day till the infection is gone.
* You may also use apple cider vinegar for the same purpose.
2. Tea tree oil– Tea tree oil is an effective home remedy to treat any case of skin infection. It is anti-fungal thus, you can use it to treat tinea pedis as well as to prevent the spread of the infection.
How to use:
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the affected area. You may also add 40 drops of tea tree fungus to a foot bath water. Soak your foot in it for 15 minutes. This is followed by drying the foot properly. Repeat this every day till the infection is gone.
3. Garlic– The antimicrobial property of garlic can be used to treat athlete’s foot. There is a compound found in garlic known as ajoene that is antifungal.
How to use:
Take a clove of garlic and crush it. Add a few drops of olive oil to it apply to the affected part. Leave it for an hour. After an hour wash the affected area with antifungal soap and pat it dry. Also, add garlic to your diet.
4. Corn starch– Corn starch has the property to absorb the moisture. This property makes it one of the effective home remedies for the athlete’s foot. If there will be no moisture fungus will find it hard to thrive.
How to use:
Take half cup of corn starch. Preheat the oven and then bake the corn starch in the oven for a few minutes. This will remove any moisture present in the corn starch. If you do not have an over heat the corn starch in a cooking pot till it turns slight brown. When slightly brown, remove corn starch from heat and cool it down to the room temperature. Now rub corn starch on the affected part. After 10 minutes, brush it off. Repeat this 2 times in a day. This can also be used as a preventive measure if you are prone to athlete’s foot.
5. Baking soda– Baking soda not only absorbs the moisture, but it also balances the pH of the skin. In the absence of ideal atmosphere, the fungus fails to thrive.
How to use:
Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the quantity of water required to make a paste. Rub this paste on the affected part. After 15 minutes, rinse it off with warm water and pat your foot dry. Repeat this 3 times a day for a few weeks.
6. Tea- Tea contains tannic acid, which is a natural astringent. It prevents the fungal growth as well as absorbs the moisture.
How to use:
Steep a few tea bags in a liter of steaming water for 5 minutes. Cool the water to bearable temperature and then soak your feet in it for a half hour. This is followed by drying your feet thoroughly.
8. Yogurt- The live probiotics present in the yogurt checks the growth of fungus. Thus, you can use yogurt to treat athlete’s foot. Apply yogurt in between toes and other affected area. After 30 minutes, rinse it off with warm water and pat the area dry. Repeat this 2 times a day for a few days.
Home remedies for athlete’s foot will help you to deal with tinea pedis effectively. But as we know prevention is always better than cure. Practice preventive measures mentioned below and keep the athlete’s foot at bay.
Preventive measures to keep in mind
- Athlete’s foot fungus are usually acquired from locker rooms, swimming pools, wet floors and public showers. So make sure to wash your foot and hand properly after using them. Dry your hand and foot thoroughly and only then wear your socks and shoes.
- Make sure to dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes after taking shower. If needed, use a hair dryer for this purpose.
- Keep your toenails short as long toenails may retain moisture and give a perfect atmosphere for the fungus to breed.
- Get rid of sweaty socks and shoes as soon as you can.
- Wear clean cotton socks.
- The shoes you wear should be made of leather or canvas so that your feet could breathe. Avoid rubber and plastic shoes.
- Keep two shoes. Wear them alternately. Give each one of them 1-day break and let them dry.
- Near swimming pools, in locker rooms, gyms and clubs never walk bare feet. Better wear slippers.
- Dust cornstarch, baking soda or antifungal powder in your shoes. This will kill the spores and soak moisture.