Athlete’s Foot- Causes, Symptoms & Remedies

Athlete’s foot is found to be common more in males than in females. Its occurrence is very frequent and is found to be present in about 15% of the population.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot also known as tinea pedis is a medical condition, which is essentially a skin infection caused by a fungus which leads to itching, scaling, and redness. This fungal infection is very common among athletes and thus it is known as athlete’s foot.

Types Of Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot can be divided into various types on the basis of types of infections, their location, and their appearance. Some of the types of athlete’s foot are listed below:

1.Toe Web Infection

This infection affects the region between the fingers and the toe and it makes the skin between them red, scaly and can lead to experiencing itchiness and a burning sensation. The rash may smell bad and may give off discharge.

2.Moccasin Infection

This type of infection causes the fungus to cover the sole of the foot and leads to peeling of the sole and can even affect the toenails of our feet. It mainly spreads from the soles of the feet to its sides and can cause excessive dryness and cracking.

3.Vesicular Infection

This infection leads to the formation of blisters which is the characteristic identification of Vesicular infection. These blisters can be formed at any part of the feet and can cause itchiness and can be painful.

4.Ulcerative Infection

It leads to the formation of ulcers that are open to various infections and can also ooze discharge. This can cause inflammation and discoloration of the skin.

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

There are various causes of athlete’s foot as it is a contagious skin infection that spreads from the environment.

Commonly, athlete’s foot is caused by fungi called Trichophyton rubrum mold and Epidermophyton floccosum mold. These fungi are already present on our skin which only multiply under damp and warm conditions. It can either spread through direct contact of athlete’s feet or through contaminated surfaces.

Who Is More Prone To Athlete’s Foot?

People who have weakened immune system are more prone to athlete’s foot as compared to those who have a good immune system. Also, people who walk barefoot at public places or go swimming in a community pool are more prone to athlete’s foot as they are at a higher risk due to exposure.

Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot symptoms include raw and dry skin on your sole of the feet and on its sides as well that leads to cracking and peeling of the skin. Also, people experience an itching and a burning sensation between the toes and in the soles of their feet. Sometimes, the fungi reach the toenails leading to its discoloration.

How To Trigger Athlete’s Foot?

A warm and moist environmental condition triggers an athlete’s foot. Wearing tight and thick socks and shoes that trap moisture triggers athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is also triggered by direct and indirect contact. Also, certain medications like antibiotics, birth control pills etc. can also weaken the immune system leading to athlete’s foot.

Simple Home Remedies For Athlete's Foot

There are many simple home remedies that help in athlete’s foot treatment. There are many food items that not only help to fight against the fungi directly but also helps in boosting the immune system in order to prevent athlete’s foot. Some of the home remedies are given below:

1.Garlic

Garlic

Garlic has antifungal properties that help in fighting against the fungi causing athlete’s foot. It not only helps in athlete’s foot cure but also helps in treating the affected toenail. Garlic can be used in various ways for the treatment of athlete’s foot. It can be ingested and can also be applied to the effective region.

Ingredients

  • Garlic cloves
  • water
  • olive oil.

How To Prepare

  1. Mix crushed garlic with water and use it as a footbath.
  2. Soak your feet in the footbath for about 20 minutes and dry them thoroughly.
  3. Also, crushed garlic cloves can be mixed with olive oil and can be applied to the affected area along with the toenail.
  4. Keep it for 15 to 30 minutes and then rinse it off thoroughly and dry it.

How Often

The above-described procedure should be carried out daily, three times a day for best results. This should be carried out for weeks to prevent future possibilities of athlete’s foot.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda being alkaline in nature makes the environment unfavorable for the growth of fungi and thus is very effective in treating athlete’s foot. It removes moisture from the skin thus preventing the development of athlete’s foot.

Ingredients

  • Baking soda
  • water.

How To Prepare

  1. Add some water in baking soda to make a paste and apply it on the affected region.
  2. Keep it for about 15 minutes and rinse it off and dry it thoroughly.
  3. Baking soda can also be sprinkled in your shoes to remove excess moisture making it unfavourable for developing athlete’s foot.

How Often

It can be done regularly until an athlete’s foot is treated. Also, baking soda can be sprinkled for several months in order to prevent any future athlete’s foot condition.

3.Cornstarch

Cornstarch

Cornstarch helps in removing excess moisture from our feet thus preventing the development of athlete’s foot fungus. It can be heated before use in order to lose excess moisture and to directly absorb moisture for speedy results.

Ingredients

Cornstarch

How To Prepare

  1. Heat the cornstarch at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes to remove excess moisture from the starch.
  2. Cool down the heated starch and dab it on the affected region.
  3. Keep it for about 15 minutes and dust off the cornstarch and leave the residue on your feet for the entire day.

How Often

This can be done on a daily basis for best results.

4. Neem Oil

Since neem oil has medicinal properties, it helps in treating various bacteria and fungi and helps in treating athlete’s foot and its symptoms. Neem oil remedy has an easier application process with best effects.

Ingredients

Neem oil.

How To Prepare

Apply neem oil on the affected region and keep it on overnight.

How Often

This procedure can be carried out every night before sleeping.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has many benefits and is also found to be helpful in athlete’s foot prevention. The mixture of apple cider vinegar and salt is also found to very effective for its treatment. There are many ways of using apple cider vinegar for athlete’s foot treatment. One of the methods of how to treat athlete’s foot is given below:

Ingredients

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • a tub of warm water and rock salt.

How To Prepare

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of rock salt and half a cup of apple cider vinegar in a tub of warm water.
  2. Soak your feet in it for about half an hour and late dry it thoroughly.
  3. The solution is very acidic and may sting in case of raw skin.

How Often

This can be done on a daily basis for best results.

6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is found to be very effective in treating athlete’s foot. Cinnamon can be either used in form of an essential oil or cinnamon tea during its application. Cinnamon oil can sometimes cause allergies and thus a patch test should be done before application.

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • water.

How To Prepare

  1. Boil water for 5 minutes and add broken cinnamon sticks to it and let it soak for 40 minutes.
  2. Let it cool down and use it as a foot bath and soak your feet in it for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off with water and dry it thoroughly.

How Often

Repeat this process daily for best results.

7. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil also helps in treating athlete’s foot. A patch test should be done before application to check for any allergic reactions. Also, tea tree oil must always be diluted before use as it can cause skin irritation and redness as it is highly concentrated.

Ingredients

  • Tea tree oil
  • carrier oil like coconut oil
  • almond oil etc.

How To Prepare

  1. Mix tea tree oil and carrier oil in the ration 1:1.
  2. Use a cotton ball and apply this mixture on the affected region.

How Often

This can be done 3 times a week as excessive use of tea tree oil can cause dryness.

8. Black Tea

Black tea contains tannic acid that helps in warding off various fungi and infections. It is found to be very effective in treating athlete’s foot.

Ingredients

  • Black tea bags
  • water.

How To Prepare

  1. Warm a glass of water and add 5 teabags of black tea to it.
  2. Let it cool and use it as a footbath.
  3. After a few minutes rinse it off and dry thoroughly.

How Often

Repeat this process 2 to 3 times a day until athlete’s foot is treated.

9. Onion Juice

Onion Juice

Onion juice also helps in treating athlete’s foot. It is a simple procedure but is found to be very effective.

Ingredients

Onion juice.

How To Prepare

  1. Use a juicer to get onion juice and apply it on the affected region.
  2. Keep it on for about half an hour and later, rinse it off and dry thoroughly.

How Often

Carry out this process 2 to 3 times a day until daily until athlete’s foot is treated.

10. Yogurt

Yogurt is found to be very effective in treating athlete’s foot because of acidophilus bacteria present in plain yogurt. Both eating yogurt and applying it to the affected region is found to be very helpful for treating athlete’s foot.

Ingredients

Yogurt

How To Prepare

Apply yogurt on the affected region and let it dry. Rinse it off and dry thoroughly.

How Often

This should be done twice daily until athlete’s foot is treated.

Why Athlete’s Foot Is Necessary To Treat?

Athlete’s foot can cause pain and irritation and thus can hamper with day to day activities. With athlete’s foot comes a pungent odour that becomes unfavourable in a social environment. Also, athlete’s foot is a fungal infection which is very contagious and can lead to other fungal infections in different parts of our body.

How Long Does It Take To Cure?

This time period depends from person to person and the incubation period is of 1 week. It can be cured within a few weeks or it may even take months to cure. It may even reappear after a few months of treatment.

Tips For Preventing Athlete’s Foot

We know prevention is better than cure. There are various ways by which we can prevent athlete’s foot. Some of these are given below:

  • Maintain personal hygiene and wash your feet thoroughly.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly to remove moisture especially between your toes.
  • Wear shoes that do not trap moisture and let your feet breathe.
  • Do not wear the same socks.
  • Do not roam barefoot in public places.

Also Read:

Tea Tree Oil for Nail Fungus – How to Apply and its Effects

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Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

 

  • Works on ACNE, SCARS & PIGMENTATION due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Application in treating SKIN, NAIL & TOE INFECTIONS
  • Great for HAIR. Fights against DANDRUFF with its antifungal properties
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Author Name:Mehdia Fatima

 

 

 

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