Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that typically begins at the toes. Though this is a condition commonly experienced by athletes, this could still happen to anyone. An athlete’s foot is not a huge health risk, but it can be difficult to cure. Fortunately, there are some natural ways to treat and ease the symptoms of this condition.
Why Do I Have an Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is caused by a type of fungus which causes ringworm and jock itch. The fungus usually grows vigorously in moist and warm environments so it is commonly found in showers, locker room floors, and around swimming pools. When your feet touch these surfaces, you are most likely to be at risk of having an athlete’s foot. This infection also occurs when you have direct contact with someone else that has the fungus. People who have sweaty feet and those who keep their feet damp for too long in tight-fitting shoes are most likely to get this infection.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
These are some symptoms of athlete’s foot that you should be aware of:
- Visibly red and an itchy rash between the toes or soles on the feet
- Itchy blisters on the feet
- Dry skin on the soles or side of the feet
- Cracking and peeling skin between toes and soles
- Thick, crumbly and discolored toenails
What are the Best At-Home Remedies to Help Treat Athlete’s Foot?
An athlete’s foot can be either mild or severe. It also takes time before the fungal infection fades away. You can treat this by using antifungal medicines or creams. However, using home remedies may also help get rid of athlete’s foot. Here are some remedies that you can use.
Using Essential Oils
Applying essential oil with antifungal properties helps get rid of this fungal infection. Oils extracted from seeds, herbs, and flowers which are rich in antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties help get rid of athlete’s foot. These essential oils may help in reducing symptoms such as itching, scaling, swelling, and burning of the infected foot. One of the most popular essential oils that you can use is tea tree oil. Sunflower, neem, lavender, and thyme oil are also good essential oils that can treat an athlete’s foot.
Soak feet with Apple Cider Vinegar
Another effective home remedy that may get rid of athlete’s foot is by soaking feet with apple cider vinegar. The antifungal components of apple cider vinegar may help soothe the infection. To use this as a remedy, dilute a half to 1 cup of vinegar in 2 cups of water. Soak your feet for 30 minutes. After that, wash and dry your feet thoroughly. You can also apply the apple cider vinegar directly to the infection using a cotton ball.
Sosa or Solanum chrysotrichum is a shrub that is commonly used in Mexico to treat athlete’s foot. This plant has antifungal properties that help in getting rid of the infection. It can be used as a cream and applied to the infected foot.
Sea Salt Baths
Aside from apple cider vinegar, you can also use sea salt to soak your feet. Rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties, sea salt helps block growth and spread of athlete’s foot. Dissolving a cup of sea salt to warm water is the common way to use it. Soak it for half an hour. Make sure to dry your feet thoroughly after soaking.
Green tea has been a widely used home remedy to help treat many illnesses and conditions because of its plenty of health benefits. This beverage is rich in antifungal properties that may help reduce an athlete’s foot. You can use green tea for an athlete’s foot as a rinse. Soaking your feet in a mixture of warm water and green tea is the most effective way to get rid of the infection.
Garlic contains antifungal and antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria and fungus. This may effectively help you get rid of athlete’s foot. You can use garlic to create a paste and apply it to the infected foot.
How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot?
The fungus grows and spreads in dark and moist areas, and it is important that you keep your feet completely dry and clean to prevent having this infection. Aside from that, try to avoid wearing tight and closed shoes. When your feet sweat, it creates moisture inside the shoes and promotes the growth of athlete’s foot fungus. Always make sure to wear fresh socks when wearing shoes. Avoid sharing socks or shoes with another person. Also, as much as possible, you can let your feet breathe by wearing sandals.
An athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection. Though this may not be considered serious, it could be very itchy, and it usually takes a while to get rid of it. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways on how to ease symptoms for this skin condition. And also, a lot of preventive tips you can do.
However, an athlete’s foot can also lead to complications. If symptoms persist even after using these home remedies, you better see the doctor immediately.