Athlete’s foot is an itchy, parasitic fungal infection of the skin of your foot, usually between the toes, which causes scaling, flaking, itching and cracking of the skin. It is typically caused by a mold (but in some cases a yeast) that grows on the surface of the skin and then gets into the cracks between the toes. Although the malady more commonly affects males than females, it’s estimated to be the second most common skin disease in the United States, after acne. The fungus thrives in warm, damp environments, such as the locker rooms, health clubs, public showers and indoor swimming pools.
Prevention of athlete’s foot can be achieved in many ways and should be practiced especially in public places. The first place to start prevention is to use a antibacterial and anti-fungal soap such as GymSoap. Always wear shower shoes or sandals in locker rooms or public showers and baths. Be sure you wash your feet with soap and dry thoroughly especially between your toes.
Some of the personal prevention measures you can take include wearing well-ventilated shoes, wear cotton or moisture wicking polyester socks, use foot powder, change shoes every day and replace old sneakers. These are just a few of the ways to prevent or keep your athlete’s foot in check.
Natural treatments are my favorite way to prevent and cure athlete’s foot. Here are some that I’ve used or heard about working:
White Vinegar – Make a solution of one part of vinegar and four parts of lukewarm water. Soak the infected foot in that solution for half an hour twice daily.
Tea tree oil – After you have soaked your feet in the vinegar water, rub tea tree oil on your toes and wherever you have athletes foot.
Aloe Vera – I find that this worked about as well as anything I tried. Make sure your feet are dry and massage it into the affected areas. It will stop the itching also.
Hydrogen Peroxide – Apply with a Q-Tip or cotton swab after washing or soaking your feet. Allow to dry. If you wish, you may follow with an application of apple cider vinegar.
Eucalyptus oil – apply a few drops to the affected areas two to three times daily. It will kill the fungi and relieve the itching.
Tea – Fill a large bowl with a quart of boiling water and add six tea bags. Soak your feet for up to an hour. The tannic acid in tea kills some of the fungus and is soothing for painful, itchy feet.
Baking soda – Using baking soda as a powder on your feet and between your toes after you shower and dry your feet and toes thoroughly is helpful.
Household bleach – Wash your socks and towel with bleach in the water. Wipe out your shoes with a bleach water mixture and let dry, then spray well with Lysol and let dry. Also use Lysol on the tub, shower, and foot tub. Do not dry – spray till wet and let air dry.
Corn starch – is effective in soaking moisture, so keep your toes and fee dry by sprinkling corn starch on them.
Garlic – Either crush or blend a couple cloves of garlic. Then rub it into the skin where you have athlete’s foot. It will take 2 to 3 days to heal all of the dry dead skin but works great.
Boric acid – Sprinkled in your socks will prevent athlete’s foot, especially if you’ve had infections before. Don’t use this to treat the problem though.
Hair dryer – Athlete’s foot thrives in moist and your hair dryer can aid in the drying the feet after bathing or between baths if you feet become moist.
Epsom salts – Some podiatrists recommend soaking the feet in a solution of Epsom salts in warm water.
Yogurt – To help ease the symptoms, you can put plain yogurt on the affected area as often as you want. A small amount of yogurt will surely soothe itchiness and redness.
Alcohol and Aspirin – Dissolve about 5 aspirin in 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol and rub over your feet after showering or bathing, the aspirin will soak into the skin due to the alcohol mixture.
Antiperspirant/deodorant-regularly apply stick antiperspirant/deodorant to the feet, especially between the toes.
Vicks Vapor Rub – has also been touted as a cure. Rub it between your toes or other affected area.
Listerine – applied to the infected area is said to cure athlete’s foot also.
The next time you or someone you know has athlete’s foot try some of these remedies instead of spending your hard earned money on OTC or even prescription drugs that don’t work as well. Some of these natural cures I’ve never tried but they sound like they would work. Many of them have been used for years so someone you know probably has some information on them. Even if they don’t work they won’t harm your health if you use them as suggested. If you think they might be a problem don’t try them.