Athlete’s foot has nothing to do with athletes. It is a communicable disease caused by a parasitic fungus of the genus Trichophyton. It is typically transmitted in moist environments where people walk barefoot, such as showers, bath houses, and locker rooms. It can also be transmitted by sharing footwear with an infected person, or less commonly, by sharing towels with an infected person.
Skin conditions such as athlete’s foot can be treated at home, especially if it’s at an early stage. And surprisingly, most of these remedies can be found either in/ on kitchen platforms or home herb garden.
- Apply plain yoghurt on cuts and infected areas of your feet. Fresh yoghurt contains acidophilus bacteria, which is an instant remedy for athlete’s foot. These micro-organisms are considered friendly, and keep fungus under check.
- For about half an hour, soak your feet in water containing few drops of mustard oil or a little mustard powder. Mustard has its own medicinal value, and works wonders in killing fungus.
- Rubbing a mixture of olive oil and tea-tree oil twice a day works wonders for people who are suffering from this condition. Olive oil softens the skin that has hardened due to athlete’s foot. And tea-tree oil has antiseptic qualities, which when absorbed by the skin, helps in speeding up the healing process.
- Mix three parts of tea-tree oil and one part of aloe gel. Rub this ointment-like mixture on the infected area. After doing this on a daily basis, you will surely see good results within six to eight weeks.
- Lavender oil owing to its anti-fungal properties can be a good healer for athlete’s foot. Mix it with any other carrier oil, and massage it near the infection, at least twice a day for best results.
- Calendula is considered excellent for healing skin infections of this sort. Owing to its herbal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be valuable in treating any skin trouble. You can use its ready-to-use ointment available at pharmacies to heal athlete’s foot. You can also make an anti-fungal foot soak by adding around 4-5 tablespoons of dried calendula flowers into boiling water. Allow the water to cool down a bit, add a cup full of apple cider vinegar and soak your feet. Both the contents in this foot soak have the power to fight fungus and cure athlete’s foot.
- Then there are some traditional tried and tested remedies for curing athlete’s foot – applying either garlic powder, surgical spirit, apple cider vinegar, hair spray or honey on the infection, three to four times a day can alleviate athlete’s foot symptoms.
- Applying a paste of soda bicarbonate and cornflour can reduce the itching and burning sensation between the toes and on the feet.
- The tea that we drink every morning contains tannic acid, which works as a natural astringent and helps to dry sweaty feet, and avoid fungus. Make a tea soak by boiling around 5 tea bags in one litre water. After the temperature become bearable for your feet, soak your feet for 30 minutes. Repeat this tip daily for best results.
Though athlete’s foot almost always responds well to self-care, it may come back. To prevent future infections, follow the steps listed below.
- Keep your feet clean and dry, especially between your toes.
- Wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water and dry the area very carefully and completely. Try to do this at least twice a day.
- Wear clean, cotton socks and change your socks and shoes as often as necessary to keep your feet dry.
The above mentioned home remedies are effective, if they are followed on regular basis, and can effectively cut short your trips to a doctor. However, severe, ongoing infections that don’t respond to 2 – 4 weeks of self-care or frequently recurring athlete’s foot, may require further treatment by your doctor. Prescription antifungal medications may be needed. Antibiotics may be necessary to treat secondary bacterial infections that occur in addition to the fungus (for example, from scratching).