Athlete's foot is a very common skin infection of the bottom of the feet caused by fungus. The fungus that most commonly causes athlete's foot is called Trichophyton. When the feet or other areas of the body stay moist, warm, and become irritated, fungus can thrive and infect the upper layers of the skin. Fungal infections can occur almost anywhere on the body, including the scalp, trunk, extremities (arms and legs), hands, feet, nails, vagina, mouth, and groin.
Athlete's foot is caused by the ringworm fungus ("tinea" in medical jargon). Athlete's foot is also called tinea pedis. The fungus that causes athlete's foot can be found on many locations, including floors in gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, nail salons, airport security lines, and in socks and clothing. The fungus can also be spread directly from person to person or by contact with these objects.
Most people acquire fungus on the feet from walking barefoot on areas where someone else with athlete's foot has walked. Some people are simply more prone to this condition while others seem relatively resistant to contracting it. It has been called "jungle rot" by those serving in wars, including the Vietnam War.
However, without proper growing conditions (a warm, moist environment), the fungus may not easily infect the skin. Up to 70% of the population may have athlete's foot at some time during their lives. Some individuals are inherently more prone to recurrences during their lifetime.
Symptoms of Athlete's Foot
Typical symptoms include scaling and peeling in the toe webs (the area between the toes) generally without any accompanying pain, odor, or itching. The infection may also involve the soles of the feet where athlete's foot may present as redness, blistering, and scaling along the sides and soles of the feet, taking on what is termed a moccasin pattern.
Over time, this condition can lead to a secondary bacterial infection. Its possible for the fungus to set off a reaction that results in tissue breakdown soggy skin and eroded areas between the toes. In advanced cases, the toe webs become whitened, softened, and soggy; they may itch severely, and there may be a foul odor. As the condition worsens, painful cracking in the toe webs and some oozing may develop.
Athletes foot can sometimes be associated with onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenails. However, the usual case of athlete's foot is a more superficial infection than the more stubborn and deep seated nail infection.
Sometimes after an episode of athlete's foot, if particles enter the bloodstream, there may be an allergic reaction causing blisters on the fingers, toes or hands.
If you have diabetes or an illness that makes it harder for your body to fight off infections, athletes foot can become a very serious infection in itself or facilitate secondary infections with other serious organisms. You should see a doctor immediately if your feet develop severe redness or swelling, areas of pus, and/or severe pain.
Relieving Athlete’s Foot with Home Remedies:
There are many inexpensive ways to gain relief from the symptoms of athlete’s foot. Common items that you already have around the house can be used. There are several choices when looking for home remedies for athlete’s foot.
The most inexpensive and available home remedy for athlete’s foot is pure sunlight! That’s right, the fungus that causes all the itching and burning of athlete’s foot dies in sunlight. Expose your bare feet to direct sunlight for at least one hour a day. The sunlight will kill the fungus as well as helping the area to dry out. This will also help in the healing process.
You’ll find a couple of home remedies for relieving athlete’s foot symptoms right in your kitchen. White vinegar is used for cooking. It also helps relieve symptoms if used as a soak. Just place your feet in a container of white vinegar two times a day for thirty minutes each time. Relief will soon follow.
Find powerful herbal remedies Athlete Feet Home Remedies
The other home remedy found in the kitchen is garlic. Simply crush a clove of garlic and place it directly on the affected area. Leave it on the foot for a half an hour then wash it off with water.
The bathroom contains a couple of home remedies for athlete’s foot as well. Common rubbing alcohol is a staple in most home’s medicine cabinets. Putting alcohol on the foot will have a drying effect on the fungus. This will sting a little when it is applied, but it will aid in the healing process.
Most of us use mouthwash each morning and night when we brush out teeth. Pouring an antiseptic mouthwash onto a patch of athlete’s foot will bring relief of symptoms and promote healing.
There are two natural oils that can be placed on the area of skin that is displaying symptoms. Peppermint oil and tea tree oil are both home remedies for athlete’s foot. The both offer relief as well as help the area to heal.
All of these home remedies for athlete’s foot symptoms are natural. Most of them you probably already have in your home. For those you may not have at home they are readily available at a local store or pharmaceutical supply. Whether you need to purchase them or already have them they are a natural way to help rid yourself of the itching and burning of athlete’s foot symptoms.