Athlete’s foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes. The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth. Not all fungus conditions are athlete’s foot. Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic athlete’s foot.
Causes of Athlete’s Foot
The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi. Because the infection was common among athletes who used these facilities frequently, the term “athlete’s foot” became popular.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
In some cases, the infected person does not have any symptoms at all and think that he has just dry skin. But the symptoms that are common in athlete foot are:
Â· Foul or bad smell in between the toe fingers.
Â· Dryness of skin which causes irritation, itching, redness and inflammation.
Â· In severe case of athlete foot, you might get cracking, pain and bleeding in the skin.
Â· Spread of dry flakes and peeling mostly in between the toe fingers.
Athlete’s foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails. It can be spread to other parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who scratch the infection and then touch themselves elsewhere. The organisms causing athlete’s foot may persist for long periods. Consequently, the infection may be spread by contaminated bed sheets or clothing to other parts of the body.
Natural Ways to Treat Athlete Foot:
Â· Baking soda is an excellent remedy for curing athlete foot. Just rub a pinch of baking soda on the infected area and let it be there for few minutes. Wash the area with clean water.
Â· Soak your legs in warm salt water solution. It is useful in clearing out germs and fungus responsible for athlete foot.
Â· Vinegar water solution can also be used for this purpose. You can add 10-15 drops of vinegar in bucket half filled with water and use it to clean your toe fingers or the areas infected with athlete foot.
Â· Keep your towels and socks clean. Donâ€™t share it with anyone.
Â· Keep your feet dry as much as possible to avoid growth of the bacteria.
Â· Soap your feet at least 2 times in a day and dry them out thoroughly.
Â· Plain yoghurt, which contains live acidophilus bacteria, also helps to keep the fungus in check. Simply dab the yoghurt on the infected areas, allow to dry and rinse off. (But don’t use flavoured yoghurts!).
How do you prevent athlete’s foot in the future?
If you want to keep your feet healthy in the future, there are a few simple steps you can take. Keeping your feet dry clean and dry is of utmost importance and should be top of your list.
Here are some other foot care tips for fungus-free feet:
Â· Wear flip-flops or sandals in public changing rooms
Â· After you have a bath or shower, dry your feet carefully, especially between your toes
Â· Put on clean socks every day
Â· Rotate your shoes, especially gym shoes. Don’t wear the same pair every day
Â· Always take off sweaty sports shoes when you have finished using them. If your shoes are sweaty or wet, let them dry out before you put them on again
Â· Take your shoes off at home and let your feet â€˜breatheâ€™
Â· Wear sandals when you can
Â· Wear cotton, silk, or wool socks rather than synthetic (nylon) ones. Wear shoes made of leather or canvas. These let your feet breathe more than plastic shoes.