At some point, we would encounter various types of skin problems. It can either be severe or mild, depending on the tolerance of our health. Certain factors can often trigger outbreaks on the skin, like genetics or age. Although some skin problems can disappear after a time, there are others that stay permanently.
We can experience many different types of skin problems anytime. One of these common skin problems is Athlete’s Foot.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s Foot is a type of infection that is caused by fungi that grow on the surface of the skin especially when it moist, warm and irritated. There are several kinds of fungi that cause the infection like yeast. However, the fungus that is the main cause of the infection is a dermatophyte called Trichophyton. This type of fungus is usually found around clothing and on floors. Another term for athlete’s foot is ringworm or Tinea pedis.
As athlete’s foot is very common, about 70 percent of individuals will develop the skin infection. Athlete’s foot is also a contagious skin infection and can spread in different ways.
How does athlete’s foot happen?
The fungus that causes athlete’s foot would only infect when in the right environment – warm, dark and moist. A common example would a shoe or damp clothing and socks.
The infection usually occurs around and in between our toes. It is usually felt when there are a stinging, itching and burning sensation around the area. Athlete’s foot would appear on the first layer of the skin like a bright red rash. In some cases, the affected area would also appear severely cracked.
Athlete’s foot can usually occur:
- When an uninfected person is in direct contact with an infected person through physical contact or in contact with bodily fluids.
- When an uninfected person indirectly contracts the infection from the contaminated person through shared belongings like clothing, socks, towels, and bed sheets.
What does athlete’s foot look like?
Athlete’s foot is commonly noticed to affect our feet and toes. However, it is also likely to spread in between our fingers and hands. It is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Itchy, irritated and red skin rash
- Mild to severe scaling or cracking of skin around the toes or the entire foot’s sole.
- Painful blisters that are filled with fluid
- Soles of the feet become thick-skinned
- Affected area also becomes dry and flaky
Often, when the skin becomes severely cracked and create open sores, it can easily be infiltrated by bacteria and viruses as well.
Who can usually develop athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot or ringworm can happen to anyone. Although it can be avoided, risks of getting affected can increase from certain behaviors. These behaviors include:
– Going to public places barefoot, like swimming pools, showers, and lockers
– Sharing clothing and socks with people who are infected with athlete’s foot
– Not drying your feet after getting it wet
– People who are prone to sweaty fingers and feet
– When there is a small cut or wound on the foot
– Wearing tight-fitting, closed shoes for long periods
How do you treat athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot rarely develops into something severe. Still, it is important to take measures to avoid getting infected by fungi causing the skin problem. It can often be an embarrassing ordeal, and people also tend to avoid infected people for fear of being contaminated. There are habits that you can also change to prevent getting infected by athlete’s foot. These habits include:
- Wash and dry your hands and feet properly and thoroughly when you visit public swimming pools
- Never share your personal belongings with anyone you think may have athlete’s foot
- Avoid wearing damp socks and slip into closed shoes for extended periods
- Do not wear shoes that are not worn for a long time
- Change footwear now and then and avoid using one shoe all the time
- Dry your shoes or socks in the event that it gets wet
It is also a good idea to visit your doctor when you suspect you have symptoms of athlete’s foot. There are several over-the-counter creams that you can use to stop the infection from spreading.
However, there are also natural treatments that you can use to manage athlete’s foot. Some of these natural remedies can be found at home, or can also be purchased online.
Below are six natural remedies that you can try:
This ancient remedy has been proven to help treat or heal many types of infections or diseases. Its properties are known for its medicinal benefits and can lessen symptoms of infection. You can use it as a foot bath or apply directly to your skin with a cloth or cotton ball.
- Essential Oils
Certain types of essential oils can help lessen infections from fungi and bacteria. These essential oils include lavender, tea tree, thyme, oregano, clove, and geranium. To use, you can create your own salve recipes and apply directly on to the infected skin.
This herb is also an excellent choice when it comes to battling fungi and bacteria. Its antioxidant and antibacterial properties can lessen the infection caused by athlete’s foot. To use, you can create a warm garlic soak using fresh cloves of garlic in a basin filled with warm water. You can soak your feet for 30 minutes twice a day.
- Baking soda
Baking soda is a remedy that is very easy to find at home. It is because of the multitude of its uses and can also be effective in treating infections from athlete’s foot. To use, just create a foot soak with a basin filled with warm water and mix at least half a cup of baking soda in it.
- Hydrogen peroxide with Iodine
These items are also great when it comes to killing different kinds of fungi and bacteria on the skin. You can use this as a foot soak by mixing iodine solution and peroxide in a basin filled with warm water. You can also use by applying the solution directly on to the skin. Here are some recommended solutions you can purchase online:
- Medicated Talcum Powder
Fungi that cause athlete’s foot would need moist and warm environments to thrive. To fix this, you have to make sure the moisture on your feet is dried out. You can do this by using a hairdryer, but make sure you do not burn your skin. You can also use talcum powder to help absorb the moisture on your feet and make them dry.
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