Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s FootWhat is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is actually a fungal infection that develops particularly between the toes. The soles of the feet are also affected by the infection. This is highly transmissible and one could easily acquire it when walking barefoot in public places or when one comes in contact with a person who has the infection. Contaminated surfaces are usually found in swimming pools, locker rooms, saunas, and communal baths. When one shares rugs, towels, linens, and other belongings that are used by an infected person, one may also contract athlete’s foot.

 

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

Fungi are the cause of athlete’s foot, particularly dermatophytes. These mold-like fungi actually thrive on the skin but as long as the skin is kept dry, their number is just within the normal range. However, whenever these dermatophytes would increase in growth more than what is tolerable, most especially if the skin is always damp, they form athlete’s foot. Some of the risk factors that could increase the growth of dermatophytes are the following:

  • Wearing damp socks causing the skin in the toes to be moist as well
  • Being a male
  • Being in public places where one has to walk barefoot
  • Sharing rugs, shoes, bed linens, and other belongings that are used by one suffering from athlete’s foot
  • Wearing closed shoes, most especially plastic shoes
  • Weak immune system
  • Suffering from candida in the gut

 

Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot that one must be wary of:

  • Itching. This is the most common symptom of having athlete’s foot. This can be felt in areas that are affected by the infection, like between the toes and the soles of the feet.
  • Stinging and burning sensation. These are also prevalent in athlete’s foot.
  • Itchy blister
  • Cracking and peeling. Affected areas on the feet usually crack and peel.
  • Toenails that are ragged, become thick, and are discolored often signify athlete’s foot.
  • Some toenails tend to pull away from the nail bed.
  • Skin that becomes too dry, usually occurring on the side and bottom of the feet.

 

Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Athlete’s Foot

Treating athlete’s foot would involve some practical changes in lifestyle and applying medication. This would also mean eating the right kinds of foods, which would not worsen the condition, and avoiding those that could aggravate the symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Wear socks that are made from either cotton or silk. These are natural fibres, which help the skin to breathe easily, preventing moisture buildup.
  • Change footwear on a regular basis.
  • Dry the skin after taking a bath or after exercising.

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugar. This must be avoided especially when the symptoms are already acute. Sugar provides food to yeasts, which actually increases their growth.
  • Foods that contain yeast. These foods include beer, cheese, wine, mushrooms, soy sauce, vinegar, and yeast-based drinks.
  • Grapes. This is one fruit that has a high sugar content and therefore must be avoided. Moulds sometimes form on the skin of grapes and could just worsen the condition.
  • Peanuts should be avoided too.

Friendly Foods

  • Garlic and onions. These have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which could fight back the growth of the fungi.
  • Pau d’arco. This is an herb that has anti-fungal properties. You could take this in the form of capsules (6 capsules a day) or tea.
  • Low-fat unsweetened yoghurt. 250 grams a day could greatly help the condition. Yoghurt is rich acidophilus and bifidus, which are considered as friendly bacteria.

Some Useful Remedies

  • Tea tree oil can be applied on the affected area.
  • Calendula tincture and black walnut can also be applied topically
  • Powder coming from a garlic capsule can be sprinkled on the affected area
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