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Athletes foot (Tinea pedis)

A common, generally harmless foot infection caused by fungi that thrive in warm, moist, and dark environments. Athlete's foot is stubborn and will return when the conditions are right.

  • Causes and Risk Factors of Athlete's Foot
    This fungus requires a warm and moist environment. Wearing poorly ventilated shoes and socks that harbor perspiration provide an ideal breeding ground .
  • Contact with floors (showers, swimming pool etc) also contribute to development of this problem. It may also be transmitted by wearing the shoes of someone who has athlete's foot.

Symptoms of Athlete's Foot
The classic symptoms are itching, flaking skin. Sometimes the fungus stays between the toes, but it may also appear on the soles of the feet and even spread to the toe nails causing discolouration and thickening of the nail. There may be a foul odor. As the condition worsens, painful cracking in the toe webs and some oozing may develop.

Treatment of Athlete's Foot
Treat the infection fast and intensively.

  1. 1. Bicarbonate of soda made into a paste and rubbed into the feet can relieve itching and burning between the toes. Rinse and then thoroughly dry the skin.
  2. 2. Sweaty feet can be dried out by soaking in a litre of water to which 5 tea bags have been added. Soak the feet for 5-10 minutes. Repeat at frequent intervals.
  3. 3. Wash socks or tights in very hot water (or microwave washed socks to kill the fungus).
  4. 4. Live plain yoghurt spread over the feet help to keep the fungus in check. Simply dab the yoghurt on teh infected areas, let dry and rinse off.

Herbal relief

1. Tea tree is a potent antiseptic. Mix tea tree oil with the same amount of calendula oil and rub the combination into the affected area twice a day. The calendula oil helps to soften the skin toughened by the fungus, so the tea tree oil is better absorbed.

2. Calendula has been valued for centuries. It is said tohave both anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory powers.

3. Thuja lotion. Mix 1 teasponn of thuja tincture to 30ml of distilled extract of witch hazel water. Apply on a lint or suitable material.

4. Night foot wash - soak the feet in water to which has been added a few drops of tincture of myrrh , huja or tea tree oil.

Prevention of Athlete's Foot
It is important to remember again that athlete's foot is stubborn and will return when the conditions are right.

  1. - Always dry the feet, paying particular attention to the toe webs.
  2. - Wear socks made of absorbent fibers, and change them daily
  3. - Wear waterproof sandals in public showers and pools.
  4. - Go barefoot whenever possible.
  5. - Sandals or perforated shoes are best.
  6. - Try not to  wear the same shoes or athletic footwear every day.
  7. - Take Echinacea capsules daily

Dont allow the fungus to spread
The fungus can also cause uncomfortable itching in the groin, so be careful not to infect the groin area. Wash hands thoroughly after touching your feet and put socks on before pulling on underwear and leave socks on until last when getting undressed.

  1. Differential diagnosis
  2. It is important to rule out other causes of similar symptoms. Eczema, psoriasis, and scabies are other possible causes of similar symptoms.