Vital Information About Athlete’s Foot Fungal Infection
One of the most common fungal infections is athlete’s foot, also referred to as tinea pedis. Athlete’s foot is caused by trichophyton, a fungus that is contagious and can be found on surfaces like flooring and clothing. Athlete’s foot is similar to other fungal infections like jock itch and ringworm. The good news is most cases of athlete’s foot can be treated with affordable antifungal medications available over the counter. Anyone can get athlete’s foot if their feet remain damp and moist a lot of the time. Trichophyton requires a moist environment to thrive, so anyone whose feet sweat or remain moist a great deal of the tie can suffer with the itching and burning associated with athlete’s foot. This fungal infection earned its common name due to athlete’s feet being sweaty a lot of the time during training and competition, thus leading to many of these infections on athlete’s feet. In fact, about seventy five percent of people that go barefoot a lot can contract athlete’s foot fungal infections.
Some surfaces make it easier for you get athlete’s foot infections. Showers flooring in locker rooms and swimming pool areas are likely places you can get athlete’s foot fungus. These surfaces are areas of high moisture and provide trichophyton the great place to thrive. When you contact the fungus on surfaces like these, it only worsens when you wear your shoes and your feet sweat. However, athlete’s foot can also strike people with dry skin on their feet as well. This is especially common in the summer time when people are wearing sandals a lot of the time. When your feet are over exposed to sunlight, the skin become dry, causing the loss of skin oils that help protect from infection. In most cases, trichophyton starts between the toes. If left untreated, trichophyton fungal infection will spread to other areas of the feet.
Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot Fungal Infection
- Stinging, itching and burning sensations between the toes.
- The skin between the toes may exhibit cracking and peeling. Bleeding can occur if infection is unattended.
- The more severe cases of trichophyton fungal infection may cause peeling of skin on the soles of the feet.
- Blistering can occur in moderate to severe infections.
Symptoms Associated With Advanced Cases Of Untreated Trichophyton Infection
- White, soggy skin in the toe webs. The skin between toes is white and takes on a waterlogged appearance.
- Feet have a foul odor.
- Blisters that ooze, causing stickiness inside shoes or socks.
- Toenails that have been affected by a fungal infection become thick and crumbly while turning yellowish, unhealthy color a condition.
- Areas of fungal infection become painful.
Onychomycosis, a fungal infection that strikes the nails, can develop even though no signs of athlete’s foot infection are present.
Bacterial infections are also easier to occur in people experiencing fungal infections of the feet. Trichophyton weakens the skin and causes breaks in the skin that invite bacterium. Cellulitis, a common bacterial infection, predominately occurs in diabetics, elderly people, edema sufferers, in those people with lowered immunity and in people that have undergone vein ligation and stripping procedures.
The symptoms you experience with athlete’s foot fungal infection can vary depending on the type of infection you have. While some infections cause intense itching, others may only cause cracking and peeling of the skin between the toes.
- The infection that occurs between the toes is known as toe web infection. In most cases, this particular fungal infection starts in between the fourth and fifth toes. You may experience scaling, cracking and peeling in these areas. Many people also suffer with bacterial infections because of cracking skin.
- If your feet become sore and tender, you may be experiencing what is described as a moccasin infection. Moccasin infections can cause the skin on your heels or on the soles of your feet to become hardened and calloused, thus causing skin cracking that can invite bacteria. Advanced forms of moccasin infection can cause fungal issues with the toenails as well. Bear in mind the fungal infection under the nail bed will require a different type of fungal treatment than pones used for athlete’s foot.
- The appearance of blisters on the bottom of your feet or anywhere else on them can be a vesicular type fungal infection. The blister can filled with fluid and they can be extremely painful. When the blisters pop and skin becomes compromised, it is the first to contracting bacterial infections as well.
Trichophyton rubrum and trichophyton mentagrophytes are species that are included in the genus trichophyton. These kinds of fungal infections are contagious and can be picked up easily by people that normally wear shoes a great deal of the time. In the event these people go barefoot on surfaces that trichophytes are present, the contraction of fungal infection is great. Once someone puts on their shoes after walking on infected surfaces, the birth of a fungal infection occurs.
Shoes are the greatest reason many people suffer with athlete’s foot fungal infections. Most shoes inhibit the skin’s ability to breathe, thus the creation of the warm, moist environment necessary for the fungal growth that starts infection. People that go barefoot most of time have fewer occurrences of athlete’s foot infections because of the feet being able to breathe. Also, when someone goes barefoot a lot, their feet become toughened to external elements. Toughened feet are harder for fungi to latch onto, thus reducing the risk of fungal infection. The toes of people that go barefoot a lot also do not have their toes mashed together inside of shoes, leading to fewer, if any, occurrences of fungal incidents like toe web fungal infections.
Wearing the shoes of someone that has a fungal infection on their feet can cause you to contract it. For this reason, you might avoid wearing rented shoes in places like bowling alleys or golf courses. The same is also true about sharing towels. The fungi responsible for trichophyton infections can appear on other parts of the skin as well. Fungal infections like tinea cruris can occur in the groin while the toenails are specific to the fungal infection called onychomycosis.
Available Treatments For Athlete’s Foot Fungal Infections
- Changing your socks often can help clear up athlete’s foot infection. Drying your feet well before putting your shoes can also reduce infection. The drier, less moist your feet are the less likely fungi will survive.
- When choosing shoes, avoid brands made from vinyl or other man made materials. Leather and other breathable materials are best for the shoes that will help you avoid fungal infections. Keeping your shoes as dry as possible is important as well. Footwear must be kept thoroughly dry. Always wear white thick cotton socks. Wearing sandals can help your feet breathe, but be sure to choose sandals that are made of leather to avoid the irritation of synthetic materials.
- Using medicated powders specially formulated for athlete’s foot fungus can help to keep your feet drier, thus lowering the risk of creating a moist environment. Sprinkle some inside your socks and inside your shoes before putting them to experience the greatest benefits.
- When using some antifungal medications, whether they are creams, sprays or gels, making sure you follow the instructions is extremely important. Many antifungal medications require you to continue use up to two weeks after symptoms have cleared up. Some fungi are stubborn and can be underneath the skin, the reason you should continue treatment as directed.
Should You Visit A Podiatrist?
Most over the counter medication for the treatment of fungal infection do work well. However, you might consider visiting a podiatrist for learning the specific type of fungal infection you are dealing with. If you have fungal infection affecting your toenails, you should certainly visit a qualified podiatrist. The nails can be cut back far enough to expose the living fungi, thus allowing air to create an unsuitable environment for the fungi. Fluconazole and itraconazole are some of the oral medications used for treating fungal infections. People taking these drugs will need regular testing with their doctor for monitoring for the occurrence of serious side effects. In most cases, oral antifungals are taken between two to eight weeks. If you have developed a bacterial infection due to cracking, blistering or peeling, your podiatrist may prescribe oral antibiotics.
Onychomycosis does not go away with a topical treatment. Nail fungus requires oral medication and has been found to be the most effective treatment. Some occurrences of nails fungus is due to injuries that occur to the nail, opening it to allow fungi to easily enter. Nail fungus causes nails to become crumbly, discolored and misshapen. The medication given for nail fungus does carry side effects and can only be taken under the supervision of a medical professional. If you take other drugs or if you have some medical conditions, you may not be able to take an oral course of treatment for nail fungus. Visiting a podiatrist is best for learning how you can get rid of toenail fungus.
Diabetics should always consult with their physician about any conditions that involve the lower extremities, especially the feet.
Over The Counter Medications
Miconazole, clotrimazole, undecylenic acid, ketoconazole, terbinafine and tolnaftate are some of the most popular over the counter medications. You can choose from swabs, creams, sprays, lotions, specially formulated solutions, gels and ointments. Many people have found that creams provide the greatest healing benefits. However, powders are the best for helping absorb the moisture in your shoes. Bear in mind treatment will need last up to six weeks, even after symptoms have gone. No matter which medication you choose, staying away from moist areas, especially when you are barefoot, is important to remember. Going barefoot as much as you can is important to give your feet the air they need for being healthy. Try to go barefoot while inside your home or office to avoid stepping on sharp objects or otherwise injuring your feet. When you are at work, find times, like during lunch breaks, when you can slip off your shoes for letting your feet breathe.
Burow’s solution was created in the nineteenth by an ophthalmologist named Karl August Burow. Persons suffering with blistering vesicular infections can experience great healing benefits by soaking their feet in this solution three or four times a day for at least three days. Once the fluid in blisters diminishes, applying antifungal medication is important for supporting continued treatment. The application of Burow’s compresses works well also.
One important tip to remember is not to use hydrocortisone medications in the treatment of fungal infection unless otherwise specified by your health care provider.
Caring For Your Feet
How well you care for your feet determines whether you can easily contract fungal infections.
• Always make sure your feet stay dry and clean. Washing your feet in a natural, soothing soap twice a day can help to keep down fungi and bacteria as well.
• Be sure to dry between your toes well after swimming or showering. If you feel like towel drying is not enough for the areas between your toes, use a hair dryer on low heat to thoroughly dry these areas.
• Choose only the shoes made out of breathable materials.
•When inside, wearing only socks is beneficial for allowing your feet to breathe.
• Never wear your shoes without socks. Be sure to choose only white cotton socks and change the twice daily.
• Put antifungal powder in your shoes and down into your socks before putting them on.
• Set your shoes out to and allow them to air out. It is best to let shoes air out for twenty fours before putting them back on. When airing your shoes, doing so on sunny days is best. Taking the laces out and pulling out the tongue to expose as much of the interior of shoes is important for allowing the sunlight to kill fungi.
• When you visit public showers or swimming pools always make sure to wear sandals. Thongs are a great choice because they are waterproof. Wearing sandals can also help prevent the occurrence of plantar warts on the feet as well.
The person that has athlete’s foot fungus should be sure to dry the groin area first after a bath. Doing so will prevent spreading the infection from your feet to the groin area.be sure to also put on socks before pulling your underwear over your feet. This can also help prevent moving the infection from your feet to your groin as well, causing the condition known as jock itch.
Preventing The Spread Of Fungal Infections
Anytime you touch your feet, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water afterwards to prevent giving it to someone you may touch soon after. This can also help you avoid getting on other areas of your body as well.
If you live with other people and you share the same shower or bathtub, take the time cleanse the tub with a disinfectant like bleach. You might consider taking this preventative step even if you live alone avoid reinfection of your feet over and over again. Parents with children suffering with athlete’s foot should remind teachers to make sure your child’s shoes stay during school to prevent spreading the infection.
Never share a towel with other people to help prevent them or you from catching a fungal infection. Also make sure your bedding is washed once a week for removing fungi from them.
Washing your socks in hot water twice weekly is important for killing fungi spores. Microwaving socks for half a minute can also help to destroy fungi spores. You should avoid wearing the same pair more than two times consecutively. If you participate in sports or other activities that cause your feet to sweat more than average, be sure to wash and dry them before putting on clean, fresh socks every time.
Soaking your feet can be beneficial to complete healing.
When a fungal infection causes cracked skin and blistering, you may also notice redness as well. Redness generally is a sure sign of a bacterial infection. Soaking your feet in a water/ povidone-iodine 10% solution can help to kill bacteria. Use two capfuls of Povidone-iodine 10% solution in 1 quart of water. Soak your feet in this solution for twenty minutes once daily for best healing benefits. Povidone-iodine 10% is available at most pharmacies and drug stores.
Never soak your feet in bleach.
Many home remedies include soaking your feet in bleach. Never place your feet in any type of bleach solution or other types of household cleansers because they can severely damage the skin.
Giving your shoes antifungal treatment is important.
Wearing the same shoes you wore while suffering with athlete’s foot fungus can cause you reinfection every time you put them back on. Be sure to put antifungal powder in your shoes and let them air out afterwards. You can also use antifungal sprays for your shoes as well.
Wear more than one pair of shoes.
Keeping a couple pair of shoes is important to increase the benefits of airing them out. Wearing one pair while the other is being aired out can help you to reinfection.
The kind of socks you wear matters.
Choosing only socks made of pure wool or cotton is best for experiencing their moisture absorption benefits. However, many people have claimed that the wicking benefit of acrylic materials is greater. Buy a pair of each material for learning which one works the best for your feet.
Today, many people may not be able to afford some over the counter medications for athlete’s foot. Indeed, some of the over the counter preparations can be quite expensive. However, there some remedies that are effective and safe you can do at home for getting rid of fungal infection on your feet.
Affordable Natural Remedies
Baking Soda For Superior Absorption
Sprinkling baking soda into your shoes can effectively absorb the moisture that helps create the perfect environment for fungi to thrive.
Applying cornstarch directly to your feet can helps lot to absorb moisture while also providing a pampering, silky feeling for your feet as well. Another way to gain the benefits of cornstarch is by lightly browning it before applying it to your feet. Browning cornstarch removes the small amount of moisture it has it in, thus increasing its ability to absorb the moisture on your feet. Place cornstarch in a baking dish, baking it for about three minutes at 325 degrees. Place browned cornstarch between your toes or rub it over your complete foot.
Mix a couple drops of olive oil with one clove of crushed garlic until it is pasty. Garlic contains a compound called ajoene that has been found to be effective for athlete’s foot. Rub paste on your feet, making sure to reach between all of your toes, leaving on for thirty minutes. Rinse in warm water, drying your feet well afterward. You should repeat this remedy for a minimum of 6 -8 weeks after the diminishment of symptoms for experiencing the greatest healing benefits. This treatment can be used in the same manner for toenail fungus as well.
Adding Garlic To Your Diet
Garlic has strong antifungal properties. Garlic juice can be applied to affected areas two times daily for additional healing benefits.
Strengthening Your Immunity
When your immune system is weak or compromised, you are more likely to pick up maladies like fungal infections. Eating a diet high in foods that strengthen your immune system is essential for you to avoid being sick or having one kind of infection issue after another. Foods that contain antioxidants are the best choices for boosting your immune system. Citrus fruits can provide excellent antioxidant protection. Foods like scallions, red meat and broccoli are also great choices.
Soothing Benefits Of Cinnamon
Soaking your feet in a cinnamon tea can provide superior healing and also comforting, fragrance relaxation as well. Make a tea by boiling four cups of water and ten cinnamon sticks. Be sure to break apart cinnamon sticks for helping to release their full potency. Once tea boils, turn down heat and allow it simmer for about five or so minutes. Remove from heat, allowing the tea to cool. Set tea aside and allow it to steep, with cinnamon sticks in it, for forty five minutes. Once cooled to room temperature, soak your feet for fifteen to thirty minutes, doing so daily.
The active bacteria in yogurt, live acidophilus, can have a profound impact on the number of fungal infections you catch. Be sure to choose only those brands that contain live culture. Yogurt can help fight candida albicans (both oral and vaginal yeast infection). Yogurt can also help to protect your body from fungi as well. Another way to experience the benefits of yogurt for fungal infection is by using it as a topical remedy, rubbing it directly on your feet and in between toes. Make sure you choose plain yogurt that contains live acidophilus cultures for the best benefits.
Lemon: Citric Acid Benefits
To reduce the odor associated with sweaty feet, you can mix the juice of a lemon with two ounces of water. Rinse your feet in this mix for great odor reducing benefits.
Soaking your feet in two quarts of water with one of cup of vinegar can produce great healing benefits. You can also make a vinegar solution you can apply with a cotton ball for experiencing the same great benefits. For topical application, mix one cup of water to one cup of vinegar. If you have areas of irritation on your feet, vinegar mixtures can cause these areas to sting. Apple cider or white vinegar mixed with ethyl alcohol in equal parts can also be used as a topical remedy for fungal infection on the feet.
Back tea contains tannins that are beneficial for killing the fungi that start fungal infections. You can make a soaking bath for your feet by placing six black tea bags into a quart of lukewarm water.
Salt Is Healing
For a beneficial salt foot solution, add one teaspoon of salt for every cup of water you add to a foot tub. Be sure to use warm water. Soaking your feet in a salt solution for ten minutes a day can help you experience relief from fungal infection symptoms. After each soak, dry your feet well and place baking soda between your toes.
The Antifungal Properties Of Tea Tree Oil
The melaleuca alternifolia tree, native to Australia, is where tea tree oil is derived from. Consider to be both an antifungal and antibacterial ingredient, tea tree can provide soothing relief for the symptoms of fungal infections. However, it is important to mention tea tree oil has not been found to sure fungal infections completely. Mixing equal parts of tea tree oil and olive oil can increase the healing power of tea tree oil. Olive oil helps to soften calloused and hardened skin on the feet, thus making it easier for the skin to absorb tea tree oil. Mixing three parts tea tree oil with one part aloe can also provide excellent relief for fungal infections. Be sure to use this mix at least eight weeks, rubbing the mix directly on the feet two times day.
Mustard Oil And Mustard Powder
Adding three or four drops of mustard oil to your foot soak can help to kill fungi causing your infection. The same is also true about mustard powder. Soaking your feet in baths including mustard ingredients for half an hour to one hour is recommended.
Some people have results using rubbing alcohol, vinegar, honey and lemon as topical preparations for fungal infection of the feet.
Mix lavender oil ( 3 Drops) into a teaspoon of a carrier like vegetable oil. Rubbing this oil mixture into your feet each day helps to fight fungus due to lavender’s antifungal properties.
Used for thousands of years for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, calendula can help heal athlete’s foot infections. Calendula ointment is available at heath food retailers everywhere. Rubbing calendula ointment on your feet, paying particular attention to the areas between your toes, can help eliminate fungi. Always let ointment dry completely before putting shoes and socks.
Beneficial Holistic Therapies
Grapefruit seed extract has been found to have antifungal properties. You can find grapefruit seed extract at most natural health remedy retailers. Apply extract as full strength three times a day.
Mryrrh can be rubbed directly on the feet for soothing and healing benefits. Mryrrh has been found to provide relief from pain caused by fungal infections as well.
To help reduce stress and the symptoms of athlete’s foot fungal infection, add tea tree oil, chamomile or peppermint to your bath water.
Low Risk Of Serious Internal Complications
When a fungal infection is not treated, it can spread all over the body. However, this kind of fungi prefers to inhabit the skin, nails and hair. The internal organs are not at any risk from the fungi associated with athlete’s foot. Body skin fungus is referred to as tinea corporis and can be treated with the same antifungal medications used for the feet.
Who Is At Greater Risk?
People suffering from diseases that lower their immunity are more likely to contract fungal infections. HIV/AIDS, diabetes and cancer are some of these kinds of diseases.