One of the most common yet highly irritating conditions is athlete’s foot, commonly known as foot fungus. The fungal infection is medically identified as tinea pedis that typically affects the area between the toes. Individuals who sweat a lot in the feet, who also wear footwear that is tight are at higher risk of getting fungus foot as such conditions are conducive for the fungus. The fungal infection is contagious and is known to spread through personal clothing, shared towels and floors that have been contaminated with the fungus. Here is a look at some of the common and effective methods on how to get rid of foot fungus and simple tips for prevention.
What are the causes for foot fungus and how to get rid of foot fungus?
Before we take a look at how to get rid of foot fungus it is important to understand the causes for the condition. Belonging to the category of the fungus that is responsible for ringworm, foot fungus grows rapidly in individuals who wear socks that are damp, and especially in humid conditions. Another condition that is attributed to the same type of fungus is jock itch, that shares similar causes with foot fungus. The signs associated with foot fungus are easy to identify – for instance, a scaly rash is the first condition that is observed alongwith an itching or burning sensation. A stinging feeling is often experienced by individuals with athlete’s foot. It is important to know that in many cases, the infection is recurring in nature despite the anti-fungal treatment options and remedies. The best way to tackle the condition is to choose a combination of treatment and preventive options.
Common symptoms and how to get rid of foot fungus?
Commonly observed symptoms of athletes foot includes itching that increases when the individual removes footwear. The scaly red rash that is typically associated with foot fungus generally starts between the toes, and is usually confined to the toe area. The formation of blisters and ulcers on the foot are other indications of foot fungus. The condition has a difficult variation – moccasin type of foot fungus that is known to be difficult to treat. Before we look at how to get rid of foot fungus it is essential to understand a little more about this variation in the condition. The moccasin type of infection typically has more scaling and the visible changes extend to a larger area of the foot – the sides of the foot. The dryness associated with this variation of foot fungus is extensive and is often confused as eczema or dry skin.
Possible reasons for the spread of the infection and the areas where it can spread
The infection is also known to spread to other areas in the body in addition to being highly contagious. For instance, individuals with the condition may end up experiencing the infection in the hand if the infected area has been touched repeatedly with the hand. I tis necessary to wash the hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of the infection from the foot to the hand. The spread of the infection to the toenails is to be prevented, as the toenails are known to be the toughest area for treating. The spread of the infection to the toenail area cannot be ruled out and it is necessary to take adequate precautions to prevent the same. Other possible areas where the infection can spread includes the groin. This is likely as individuals may use the same towel that has been used on the feet. The infection may begin in one foot or both feet, and its spread entirely depends on the preventive methods or lack of adequate precautions adopted by individual.
How to get rid of foot fungus – tips for treatment
While the right over the counter antifungal treatment remedies will help manage the condition effectively, it is necessary to consult a specialist if the conditions do not subside in two weeks. Individuals with diabetes need to take additional precautions and seek suitable treatment remedies from specialists, if there are any visible indications of secondary bacteria infections. For instance, the observance of swelling, reddish inflammation, drainage or if the individual experiences a feverish feeling, are all indications of a possible secondary bacteria infection.
Individuals at higher risk of getting the condition
The condition is known to affect individuals of the following category easily – males, individuals involved in higher level of physical/sporting activities, individuals who sweat profusely, wearing of socks that are damp, wearing of footwear/shoes that are tight, sharing objects of personal use such as towels and bed linens, accessing common areas that have been used by infected individuals, and moving around common areas barefoot. Certain locations/spaces such as swimming pools, shower areas and community baths are all conducive for the spread of the fungal infection. It is necessary to take adequate precautions while accessing such common areas.
How to take preventive care
As we look deeply into how to get rid of foot fungus it is time to take a look at preventive methods as the two are best used as a combination. The right treatment options in combination with preventive methods will help ensure that the recurrence of the infection is eliminated. Preventive methods include keeping the feet dry and spending time barefoot in clean areas. The area between the toes is to be kept as dry as possible, especially after taking a shower. Whenever possible it is advised to let the foot breathe air without being wrapped in socks or footwear.
Other preventive methods include changing socks frequently if the individual is known to sweat frequently. Shoes that are made of material that permit the flow of air are a better choice, while shoes that are made of synthetic material that prevent air movement are to be avoided. A practical method of preventing fungus conducive conditions includes using two pairs of shoes on consecutive days. In other words, it is advised to ensure that the same pair is not worn the next day. This will allow the shoe to dry completely before it is worn the next day. Whenever common areas are accessed, it is important to wear the right kind of protective footwear to ensure prevent the spread of the infection. The use of antifungal powder is a good idea, as this will keep the feet dry and prevent fungal infections. Sharing of footwear is to be avoided as this poses the highest risk of infection.
How to get rid of foot fungus easily?
Now that we have a fair understanding of the condition, let us look at how to get rid of foot fungus. The methods listed below are some of the most common, popular and effective methods of treating the condition.
Epsom salt, commonly known as magnesium sulfate is an effective treatment option. A mix of Epsom salt with warm water in a ratio of 1:8 can be used in which the foot is soaked for around ten minutes. This is to followed by drying the area thoroughly. Another option is to use Epsom salt as part of a potent combination to treat foot fungus. This combination include water, Epsom salt, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. This combination is highly potent and will deliver the best results. However, it is important to bear in mind the right proportions – 4 cups of warm water, half cup of Epsom salt, half a cup of baking soda, quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide and quarter cup of vinegar. The feet are to be soaked for around 15 minutes, followed by wiping the foot thoroughly.
Hydrogen peroxide is considered as a potent substance for eliminating fungus. The infected area is best wiped with a cloth dipped in hydrogen peroxide. Other options include the use of hydrogen peroxide as a mix, in which the foot is soaked for around 10 minutes. The ideal proportion is 97.5 % of cool water and 2.5% of hydrogen peroxide. The proportion should not be stronger than this and after soaking the feet, it is necessary to wipe the feet dry.
Baking soda is another effective method that can be used for treating athlete’s foot. Three different methods can be used with baking soda. It can be used in powder form, by sprinkling on the foot. This will remove the moisture when the shoes/socks are worn and will also heal the fungal infection. Similarly, baking soda can also be used as an ingredient to soak the foot for a short time. Finally, baking soda can be mixed with a little water and made into a paste, and the paste can be applied in on the infected area for a short period. The area can then we rinsed with warm water, followed by drying the foot thoroughly.
Black tea is another good option for soaking the foot. The tannic acid in black tea helps to wick out the moisture form the foot, while killing bacteria. Additionally, the properties of black tea are known to be beneficial – closing of the pores of the foot that helps keep sweating in check. The ideal mix of water and tea is eight cups of water and six tea bags. The water with the tea bags needs to be brought to a boil, followed by leaving it to cool, before the feet are soaked in the mix. After soaking the foot, use a clean towel to wipe dry.
Other options for soaking the foot are also equally effective, and include apple cider vinegar, and other essential oils. This is attributed to the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the oil which are highly effective in treating foot fungal infections. Common essential oils include clove oil, jasmine oil, tea tree oil, clary sage oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, ylang-ylang oil, lemon oil, cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, wild oregano oil and a blend of different essential oils that is commonly known as thieves oil.
Essential oils are typically diluted by mixing with carrier oils as the essential oils are highly potent and can cause discomfort. For instance, coconut oil, olive oil are commonly used carrier oils that are used for diluting essential oils. This diluted mix can either be applied directly on the infected area and wiped dry after some time, or the undiluted essential oils can be mixed with water and feet can be soaked in the mix for around ten to twenty minutes.
The best method is to keep to footwear clean and dry, and some of the common methods include use of hot water, to clean the shoes/socks thoroughly. Effective methods on how to get rid of foot fungus include drying the footwear thoroughly, adding of baking soda or vinegar in the washing machine while washing socks or shoes.