Athlete’s foot is a common and unpleasant skin condition that affects the skin of the feet. It damages the skin, making it scaly and itchy. This condition is frustrating and persistent but with some patience and little effort it can be successfully cured.
What is athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis, sometimes also called Hong Kong foot, is a fungal infection of the skin of the feet. The fungus causing it is called Trichophyton and it does not limit itself on the feet alone. Since it loves moist and dark environment, the fungus can develop on other parts of the body, like the groin, toenails, scalp and others. However, when it is spread to other parts of the body, the condition is called tinea corporis.
The symptoms of athlete’s foot include red, flaky or scaly and itchy skin prone to breaking, and many people mistake it for other skin conditions, especially psoriasis.
The fungus is usually contracted through direct contact, and it particularly affects people who walk barefoot a lot. When it penetrates the skin, the fungus grows and multiplies, causing characteristic symptoms.
Athlete’s foot is conventionally treated with anti-fungal medications, based on chemical ingredients, but there are many great remedies for this problem that are all-natural and just as effective.
Natural remedies for athlete’s foot
There are hundreds of naturally occurring anti-fungals that can be used for athlete’s foot, most of them in form of essential oils. Tea tree, thuja and myrrh essential oils work best, but they should never be used undiluted.
Apple cider vinegar is also great against the fungus. The feet should be soaked in a mixture of equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar, for at least 20 minutes, every day until the condition is cured. Adding baking soda, witch hazel or thuja tincture to the mixture makes it even more effective.
An old Ayurvedic remedy for athlete’s foot turmeric powder and aloe vera gel, mixed into a smooth paste, which should be applied to the feet twice a day for two weeks.
Athlete’s foot can be cured from inside, using remedies for internal use, like neem leaf. Diluted neem leaf extract is quite bitter but absolutely safe for internal use, and in undiluted form it can be applied directly to the skin affected by the fungus.
After the problem is solved using these remedies, it is important to be careful not to become infected again, because fungus is highly prone to reoccurring. The feet should be kept clean and dry at all times, socks and stockings should be made of breathable natural materials, preferably pure cotton, changed every day, and shoes and other footwear should be washed frequently.