Treating Athlete’s Foot, the Natural Way
Athlete’s foot is very common. Sportsmen and women often pick up Athlete’s foot infections from gyms and locker rooms. Hot, sweaty feet, especially those with broken skin and blisters, are exceptionally vulnerable to fungal skin infections. In most cases, Athlete’s foot isn’t serious, but if your immune system is compromised in any way, it can be extremely difficult to eradicate.
There are over-the-counter sprays and ointments available that will kill the Candida fungus responsible for an Athlete’s foot infection, but before you resort to buying expensive treatments, try one of the following natural antifungal herbs and kitchen store cupboard remedies.
Herbal Remedies for Athlete’s Foot
Tea Tree Oil – tea tree oil is readily available from all good health stores. You can use tea tree oil to treat any number of problems, including dandruff and headlice, but it is also effective in the treatment of fungal infections, such as Candida. Add a few drops to a bowl of warm water and soak your feet for 10 minutes. Rub some into your feet, both to treat an existing infection, and also to prevent future infections.
Garlic – If you have some cloves of garlic in your kitchen cupboard, crush them up and apply them to your sore feet. Garlic has powerful antibacterial properties and is an effective treatment for fungal infections. Your feet won’t smell so good, but that’s a small price to pay! Don’t forget to add garlic to your food. Garlic can help clear Candida infections from the inside out; it also boosts your immune system.
Ginger – Ginger is another smelly treatment for athlete’s foot, although it smells more pleasant than garlic! Add some chopped ginger root to a bowl of hot water and soak your feet for 10 minutes once the water has cooled down. Do this twice a day.
Oregano Oil – If you have some oregano growing on your kitchen window, or in the garden, pluck some leaves and steep them in hot water for 20 minutes. Soak your feet in the mixture two or three times a day. The oils in the oregano leaves will help to heal your feet.
How to Avoid a Future Infection
Make sure you look after your feet to avoid spreading the infection. Don’t share your towel and avoid walking around with bare feet. Change your socks regularly, keep your feet clean and dry, especially between the toes. Athlete’s foot can be quite painful, so be gentle when drying the skin around your toes. You can use corn starch or bicarbonate of soda to dry your feet.
You can minimise your chances of picking up an infection in future by wearing breathable shoes (i.e. not plastic shoes) and not walking around public swimming baths with bare feet – wear flip-flops or slip-on shoes. This is also an effective treatment for sweaty shoe syndrome!
Seek Medical Advice
If the problem is particularly bad or your feet are very red and sore, seek medical advice, as you may have a secondary infection. Be aware, too, that a foot infection is more serious if you have diabetes.