When the temperature starts to rise and the summer months near, it’s easy to start dreading the inevitable: athlete’s foot. But have no fear! This pesky fungus can be treated quickly and easily with the right methods for your life and lifestyle. From over-the-counter treatments to homemade remedies, with just a few simple steps, that itch you dread can easily be conquered. The key is to take action sooner rather than later, so let’s get started on tackling those itchy feet and learning the best way to treat an athlete’s foot!
An athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the skin on the foot. It is most commonly caused by moisture and warmth, which can be easily found in places like public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Poor hygiene habits, such as not drying your feet completely after showering or swimming, can also increase your risk of developing athlete’s foot. Wearing shoes made of synthetic materials or not changing socks and/or shoes frequently enough can also contribute to this condition. In addition, wearing tight-fitting socks may also exacerbate athlete’s foot problems due to occlusion and sweat accumulation.
The most common symptoms of athlete’s foot are itchiness, burning sensations, and blisters between the toes. Additionally, skin redness may be evident. Other signs include white patches on each side of the foot and scaly or dry patches of skin on the soles of the feet that can cause pain when walking. The fungus may even spread to other parts of the body, including the groin area and scalp.
Although generally not serious, it is important to seek medical attention if any of these symptoms persist over long periods of time or if there is an excessive amount of blistering or redness present. Taking certain precautions, such as avoiding sharing towels, wearing flip-flops in public showers and locker rooms, wearing breathable socks made of cotton material throughout the day, and changing your shoes regularly, can help minimize the occurrence of an athlete’s foot infection.
An athlete’s foot is painfully annoying and can present itself with an unbearable itch. For some, treating the issue at home is preferable to visiting a doctor, making natural remedies a great option. Natural remedies have been around since before modern medicine was created and are still helpful in treating skin irritations such as athlete’s foot. Natural remedies can be either homemade or store-bought.
Homemade remedies utilizing items you likely have in your kitchen can include garlic and vinegar. Adding crushed garlic to a bowl of boiling water for 2-3 minutes and then letting it cool before soaking your feet for 30 minutes is said to help immensely when dealing with infections of the feet such as athlete’s foot. Alternatively, if you choose to only add vinegar to the water instead of adding both components separately, soak the feet for 5–10 minutes for the best results. These methods are usually found to be beneficial to those who suffer from itchy feet due to athlete’s feet.
Store-bought treatments typically come in creams and salves that contain either tea tree oil or clotrimazole, an anti-fungal agent. These creams tend to have a cooling sensation upon application that brings immediate relief from the itchiness of the athlete’s foot while they go to work, healing it over several days. Due to their capacity to lessen athlete’s foot-related skin inflammation while still having antifungal properties that make killing the fungus more effective and efficient, creams based on tea tree oil are particularly helpful.
When seeking relief from athlete’s foot, some natural remedies can be used to reduce the itchiness experienced. One of these is saltwater treatment, which involves soaking the feet in a solution of warm water and 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt or Epsom salt for 15-20 minutes each day. Salt has antiseptic properties that prevent infection while removing toxins. However, this must be done on a regular basis, as it is not a permanent cure.
Though saltwater treatment can help with athlete’s foot, it is important to also use moisturizing cream or lotion afterward to keep the skin hydrated. Moisturizers like petroleum jelly will create a barrier against the fungus and make sure that moisture is retained in the skin. This helps with reducing and eliminating dryness, another factor that aids in decreasing the chances of an infection developing due to cracked and peeling skin.
Overall, using both saltwater and moisturizers are important steps to take when attempting to treat an athlete’s foot. While saltwater attacks the fungus and reduces itchiness, moisturizers will keep the area hydrated during treatment while fighting off infections and inflammation caused by dryness.
In the case that a home solution is the desired method to avoid inflammation of an athlete’s foot, some reliable methods of doing this can be found.
A proper combination of DIY remedies can aid in reducing athlete’s foot inflammation and offer much-needed relief from annoying symptoms like itching or stinging.
One of the most widely accepted strategies for preventing athletes’ feet is keeping their feet dry at all times. This includes changing socks and shoes if they become wet after prolonged exposure to water or sweat. Additionally, it is important to use powder on the feet when exercising and wear clean socks from day to day. Daily showering is also advisable, especially after exercise.
An alternative approach is to keep feet away from areas where the fungus may thrive. This includes public places such as locker rooms, gyms, public showers, and swimming pools. Avoiding common items such as washcloths, towels, and floors that may hold these bacteria or fungi is also beneficial for prevention purposes.
Additionally, wearing supportive shoes can aid in preventing an active infection from developing. Shoes should fit properly, with enough room for circulation and ventilation, in order to prevent any unwanted infections from developing underfoot. Proper hygiene of footwear needs to be maintained by ensuring all parts of the shoes are washed regularly, including laces and insoles. Finally, applying topical antifungal creams on a regular basis can also reduce the potential for a flare-up due to athlete’s foot.
It is crucial to maintain a balance between preventative treatments and home remedies in order to provide effective treatment regimens while also protecting people against further harm due to athlete’s foot flare-ups. Each case needs to be treated differently, as every individual may require unique treatment measures based on their lifestyle and particular circumstances. Educating oneself about preventative measures is a great way to stay ahead of any allergic reactions or medical issues associated with athlete’s foot.
At Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute, we have specialists who have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to help patients overcome their foot and ankle concerns and get back on their feet. We provide the best athlete’s foot treatment in Saratoga Springs, UT.