Athlete’s foot, caused by the fungus Tinea pedis, is that reddish, crackled, flaky skin seen usually between the toes. It thrives in warm, moist places and is contagious. It can be contracted through contact with infected skin particles at home in the bathroom or in public places like locker rooms, showers or around public swimming pools.
One of the important things you can do to combat athlete’s foot is to keep the feet dry at all times since the fungus needs moisture to grow. Here are some suggestions to help prevent and treat athletes foot:
- Wear absorbent socks, preferably cotton, and wash them in hot water with bleach
- Keep your shoes well ventilated, and give them ample time to dry before wearing again
- Open-toed sandals are good to wear as they allow the feet to dry
- Before applying any medication, wash and dry your feet, removing any loose skin to allow better penetration of the agent into the infected area
- To avoid reinfection, wipe white vinegar or spray a disinfectant on the inside of your shoes
- Antiperspirants may also be used, if needed, on your feet to reduce sweating
- Dry your feet thoroughly after a shower either with a towel or even a hair dryer.
Risk factors for Athletes Foot
(Occasional) foot itching
Recommendations for Athletes Foot
Garlic is an excellent antibiotic and studies have shown that its compounds can very effectively kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. There are several possible methods of application:
Tea Tree oils (Melaleuca / Leptospermum - Manuka)
Tea tree oil has been successfully applied to a number of fungal infections and is particularly good for relieving the symptoms of athlete’s foot. Tea tree oil will eradicate or improve the symptoms of athlete’s foot with continuous daily use.
Apply 2-3 drops of 100% tea tree oil to the infection sites twice daily.
Dr. Klinghardt, MD found that a mixture of 1/3 DMSO, 1/3 tree oil and 1/3 tincture of cilantro was effective in eradicating athletes foot. Adding DMSO to tea tree oil provides greater skin and nail penetration of the tea tree oil.
Rubbing a drop or two of oregano oil into an area that is itching from athlete’s foot may help resolve the problem, but caution is advised when using it topically as it can burn the skin when too concentrated.
Personal Hygiene Changes
Several placebo controlled studies report that good foot hygiene alone can cure athlete’s foot even without medication in as much as 40% of cases. Study protocols usually include twice-daily washing and drying of the feet and the mild antifungal activity in the cream vehicle used for the placebo[Am Fam Physician 2001;64:pp.791–6,803–4]
Ozone / Oxidative Therapy
Ozonated olive oil is used for fungal infections in general, including athlete’s foot. Having seen the property of the ozonized oil and also its great germicide power, the patients of the Policlinico “Pasteur”, suffering from athletes foot and sensitive to classic treatments, underwent treatment. The sample was of 100 patients, 50 were treated topically tid with ozonized oil and 50 were treated with the conventional methods. 96% of patients in the group dealt with ozonized oil recovered in 10 to 15 days. In the group treated with conventional theraphy, 20% of patients were cured in 15 days. [Las Cagigas, V.Bastard, S.Menèndez, M.Gomèz y L. Eng Consultorio del Medico de la Famiglia del Policlinico ” Luis Pasteur “, Centro de Investigaciones Cientificas ]
|Proven definite or direct link|
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|