Treating Athlete’s Foot at Home
First things first – you don’t have to be an athlete to get athlete’s foot. In fact, it is a common fungal infection that can affect anyone – from little children to the elderly men and women. If you suspect that you may have an athlete’s foot infection, the following tips can make your life easier/ Here, we give you the experts best athlete’s foot treatment at home.
What factors can cause athlete’s foot?
Fungi live everywhere your feet go – on the floor in public showers, around pools, and even in your socks and shoes. An interesting study posted in BMJ Clinical Evidence claims that about 15-25% of all Americans are likely to contact the fungus causing athlete’s foot daily. Yes, athlete’s foot is a common title for the fungus scientifically known as “tinea pedis”. The name is related to the fact that athletes are in a risk group because they tend to visit public showers and swimming pools more often than other people, and also break a serious sweat – which is another risk factor of getting athlete’s foot.
One of the most important reasons of getting a cure for athlete’s foot as soon as possible is that this infection can be contagious. You may spread this fungus to your family members through direct contact and by skin particles left on the shoes, floors, and towels.
Walking barefoot may increase the chance of catching athlete’s foot as well. Personal susceptibility is another risk factor that can be increased due to a weakened immune system, diabetes, open cuts and sores on the feet.
Do you have athlete’s foot? Here are some common symptoms
According to Healthline, people who suffer from athlete’s foot often describe having symptoms at the bottom of their feet and between the toes like:
In some cases, blisters may happen if a patient doesn’t follow any athlete foot treatment. Sometimes, a severe athlete’s foot infection may spread further on the areas that contacted with the affected feet through towels and hands. For example, the symptoms of athlete’s foot may appear in the groin area, on the hands, under the fingernails and toenails.
Medical options for the athlete’s foot treatment
The first thing that comes to mind when you choose an athlete’s foot remedy is the use of special over-the-counter (OTC) creams. These topical medications can reduce the symptoms of mild-to-moderate fungal infections. The team of WebMD recommends such OTC creams and ointments for a home athlete’s foot cure:
- You may choose any OTC antifungal athlete’s foot cream based on such active components:
- clotrimazole (the brand name is Lotrimin);
- terbinafine (Lamisil);
- miconazole (Micatin);
- tolnaftate (Tinactin).
In fact, besides creams, these medications are available in many forms, including an athlete’s foot spray, gel, lotion, powder, swab, and solution. Even the best treatment for athlete’s foot with these topical medications lasts no less than 1 week. It is not enough to apply even the best athlete’s foot cream once or twice, or from time to time. Such application can only soothe the symptoms for a while, without treating the fungal infection completely.
Important notice: a hydrocortisone cream isn’t usually used as a medicine for athlete’s foot, unless your doctor prescribes it.
- People with a severe athlete’s foot infection and blisters may consider soaking their feet in the so-called Burow’s solution a few times throughout the day, for 3 days or longer, until the fluid from the blisters goes away. After draining the blisters, an antifungal cream for the complete athlete foot cure should be applied for 1-2 weeks.
Home treatment for athlete’s foot: 3 effective natural remedies
Bleaching your feet and socks
Bleaching the feet affected by this infection can be beneficial. WebMD recommends soaking the feet in bleach water before going to sleep at night, for 10 minutes. The recommended method is mixing 1 tablespoon of any bleach in a half gallon of water. With the same ratio, you can also bleach the socks and your shower floor. Make it your weekly routine in order to prevent the spread of any fungus in your house.
Rubbing cornstarch into your feet
Cornstarch can absorb moisture like no other natural remedy. Consider baking a ½ cup of cornstarch in the oven until it gets a light brownish color. The baked cornstarch can be rubbed into the feet and toes. It should be left for 10 minutes, then brushed with a clean towel. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterward!
Soaking the feet in the Povidone-iodine (PVPI) bath
PVPI can be bought in the United States under the brand name Betadine. This medication can be recommended for the prevention of infections in wounds. Baths with PVPI can eliminate yeasts, fungi, molds, and other types of bacteria. All you need to do is to add 2 capfuls of PVPI into a bowl with warm water. Then you need to soak the feet in this bath, twice a day, for 20 minutes each.
How can you prevent athlete’s foot?
In order to save some money and time on athlete’s foot medicine, it is better to prevent the risks of catching this fungal infection. Good and regular foot care can help you with this mission. How can you take care of your feet daily:
- Wash and clean your feet;
- Always keep your feet dry, especially between the toes after bathing and swimming;
- Always wear the special shower sandals in public showers and pools;
- During the summertime, you may consider wearing sandals and shoes with open toes to let your feet breathe;
- When indoors, you can wear socks without shoes – the socks may absorb sweat. But keep in mind that socks should be changed daily;
- Those people who tend to have sweaty feet may use any antifungal powder or talcum on their soles;
- It can be a bad idea to wear the same shoes daily. According to basic foot hygiene, shoes should air for 24 hours before you can wear them again.
Important tip: dry the groin area before the feet after showering.
The thing is that athlete’s foot infection can go away without any treatment. But if left untreated, sometimes this fungal infection may develop into severe blisters and cracks on feet, in its turn, leading to reoccurring symptoms of athlete’s foot. Besides, you can spread athlete’s foot to other people. That is why you should treat athlete’s foot as soon as you notice the symptoms.