Despite the name, Athlete’s foot (or tinea pedis) can strike anyone, at any age, although it is most often related to people who wear shoes that aren’t well ventilated, accumulate a lot of sweat and dirt and are worn frequently without a break for the shoe to thoroughly dry out. It’s highly contagious and can also be contracted from walking barefoot in places like locker rooms, showers and swimming pools.
Athlete’s foot usually shows up between the toes first, with burning, itching and stinging sensations. Sometimes, people with Athlete’s foot will notice blisters and cracking or peeling. At its arguably least attractive point, it can include thick, discolored and crumbly toenails that pull away from the nail bed.
But getting a case of Athlete’s foot is not something to be terribly concerned about when detected early enough and action started as soon as possible. Of course, if you’re not sure if what is going on is Athlete’s foot or something else, get to a doctor right away.
Since the condition isn’t something new, people have found tried and tested ways that really work and are much simpler and healthier than spending a lot of money at the drugstore just guessing which formula of treatment will work. That’s where we’re here to help! Dr. Katie Stage was helpful enough to offer her professional advice:
“Natural, prescribed, or OTC remedies should always be used with appropriate foot hygiene: keeping the feet dry, clean, ventilated, and only touching shoes and socks that have been washed with hot water.
One of the most common natural remedies to consider is tea tree essential oil. It is a strong antifungal and antiseptic, although I have seen limited results with its use alone. I find it best used after applying something to dry the feet, such as arrowroot powder, and combining it with other essential oils (a mix of oregano, thyme, and lavender).
There is a published case study of significant anti-fungal activity of a mix of arrowroot, baking soda, basil oil, bay oil, tea tree oil, sage oil, and clove oil applied to feet twice a day (Misner, 2007).
There haven't been any good research studies showing efficacy from foot baths or apple cider vinegar, and my clinical experience tends to mirror this. I prefer to use combination herbs and counsel on foot hygiene.”
So when the itch strikes you, give these tips a try. And make sure you give those sweaty shoes a break every now and then, your feet deserve it!