Anyone can get athlete's foot, because it is spread
People most at risk for athlete's foot include those taking strong antibiotics, especially for a long period of time. People with diabetes are more likely to develop athlete's foot because the elevated level of sugar in the body provides food for fungus and encourages its overgrowth. Other people at risk for athlete's foot and other fungal infections include the very young and very old.
In some cases recurrent athlete's foot and other fungal infections can be a symptom of a serious disease, such as HIV/AIDS or diabetes. People with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop athlete's foot and have recurrent bouts of athlete's foot. This includes people with HIV/AIDS, those taking steroid medications or undergoing chemotherapy, which all suppress the immune system.
Causes and Risk Factors of Athlete's Foot
This fungus requires a warm and moist environment. Wearing poorly ventilated shoes and socks that harbor perspiration provide an ideal breeding ground for the germs that quickly multiply to cause athlete's foot. Contact with surfaces (shower, swimming pool and locker-room floors) that harbor the organism also contributes to development of this problem. It may also be transmitted by wearing the shoes of someone who has athlete's foot.
Symptoms of Athlete's Foot
Typical symptoms include scaling and peeling in the toe webs (the area between the toes) generally without any accompanying pain, odor, or itching. The infection may also involve the soles of the feet where athlete's foot may present as redness, blistering, and scaling along the sides and soles of the feet, taking on what is termed a moccasin pattern.
Over time, this condition can lead to a secondary bacterial infection. It's possible for the fungus to set off a reaction that results in tissue breakdown - soggy skin and eroded areas between the toes. In advanced cases, the toe webs become whitened, softened, and soggy; they may itch severely, and there may be a foul odor. As the condition worsens, painful cracking in the toe webs and some oozing may develop.
Athletes foot can sometimes be associated with onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenails. However, the usual case of athlete's foot is a more superficial infection than the more stubborn and deep seated nail infection.
Sometimes after an episode of athlete's foot, if particles enter the bloodstream, there may be an allergic reaction causing blisters on the fingers, toes or hands.
If you have diabetes or an illness that makes it harder for your body to fight off infections, athlete's foot can become a very serious infection in itself or facilitate secondary infections with other serious organisms. You should see a doctor immediately if your feet develop severe redness or swelling, areas of pus, and/or severe pain.
Relieving Athlete's Foot with Home Remedies
There are many inexpensive ways to gain relief from the symptoms of athlete's foot. Common items that you already have around the house can be used. There are several choices when looking for home remedies for athlete's foot.
The most inexpensive and available home remedy for athlete's foot is pure sunlight! That's right, the fungus that causes all the itching and burning of athlete's foot dies in sunlight. Expose your bare feet to direct sunlight for at least one hour a day. The sunlight will kill the fungus as well as helping the area to dry out. This will also help in the healing process.
You'll find a couple of home remedies for relieving athlete's foot symptoms right in your kitchen. White vinegar is used for cooking. It also helps relieve symptoms if used as a soak. Just place your feet in a container of white vinegar two times a day for thirty minutes each time. Relief will soon follow.
The other home remedy found in the kitchen is garlic. Simply crush a clove of garlic and place it directly on the affected area. Leave it on the foot for a half an hour then wash it off with water.
Find powerful herbal remedies Athletes Feet Homemade Remedies
The bathroom contains a couple of home remedies for athlete's foot as well. Common rubbing alcohol is a staple in most home's medicine cabinets. Putting alcohol on the foot will have a drying effect on the fungus. This will sting a little when it is applied, but it will aid in the healing process.
Most of us use mouthwash each morning and night when we brush out teeth. Pouring an antiseptic mouthwash onto a patch of athlete's foot will bring relief of symptoms and promote healing.
There are two natural oils that can be placed on the area of skin that is displaying symptoms. Peppermint oil and tea tree oil are both home remedies for athlete's foot. The both offer relief as well as help the area to heal.
All of these home remedies for athlete's foot symptoms are natural. Most of them you probably already have in your home. For those you may not have at home they are readily available at a local store or pharmaceutical supply. Whether you need to purchase them or already have them they are a natural way to help rid yourself of the itching and burning of athlete's foot symptoms.