If you have an irresistible urge to scratch between your toes, then you may be suffering from the fungal infection, Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot. It is an infection of the skin that causes scaling, flaking, and itching, typically of the web spaces between the toes and is often picked up in damp environments such as bathhouses and communal showers.
Here are some ways to treat your athlete’s foot without the need for prescriptive medication or visits to the doctor.
The Three Ways to Rid Yourself of Athlete’s Foot Are:
Over the Counter Medications
Over the Counter Medications
Many over-the-counter antifungals can be used and it is always best to talk to your pharmacist about the different kinds of treatment. What you are looking for our creams, sprays, and ointments that contain terbinafine, miconazole, tolnaftate or clotrimazole as their active ingredient. Of these Terbinafine is the most efficient on the dermatophytes group of fungi.
These ingredients make up the vast majority of products on the market today normally come as 1% in cream, powders or sprays and they can be used for athlete’s foot, Jock itch (Tinea cruris) and ring worm (Tinea corporis).
The topical creams can be applied directly between the web spaces after showering and drying properly between the toes. Creams are most effective on skin that has broken open due to the infection as it will soothe the itching. The cream should be applied to 3 times a day until all the medication has been used up.
Powders and sprays are excellent for treating footwear where the fungus can re-infect the foot. It is also very effective if you are unable to reach your feet and can just dust or spray the product, so it runs easily between the toes.
If you want to try a natural treatment then use tea tree oil. This is known for its antifungal and antiseptic properties but if you apply directly to the skin you will need to die looted in a carrier oil such as olive oil.
However, if treating fungal nails apply it as 100% pure to the bed of the nail so that it penetrates the nail plate directly. You can also put tea tree oil in a bowl of warm water to soak the feet a couple of times a day and it helps your feet smell great (if you like the smell of tea tree oil that is).
Other natural treatments also known to work are vinegar, apple cider and baking soda placed in a bowl of water, although not at the same time. Bleach is also cited as being one of the ways to get rid of athlete’s foot, but I would NOT recommend this due to the caustic nature of bleach and the danger to those with circulatory disorders.
If all else fails when attempting to get rid of athlete’s foot, then you can always try potassium permanganate dissolved in a bowl of warm water. Depending on the dosage, permanganate is known to be antiseptic, antifungal or good as a disinfectant and will also turn your feet a shade of pink. It used to be used as an animal dip to prevent foot rot!
If you can avoid getting the infection in the first place, this has to be the recommended course of action. Make sure your feet are dry and clean between the toes as often as possible and avoid walking without some sort of footwear in public areas such as swimming pools and showers. Spray the insides of your footwear with an antifungal spray and change your footwear every day. All these things should keep you free from an athlete’s foot infection and the annoying itching that goes with it.