April 20, 2009

Athletes Foot Fungus

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Athletes foot is a disease of the foot caused by the infection of fungus. This disease is known medically as tinea pedis. The fungal infection usually attacks the moist and damp areas of the foot – the areas between the toes are found to be particularly susceptible. The common symptoms of this infection are an itching and burning sensation, along with dry flaky skin. The dryness of the skin, in turn, leads to rough and cracked skin and often provides the fungus with amople breeding space.

The causes of athletes foot are mostly hygiene-related. People who wear shoes for a long period are particularly susceptible to fungal infection of the feet. The warmth and moisture that is produced by wearing shoes is the ideal condition for the fungus to breed. Athletes and sports persons, due to the long hours of physical exercise they do wearing shoes, naturally have greater chances of fungal infection. Sweat and moisture is trapped in between the toes when you wear shoes regularly and for prolonged periods. When this happens, these areas become a perfect breeding ground for fungus. The infection also spreads through contact with an infected person, so do not share shoes or socks with anyone.

The first step towards avoiding athletes foot is to clean the feet properly ever day after the shoes are removed. Always clean your feet with soap and water at the end of the day and then use a clean towel to wipe them completely dry. You should also be careful to keep your socks and shoes clean. Do not wear your socks or shoes repeatedly – socks should be washed after each wear and you should have at least two pairs of shoes. Wear your shoes alternatively so that each pair gets the chance to dry up properly before use. Care should also be taken to wear only cotton socks because they are best in absorbing excess sweat and moisture. Nylon or synthetic-material socks trap the moisture inside which in turn increases the risk of a fungal infection.

To treat athletes foot infection, you can also try out some of these remedies:

  • Apply the paste of a few pods of garlic and half an onion on the infected area. It is a very common home remedy for fighting various types of infections. Garlic and onion have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and help to prevent and eliminate these infections.
  • Rub the infected skin with any of these solutions – apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, alcohol, or diluted hydrogen peroxide solution. Soak a cotton ball in any of these solutions and rub gently the infected area.
  • Apply boric powder or baking soda before wearing socks so that the moisture is absorbed more effectively.
  • Give your feet an Epsom salt bath, which is another good method for fighting and preventing fungal infections.