Lacing Up Without the Irritation: Athlete’s Foot Treatment

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It can happen gradually, or come about all of a sudden. The burning, itching sensation in our feet that can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. Athlete’s foot is common – but like many skin conditions, isn’t typically a topic of conversation. So to help out, this week we are focusing on the causes and symptoms, as well as athlete’s foot treatment.

What is athlete’s foot? As mentioned, athlete’s foot is a common skin infection which occurs mainly between the toes and on the soles of the feet. It usually manifests as a scaly, red, itchy eruption and occasionally may be weepy and oozing. It effects both athletes and non-athletes alike.

What causes athlete’s foot? There are a variety of different fungi that can cause athlete’s foot, and these can be contracted in many locations, including gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, nail salons, and from contaminated socks and clothing. It is usually contagious and can be spread person to person or by walking on contaminated objects and floors.

What are the symptoms? Many individuals with athlete’s foot present no symptoms at all and sometimes don’t even know they have an infection. Some may think they simply have dry skin on the soles of their feet. Common symptoms of athlete’s foot typically include various degrees of itching and burning. The skin may peel, and in particularly severe cases, there may be some cracking, pain, and bleeding as well.

How can you prevent it? This condition is preventable, which is good news of course. Some simple ways to avoid it are by keeping feet clean and dry, drying between the toes after bathing or swimming, wearing sandals in public areas such as public showers or locker rooms, wearing cotton socks to keep moisture away or wearing sandals to allow feet to breathe. Since it is contagious always avoid sharing shoes.

What about athlete’s foot treatment? Once contracted, there are a few ways to treat it. Since it is a fungal infection, and fungus thrives in moist, warm places, the best advice is to keep feet as dry as possible – let them air out. Go barefoot (without walking). If it is severe, you may want to think about speaking with your family physician, but you can always consider natural treatments as well. Both tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are powerful essential oils when it comes to treating athlete’s foot. In a footbath, add pure tea tree and eucalyptus oil and soak feet for 15 minutes, then dry the feet well, then apply a tea tree oil ointment.

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