Athlete’s foot can be a pesky problem that affects many of us occasionally. It’s a skin condition often associated with stinky, sweaty feet and gym locker rooms, but it can strike anyone, not just athletes.
What Causes Athlete’s Foot? Athlete’s foot happens when a certain type of fungus, called tinea, infects your skin. It’s not just something teenage boys catch; anyone can get it. The main causes include:
- Contact with infected people or items like towels, shower floors, or swimming pools.
- She was wearing tight, damp shoes.
- An imbalance in your body’s microbiome (the good and bad bacteria living in your body).
- A weakened immune system.
Balancing Your Microbiome Is Key Your body’s microbiome plays a big role in whether you get an athlete’s foot or not. When you have too many harmful bacteria and fungi in your body, you become more vulnerable to infections of all kinds. This is why maintaining a balanced microbiome is crucial.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot Athlete’s foot can look a lot like bad eczema or dermatitis. Common symptoms include:
- Thick, red, scaly, or cracking skin.
- An itchy rash.
- Discolored toenails.
Preventing Athlete’s Foot The best way to deal with an athlete’s foot is to prevent it in the first place. Here are some tips:
- Wear shoes or sandals in wet public places.
- Dry your feet thoroughly after being in the water.
- Wash towels used in public places or if you suspect infection.
- Maintain a healthy microbiome by eating well, taking probiotics, and avoiding antibacterial soaps.
Five Natural Remedies for Athlete’s Foot If you do get athlete’s foot, there are natural remedies to help you get rid of it:
- Improve Your Gut Health: Eat probiotics, avoid excessive sugar and starchy foods, and focus on nourishing foods like bone broth and sauerkraut to balance your gut bacteria. This can strengthen your immune system.
- Topical Probiotic Remedy: Apply plain organic yogurt and beneficial yeast (saccharomyces boulardii) to the infected areas for about 30 minutes.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak your feet in water and apple cider vinegar or apply it directly to the infection.
- Use Essential Oils: Essential oils like tea tree, lavender, oregano, thyme, geranium, and clove can help. Mix them with coconut oil and apply to the infected areas.
- Remedies for Footwear and Towels: Freeze your sneakers to kill the fungus, or use an anti-fungal essential oil spray. Wash and disinfect socks and towels regularly, adding anti-fungal oils or vinegar to the laundry.
With these natural remedies, you can say goodbye to an athlete’s foot and keep your feet healthy. Please note that this information is for educational purposes and not a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider.