Athlete's Foot: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis and Treatment

Tinea pedis is a common fungal infection of the skin that is also known as athlete's foot. Warm and damp places are the ideal living place for this infection. Symptoms of athlete's foot include red or white feet with scales, inflammations, cracks and blisters. This is often accompanied by burning, itching and stinging. Most commonly it is found in between the toes. In severe cases a secondary bacterial infection can occur. A cut or bruise of the foot is the method of transmission. Ringworm or other fungal infections can occur with athlete's foot and this is highly contagious.


The symptoms of athlete's foot include itching, burning, stinging, red or white scales, blisters on the soles of the feet, cracks, cuts and oozing.


Visual observation is used to make diagnosis. Skin lesion biopsies may be used as a test.

Causes of Athlete's Foot

The beneficial bacteria that fight fungal infections can be destroyed by overuse of antibiotics. Showers, locker rooms and around swimming pools are prominent damp and warm areas when the fungi of athlete's foot thrive.


Early treatment of this condition gets the best results. Keep your toenails clean and short to prevent acute flare-ups since toenail infections allow the fungus to grow. Infections can spread to the foot from the groin area. Wear clean socks and underwear to prevent fungal spread and you should also wash them separately. To boost the immune system and help fight the fungi infection you should take supplements of Vitamins A, B and C. Make sure the feet are kept dry especially the areas between the toes. Only use a towel once. When socks come in contact with infected areas you should wash them right away in hot water with a bit of chlorine bleach.

Until the condition clears up you should wash your feet once a day in salt and water. Once a day for ten days you should bath your feet in a solution of vinegar and water. Use olive oil to moisturize your feet. To prevent spreading or attracting the fungi you should wear shoes in communal dressing rooms. If people have athlete's foot they should share towels or socks with other people. If you feet sweat easily you should wear tight shoes and you should also try to avoid wearing the same shoes every day. To keep your feet dry and well ventilated you should go barefoot at home. Anti-fungal drying powders are a good thing to use. As much as possible you should wear open shoes. For two days in a row you shouldn't wear the same socks. Put on clean socks before you pull on your underwear to prevent the infection from spreading to the groin. Inflammation will result if you scratch so try to prevent scratching.

Herbal Treatment of Athlete's Foot

For a few days consider cutting garlic into small pieces and placing them in your shoes. Almost any type of infection and bacteria is killed by garlic. You also have the choice of using garlic powder.

Three times a day apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected area for two weeks since this has anti-fungal properties.

A diluted solution can be made from aloe vera and tea tree oil. Spray the solution on the affected skin and allow it to dry. This should be done for ten days at least three times a day.

Anti-fungal properties are also found in grapefruit seed extract. Add this to the washing for a good treatment option.

For two weeks apply a mixture of tea tree oil, turmeric and aloe vera to your feet and then cover with old socks. This will help prevent excessive sweating which leads to athlete's foot.

More than fourteen types of fungi are killed by neem oil since it stops the growth of fungi by combining with the skin.

Itching, redness and cracks can be reduced by applying myrrh and lavender oil to the feet. Bad feet odor can also be helped by the fragrance produced by myrrh.

Diet and Athlete's Foot

To help athlete's foot you should avoid yeast products such as bread and backed goods along with excessive consumption of alcohol and vinegar. Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C and zinc are good supplements to take. For healthy skin Vitamin B complex is important. Fungal growth is inhibited by zinc and the immune system is boosted with Vitamin C. To keep the skin in a good condition you can take Vitamin A and a good antioxidant is Vitamin E.

Prescription Medicine for Athlete's Foot

After seeing your doctor about your athlete's foot they are likely to recommend antibiotics, wet dressings or steroid ointments as treatment options. Before you make use of prescription drugs it is a good idea to consider the side effects.

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