Thursday, 14 March 2013

Home remedies to treat foot fungus

What is foot fungus?
Foot fungus is a highly contagious disease more commonly known as ‘Athlete’s Foot’ or ‘Ringworm’ of the foot. The medical term for this disease is ‘Tinea Pedis’. This contagious condition is caused by microscopic fungus which thrives and rapidly proliferates in a warm and moist environment so the feet provide ideal conditions. Some people are more prone to foot fungus because their feet sweat more. This fungus is picked up generally in public bathing places like the floors of swimming pools, gymnasiums and locker rooms.

What are the typical symptoms of foot fungus?
Foot fungus causes the affected skin to itch acutely, scale and flake. Blisters might also appear and the skin could crack leading to rawness and inflammation of the tissue. The affected area might also swell up and begin to pain. The areas most commonly affected are the bottom and sides of the foot, and between the toes.

The infection sometimes spreads to other parts of the body typically the groin and less often the armpits, both areas being warm and moist and providing ideal conditions for fungal growth.

How is it diagnosed?
Diagnosis is generally done through visual inspection, but where there is doubt a microscopic examination of a skin scraping might be necessary. The microscope will show up the distinctive fungal hyphae.

How do you prevent foot fungus?
You can’t beat good old-fashioned hygiene to prevent foot fungus together with keeping your feet cool and dry. Another preventive measure is to avoid sharing towels and socks. If someone at home has contracted foot fungus using a disinfectant to clean the floors helps prevent the spread of the condition while those at home should always use sandals and avoid walking barefoot.

What are the best home remedies for treating foot fungus?
  • Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic which works well with fungal infections. If you have foot fungus use a mixture of three parts tea tree oil and one part aloe vera which you rub well into the affected area twice a day. This requires patience because it takes from six to eight weeks to eradicate all signs of the condition.
  • Baking soda works as a soothing agent neutralizing the burning and itching associated with foot fungus. Make a thick paste of one tablespoon of baking soda with water and rub it well on the affected areas especially between the toes. Keep it there for five to ten minutes before washing off with cool water. Dry the feet thoroughly with a clean towel and lightly dust the feet with cornstarch to absorb sweat and other moisture. Repeat thrice daily till the fungus is eliminated.
  • A salt water soak is ideal for disinfecting the affected area and soothing it. In a basin dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt in a quart of warm water. Soak your feet in the brine solution for five to ten minutes. Repeat several times daily till the infection disappears.
  • Yogurt plain and unflavored contains a live culture – acidophilus bacteria. which kills fungus and contains its spread. Apply yogurt to the affected area using a cotton swab then let it dry fully. Rinse after ten minutes with warm water. Repeat thrice daily till the infection clears up.
  • Mustard powder is another natural agent which contains a powerful acid which kills fungus. In a shallow basin pour some warm water, add a teaspoon of mustard powder and soak your feet for 30 minutes twice a day till the fungus vanishes. If you have no mustard powder use mustard oil instead.
Most cases of foot fungus can be treated at home but if it is severe or persistent you should visit your doctor.

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