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15 Things You Can Do to Treat and Prevent Athletes Foot

Author: Brent Parker

Following these steps will help treat an ongoing infection and help prevent the condition from recurring.

Take It Easy. Athletes Foot can come on quickly. Symptoms may include blisters, itching and cracked skin. Take a day or two off work in you need to. Keep your foot uncovered and stay off of it as much as possible. The bacteria can enter your body through the cracked skin and lead to a serious infection.

Seek Some Relief. While enjoying your well deserved days off from work, you can use compresses to help relieve some of the irritation and help dry up any lesions. A quick remedy for this that won’t cost you a trip to the doctor or require a prescription is to dilute a pack of Domeboro powder in one pint of cold water. Use a white cotton cloth, make sure it is untreated, soak the cloth in your solution and apply several times a day as needed to relieve pain and discomfort.

Soak Your Foot. You’re enjoying your days off so you might as well get the most out of it. While not exactly like a day at the spa, try soaking your feet in salt water. Use a ratio of two teaspoons salt per one pint of lukewarm water. This salty mixture is not an enviroment this fungus can thrive in. Soaking also softens your skin and will allow any anti-fungal creams to penetrate the affected area better. Five to ten minute soaks before applying topical medications as instructed will do the trick.

Apply Topical Medications. Now that you’ve soaked and softened the skin, apply whatever topical medications you prefer. There are many over the counter treatments as well as various homeopathic remedies that may work.

Treat Your Toes. Athletes foot loves moist, warm conditions and between the toes makes an ideal home for this fungus. Applying a solution of aluminum chloride works to dry out that area while working to kill the fungus. If you can’t find this solution at your local pharmacy, you can request that your pharmacist make up a solution for you consisting of 25% aluminum chloride diluted in water. Apply 2-3 times daily, continuing treatment for an additional two weeks after conditions improve. This solution will sting if applied to cracked or irritated skin so be sure and treat the condition first with other anti-fungal topical solutions first to begin the healing process.

Feel Better With Baking Soda. Applying a paste made of baking soda can provide relief. Using warm water and one tablespoon of baking soda, mix together to form a paste. Work this paste between your toes and any other areas affected. Completely rinse and dry then sprinkle on cornstarch to finish.

Get Rid Of The Dead Skin. After you have effectively treated the acute conditions, you must remove the dead skin as it contains fungi that is living and which may lead to reinfection. When bathing, you may use a small brush to remove any dead skin. Be careful and don’t scrub to hard, you want to cause irritation so a quick but light scrubbing should do. Shower when finished to completely remove any dead skin that may remain and also rinse the bathtub and shower well to remove any remaining bits of skin in those areas.

Don’t Forget Your Toenails. The toenails are favorable areas for fungi breeding. It’s important to clean underneath your nails every few days. A standard, metal nail file can cause scratches that may harbour the fungus so it’s best to use a wooden toothpick or some other instrument that can clean but not scratch.

Proactive Treatment. If you’re prone to athletes foot, you may continue to treat with topical medications once or twice a week, especially during the moist, warm months of the year and if you work in conditions which cause your feet to fungus friendly conditions. Now that you’ve hopefully eliminated the problem, let’s take a look at some preventative measures you can take to help resist further fungal infections.

Shoes Make A Difference. Tight fitting, non-ventilated, man made materials like plastic and rubber are notorious for trapping your foots perspiration and creating favorable conditions for the fungus to grow. Find shoes that are comfortable but not too snug, you want to allow air circulation which helps to keep your foot dry. In the summer, opt for sandals when you can or some other well ventilated footwear.

Rotate Your Shoes. It’s only natural that your feet will perspire, regardless of material although to different extents. For this reason, it’s important that you allow time for the inside of your shoes to dry completely before wearing again. Rotating between a couple pairs of shoes is the best way to do this. If you work in conditions which cause heavy perspiration, rotate more often, twice a day if necessary.

Dust With Anti-Fungal Powder. After the inside of your shoe has dried, which takes approx. 24 hrs, sprinkle in anti-fungal powder before wearing. If you are prone to fungal infections of the feet, you may also want to wipe the outside of your shoes with a disinfectant to help remove any fungal spores every time you take them off before they have a chance to make their way inside.

Change Your Socks Frequently. If you work in conditions or your shoes are a material that causes heavy perspiration, along with rotating your shoes more frequently, you also need to change your socks more often. You want to keep your feet as dry as possible so keep extra socks on hand. Socks made of cotton are best. When washing your socks, use the hottest water setting and be sure to rinse thouroughly as residues from laundry detergents can irritate your skin.

Let Your Feet Dry. Often times we find ourselves hurrying in the mornings and may put on our socks and shoes before our feet have dried completely. If you are running late, use a hair dryer to speed things up. Don’t forget a sprinkle of medicated foot powder between the toes before lacing up.

Watch Your Step. One of the most important things you can do to avoid getting a bad case of athletes foot, (as if there’s a good case), is to wear foot protection any time you are in a public place where others may walk in bare feet.

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