“Hey, I can’t have athlete’s foot, I’m not an athlete!”

According to The Mayo Clinic Athlete’s Foot is actually a type of ringworm which most people will get at some point in their lives. Most commonly it is picked up in a public shower (hint: wear shower shoes) perhaps at the gym, a hospital or hotel. It is a fungal infection which thrives in the warm, cozy, sometimes moist environment created by feet wearing damp socks. It’s spring time here in New England and soggy feet abound!

The big symptoms of Athlete’s Foot are dryness and pain. The pain can be as varied as fissures on the bottoms of the feet, itching, burning, or peeling skin, or troubles with the toenails which may be falling apart or peeling away from the toes. Owie!

You don’t have to use the toxic chemicals available at the drugstore to combat Athlete’s foot (although you can if you wish.) Perhaps the best way to immediately treat the condition is to run out and get a fresh pair of flip-flops and wear them to get lots of air flow around those feet and toes. The fungus will go away in a hurry if the feet are cool and dry.

The question of socks is a very interesting one regarding Athlete’s Foot. Often, people assume that it’s important to have nice, clean white cotton socks, or organic cotton socks. What is important to get rid of the fungus is “dryness” and in order to keep the feet dry, socks should be made from a fabric that breathes or which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Athlete\'s Foot

The picture above was taken from Dermnet, which is a wonderful resource for learning about really nasty skin conditions.

In addition to keeping the infected feet dry, anti fungal essential oils such as Tea Tree can be used. You can buy Tea Tree and other oils here.

Tea Tree (Melaleuca ericifolia)

Other oils which may be helpful are Peppermint (one of my favorites), Lavender, Thyme, and some blends designed by ND Gary Young, Melrose, Thieves, Purification, ClaraDerm. Oils may be added to a foot bath with Epsom salts or natural bath salts or diluted 50:50 with a natural carrier oil or massage oil. They may also be applied directly to the affected areas, usually between the toes and around the toenails.

Getting a foot fungus is no fun, it’s best to be rid of it as quick as possible. As with any medical concern, a person should always see their primary care physician, for a professional diagnostic opinion.

I wish you a fun-filled, fungus-free spring!