How To Get Rid Of Foot Fungus: 12 Simple Home Remedies
The health of your feet matters, just like any other part of your body.
If you have foot fungus, do not let it take over your health. Learn how to get rid of it by reading on.
Foot fungus is extremely contagious, thriving in warm, moist environments such as shoes, socks, swimming pools, locker rooms, and the floors of public showers.
This article will discuss the various ways to get rid of foot fungus.
What Does Foot Fungus Look Like ?
Foot fungus causes slightly dry skin that is often noticeable. In more severe cases, you may see red and peeling dry skin on the soles. Spaces between the toes may also have moisture and peeling, usually producing a foul smell.
Knowing these symptoms is important so that you can apply the correct home remedies. There are three common types of foot fungus:
- Fungus on the soles of the feet
- Fungus on the toes
- The blistering type
The blisters may appear large, with redness and infection. Rashes on the bottom of one or both feet may also be present.
How Dangerous Is Toenail Fungus?
It’s important to treat all infected areas to avoid reinfection.
Only treating the soles and not the toenails may result in recurring athlete's foot.
Toenail fungus is also called onychomycosis. It is a serious condition because it causes the nail to become brittle and change shape. In addition, debris can get under the nail, causing it to become discolored and detached.
Fungal infection of the toenails can cause complications in diabetic patients. Because it can affect blood circulation in the feet, it can impair the nerves and lead to other unexpected diseases, such as infection spreading to the bones, infection of the blood (septiaemiac), cellulitis, and more.
How Contagious Is Foot Fungus?
Tinea is a contagious fungal skin infection which can spread by skin-to-skin contact or indirectly through towels, clothes, and floors. Walking barefoot may increase your chances of contracting athlete's foot.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Undoubtedly, anybody who has foot fungus is looking for an answer to the question, "How to get rid of foot fungus?" Fortunately, there are various simple home remedies to treat this condition.
What Causes Foot Fungus?
- Foot fungal infection is caused by a microscopic fungus that lives on dead tissue of the hair, toenails, and outer skin layer. You get the fungus through direct contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces contaminated with the fungus.
- The fungus thrives in warm and moist environments mostly found in showers, locker room floors, and around swimming pools.
Thus, it is recommended to dry your feet with a clean towel after showering and before wearing shoes.
- You can get foot fungus from visiting public places barefoot, especially locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools.
- Sharing socks, shoes, or towels with infected people or wearing tight-fitting closed shoes may also cause foot fungal infection.
- People who sweat profusely are more likely to get foot fungus. Also, having a minor skin or nail injury on the foot can lead to a fungal infection.
- In people with weak immune systems such as diabetic, cancer, and HIV/AIDS patients, a fungal infection in another part of the body may spread and cause foot fungal infections.
- Because many elderly people have chronic diseases and take immunosuppressive medications, they also have a weaker immune system and are more prone to fungal infections.
How to Get Rid of Foot Fungus Naturally
Getting rid of foot fungus naturally means that no chemical treatments are used.
Home remedies are the best treatment for foot fungus because they are easily available, effective, and easy to use. They also come with little to no side effects and can be done at home without a trained physician.
Simple remedies can destroy the fungus, hence reducing the symptoms and the infection itself. Some of these remedies are:
Garlic is naturally used to treat many conditions. It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, playing a significant role in the recovery process. Simply crush two garlic cloves, add olive oil, and apply to the affected area. Leave on for three minutes, wash off with lukewarm water, and pat skin dry. Do this twice daily.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids, making it effective in getting rid of fungal infections. Gently rub the oil on the affected areas and allow it to dry on its own. This procedure should be repeated two or three times a day.
3. Green Tea
Tea helps kill infections due to its antibiotic properties. It also helps get rid of symptoms such as burning sensations, swelling, and irritation.
Don't throw your tea bags away after using them. Soak them in warm water and put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then apply the cold tea bags on the affected areas. Repeat three times daily.
Tea tree oil is also a natural antifungal, plus it has antiseptic qualities to inhibit infections. Use tea tree oil on its own or mix it with aloe vera gel and olive oil. Apply twice daily for good results. However, pregnant women should not use tea tree oil.
4. Plain Yogurt
All you have to do is soak a piece of cotton in plain yogurt and apply it to the affected areas. Leave on for 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Repeat this remedy two times a day.
Also make plain yogurt a part of your daily diet. Eat two to three cups of plain yogurt every day until the infection is completely gone.
5. Salt Water
Salt is the cheapest and most available commodity in the kitchen. Boil water, add salt, then let it cool. Soak your feet in the water for 20 minutes; this will help with the healing process.
6. Apple Vinegar
For foot fungal infections with blisters, vinegar is the best remedy. Dip a piece of cotton in vinegar and then apply it onto the blistered parts of the feet. This will help the blisters dry up faster.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a great item to have around the house. It is very useful in cleaning out infectious cuts and helps clear out fungal infections. Soaking your feet in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water will help get rid of fungal infections.
8. Organic Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is well-known for its powerful antiseptic properties and ability to treat wounds.
Mix 5-7 drops of oregano oil into ½ cup of water. Apply on the yeast infected areas with the help of cotton ball. Leave for few hours and then wash with water. Repeat 2 times a day.
9. Keep Your Feet Dry and Clean
Fungi are mostly found in damp or moist environments. Not keeping your feet dry and clean when you have an infection will increase its likelihood of spreading. So be sure to always keep your feet clean and dry.
10. Let Your Feet Breathe
Wearing socks and shoes all day causes your feet to sweat. To keep the infection from spreading, let your feet breathe by taking off your shoes and socks every now and then throughout the day.
A sprinkling of baby powder is also helpful because it acts as a good protectant against excess moisture.
11. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a good way to get rid of fungus, as it is a natural disinfectant, with fungicidal and antibacterial properties.
You can also add other essential oils. Try this mixture: 1 teaspoon tea tree oil, 1/2 teaspoon grape seed or olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of orange oil (optional).
12. Antifungal Soap With Tea Tree Oil
Look for an antifungal soap that has tea tree oil, therapeutic grade essential oils, and skin healing botanicals.
A good soap with tea tree oil and other essential oils will help wash away harmful fungi, bacteria, and microbes from the skin's surface.
It will also protect against athlete's foot, jock itch, nail fungus, tinea versicolor, ringworm, body odor, and other skin irritations.
Foot Fungus Prevention Tips
Of course, it goes without saying that bad habits that lead to foot fungal infections should be avoided. Decrease your chances of getting infected by following the tips below:
- Wash your hands and feet regularly. Keep your nails short and dry.
Hygiene is the main emphasis here. Wash your hands and feet with soap and rinse thoroughly, including between the toes. Trim and file your nails.
- Wear socks that absorb sweat.
Socks made from fabrics like wool and nylon are effective at wicking away moisture. Change your socks often if you have sweaty feet.
- Get smart shoes.
Choose shoes that reduce humidity such as open toe footwear. If possible, avoid wearing old shoes that harbor fungi and cause infections. Treat your footwear with disinfecting antifungal powders or sprays. Avoid tight shoes; make sure your toes can wiggle around.
- Do not walk barefoot in public areas.
Wear sandals or shoes around pools, showers, and locker rooms.
- Choose a reputable nail salon.
Although it may seem expensive, don’t forget that cheap is expensive. Make sure that the place where you get your pedicures sterilize their instruments. If possible, bring your own tools and disinfect them. Also avoid artificial nails, because they trap unwanted moisture and cause infections.
- Protect your nails and feet from trauma.
Trauma to your feet and toenails can provide an opening for fungi to enter. Be careful not to bump into things to avoid injuries to your feet.
- Strengthen your immune system.
A weakened immune system makes you susceptible to fungal infections. So manage your stress well and aim for at least 7 hours of sleep. Do not forget to eat a balanced diet, with foods that are rich in fiber and iron.
- Watch for warning signs.
A fungal infection normally starts as a white or yellow spot. If you see something like this on your foot, don’t brush it off. Get it treated as soon as possible to prevent further complications.
Q: What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is a common fungal infection wherein the nail can appear thickened, yellow, or cloudy. The nail often becomes rough and crumbly and can even separate from the nail bed. This is not merely a cosmetic problem as the nail can become painful, difficult to cut, and very brittle. In addition, particles can collect under the nail and produce a bad odor.
Q: What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
1. The affected nail turns white-yellow or yellow-brown and the nail may thicken.
2. A crust develops and the surrounding area may become red and swollen, causing discomfort.
3. The nail becomes pitted and misshapen with grooves or ridges.
4. Thickening, discoloration, and irregularities are present in the nail.
Q: I get athlete's foot every summer. What can I do to prevent this from happening?
Fungi thrive in warm, dark, and moist environments, so it is best to wear shoes that are porous and "breathe." In addition, allowing air to reach your feet by going barefoot or wearing sandals is helpful. Powders and other drying agents can be used to decrease moisture and stop the fungus from spreading.
Q: Why should I treat my fungal infection?
People often ignore mild cases of fungal infections, which can turn out to be a big mistake. If treated immediately, there is a much higher success rate and a lower chance of the infection spreading to other nails. Keep in mind that toenail fungi spread quickly and can affect the entire foot in no time.
When To Seek a Doctor
If you follow the above home remedies and your foot returns to normal, then there is no need to see a doctor.
However, if the symptoms persist and the fungal infection does not go away, then seeing a doctor for further examination is a must.
When home remedies don't work, it might be due to other infections that need professional attention and care. Seek a doctor if:
- You have been using home remedies to no avail.
- The itching persists.
- The pain does not subside after regular home treatments.
- The infection spreads to other parts of the foot.
For those wondering how to get rid of foot fungus, natural remedies are the answer. Doing home treatments diligently and consistently can help heal fungal infections in a short period of time.
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