Athlete’s Foot, also known as ringworm of the foot or tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the skin of the foot. According to a 2009 study, 15 to 25 percent of people are likely to get this infection.
It can affect one or both feet and can spread to your hand, particularly if you scratch the infected parts of your feet.
In these cases, the infection spreads to the hands and the affection is known as ”tinea manuum.”
Tinea pedis is contagious and can be spread by contact with an infected individual or by direct contact with contaminated surfaces, such as floors, towels, and shoes.
Signs and symptoms usually include:
- scaling, itching, and redness of the skin;
- occasionally, the affected skin can appear wet and white on the surface;
- stinging or burning pain;
- unpleasant foot odor;
- thick, discolored, and crumbly toenails.
Although they are rare, athlete’s foot can cause some complications, such as:
- fungal nail infection;
- bacterial infection.
This infection is caused by a number of different fungi from the species of Epidermophyton, Trichophyton, and Microsporum.
These types of fungi grow best in moist, warm areas, like the area between the toes.
In addition, it can also be passed on directly from person to person by physical contact. However, individuals who sweat more are much more susceptible to this infection.
Certain risk factors can increase the risk of tinea pedis. These are the main ones:
- gender – men are usually more likely to develop tinea pedis than women;
- age – tinea pedis mostly affects adults;
- having a weakened immune system;
- letting bare feet touch the floor in shared changing areas and showers;
- living in an urban or warm environment;
- not changing socks often;
- not drying toes and feet correctly after showering;
- sweating heavily from the feet;
- wearing closed shoes which don’t allow the feet to breathe.
Your doctor can diagnose this fungal infection simply by looking at your skin. If tests are required, they may include:
- a skin biopsy (a procedure in which a healthcare professional cuts and removes a small sample of your skin to have it tested);
- skin culture;
- a KOH exam.
Spiritual Meaning of Athlete’s Foot
Feet represent anchoring, the connection with earth and manifestation. Feet problems symbolize a refusal to move forward, to evolve, or the fear of stagnating in life, fear of the future.
When one is unhappy with fate, one often experiences foot pain. Also, pain and other feet trauma are caused by feelings of self-loathing or they are a result of an individual’s actions of hurting another person in order for him to have a better fate.
When prosperity is shattered, the individual is vulnerable to suffering.
Analyze your situation consciously and acknowledge your fear or any other feelings of resistance you may experience.
If outside progress is not possible, look inside yourself and take a journey within in order to find your peace.
Try to identify what you really want and what can be achieved without too much difficulty. Take the necessary steps. This way, you will be able to enjoy life again.
If you are prone to this condition or simply want to learn to avoid it, here are some ways to prevent it from occurring:
- not sharing socks, towels, and shoes with other friends or family, and ensuring your towels are washed repeatedly. Wearing roomy shoes made of natural materials and cotton socks allows your feet to breathe properly;
- keep your toenails at the shortest length that is pleasant since the fungus can prosper under toenails;
- change socks daily;
- use big enough shoes;
- avoid walking barefoot in public baths.
Natural Remedies for Athlete’s Foot
Antifungal Essential Oils
Essential oils such as thyme, oregano, clove, tea tree, lavender, cedarwood, geranium, and chamomile.
Antifungal Powders, Creams, and Sprays
Apple Cider Vinegar Mixed with Himalayan Crystal Salt Bath
Apple vinegar prevents the growth of fungus and harmful bacteria in our digestive tract while the apple cider vinegar modifies the pH of the skin producing an environment in which the fungus cannot grow.
You can make a feet bath by adding half a cup of apple cider vinegar combined with three tablespoons of Himalayan crystal salt into the warm water and soak your feet for around fifteen minutes.
This compound neutralizes the pH level of your skin, relieves the itch, helps remove moisture from the feet, eases the burn between your toes, and helps absorb unpleasant foot odor.
It is an all-natural anti-fungal which can be used in an area affected by harmful bacteria and fungus.
You can use crushed or powdered garlic directly to the skin area affected by the fungus to eliminate it and relieve inflammation. Garlic is particularly remarkable for nail fungus.
Drinking this tea will help your body combat this infection.
The infection can occasionally disappear simply through being exposed to fresh air, but most of the times, medical or other natural treatment is usually required.