So, you thought joining the gym was a very good idea. You can stop by on your way home from work and squeeze in a workout. But one morning, you wake up, and there’s a red rash between your toes that itches like crazy.
That’s athlete’s foot. The most common fungal infection with about 10% of the population scratching away at it. And to today I’ll give you four simple remedies to relieve the itch.
Athlete’s foot doesn’t just affect athletes
“The name “athlete’s foot” came about because when most people go to the gym, they don’t completely dry off their feet,” says DR Chet Evans of Berry University in Miami. You see, the fungus can grow in any warm, dark, moist place like your bathroom.Walking barefoot may increase your chance of contracting athlete’s foot. Step into a locker room or gym shower with bare feet, and you can pick up the condition. Athlete’s foot can be spread through direct contact with the infection and by skin particles left on towels, shoes or floors.
You can also increase your chances of getting athlete’s foot by just wearing shoes, especially without socks, wearing the same pair all the time or forgetting to change your socks. If you leave it alone, it’s irritating but not dangerous. However, once you scratch off the top layer of skin where the fungus lives, you risk a more severe infection.
Four ways to relieve athlete’s foot
1. Try Epsom salt soaks
Soak your feet in Epsom salt for 10-15 minutes, three times a day for 3-5 days. You can also soak your feet in 4 litres of warm water with one cup of bleach. If you try these soaks, ensure you completely dry your feet. Dr Evans also recommends you use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to dry your feet after a bath.
2. Use cornstarch
Sprinkle some cornstarch on your feet to keep them dry. Dr Evan’s, however, warns against using baking soda or talcum powder. They can create a crust if the infection is weeping that can allow the fungus and other bacteria to spread.
3. Try a warm tea soak
Put a couple of tea bags in hot water until the water turns brown. Once it’s cool but still warm, soak your feet for 5-10 minutes. Tea contains tannins, natural chemicals that help pull excess moisture from your feet.
4. Soak in vinegar
A solution of one part vinegar and ten parts water works just as well. Dry your feet thoroughly after soaking. You can also spray with an antiperspirant deodorant spray.
If your athlete’s foot is not improving or is worsening, see a board-certified dermatologist.
For tired, aching and cold feet, try our Soothing Sockz. You’ll be amazed at what these socks can do.
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