Athlete's foot, also known as ringworm of the feet is a condition where the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin in between the fingers of the feet is infected with fungus. It is more prevalent in men and teenagers than in women. Obese people with diabetes are also likely to suffer with athlete's foot. It could result due to prolonged dampness of the foot, fungal infection or unhygienic conditions.
The simplest precaution one could take is to keep the toes and fingers of the feet dry. While wearing shoes, athletes should always wear cotton socks. Care should be taken in choosing one's footwear. It should be comfortable and made preferably from canvas. While leather shoes can be worn, shoes made from plastic or any such material should be strictly avoided as they do not allow air inside them and cause dampness and infection in the feet.
The shoes should be cleaned regularly and kept in the sun to dry to rid them of all fungal infection. One could also sprinkle some antifungal powder inside the footwear. Athletes should avoid wearing the same shoes daily as this will not allow the sweat inside them to evaporate completely, thus causing fungal infection. The nails of the feet should also be cut short and trimmed to prevent the possibility of infection.
Some easy home remedies can help cure the infection in a few days. One of them is to apply tea tree oil atleast 2-3 times a day for about three weeks. Hydrogen peroxide is available at all drugstores and chemists. One can drop a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in about one-fourth bucket of water and soak one's feet in it for about 20-25 minutes. This is sure to remove the itching and give relief.
Natural yogurt available at home is excellent for athlete's foot. It can be applied on the feet and left overnight to be washed off in the morning followed by applying some antifungal powder or talcum powder. Epsom salt can be mixed in warm water and the feet should be soaked in them for about 20-30 minutes. This will give instant relief.
White vinegar, easily available in all homes is also sure to give relief. One can soak one's feet in a little vinegar for about 20-25 minutes everyday for a few days and feel tremendous relief. The affected area must be washed with mild soaps to avoid irritation and dried carefully. Garlic oil can then be applied to the feet. This is sure to provide relief in a few days.
The juice of grapefruits can be applied on the feet. This immediately decreases the fungus present in between the fingers. Corn starch can be sprinkled on the feet like powder, as it helps to speed up recovery.
A person suffering from athlete's foot should have a balanced diet containing more of leafy vegetables and fruits. He should avoid beverages like cola, tea and alcohol and also keep away from foods rich in sugar.