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Athletes Foot

What is Athlete's Foot?

Athlete's Foot is a highly contagious fungal infection of the skin caused by the micro-organism Tinea pedis. The fungus feeds on dead skin and wastes in sweat, so tends to localise in the warm, often damp, body folds such as between the toes. It is especially prevalent and highly contagious in warm, damp places such as gyms and pool locker rooms. Care should be taken to protect the feet from direct contact with floors in these places.

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Symptoms of Athlete's Foot...

Symptoms of Tinea Pedis include, discomfort, inflammation, redness, burning, itching, scaling, and peeling. Cracked skin may also occur, leading to exposed raw tissue, pain and swelling.

It may alternate between being dry and scaly, or damp and blistered, and may have an unpleasant odour. In severe cases the toenails may crumble. 

Natural Remedies for Athlete's Foot or Tinea Pedis include:

Pau D'Arco has immune enhancing, antifungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Used for more than 1000 years as a traditional South American (Incan) remedy to treat yeast infection and cancer.

Black Walnut is used for expelling worms, parasites, Candida and other fungal or bacterial intestinal infectious agents.

Garlic, Olive Leaf, Cat's Claw and Wormwood provide an array of synergistic properties to enhance the anti-microbial and immune supporting actions of these other herbs.

Garlic is a potent antifungal herb and helps to cleanse the blood. Thyme is not only antiseptic and antibacterial, it is antifungal as well. It may be used internally with other herbs as well as externally as a foot bath.

Probiotics are essential to replace good bacteria in the body. A lack of these good bacteria can allow undesirable yeast to grow. These yeast may contribute to fungal skin infections. These should be a high potency formula that are kept in the fridge and are best taken after a course of antifungal herbs.

Vitamin C and Zinc are useful for supporting the immune system. Opportunistic infections such as Athletes Foot are more likely to occur in someone with a compromised immune system.

Essential Fatty Acid's are important for maintaining the integrity of the skin barrier. Dry, cracked skin is an open invitation to fungus. Royal Jelly has a factor in it that inhibits yeast. Caprylic acid is a short chain fatty acid derived from coconuts, which has been found to be a very effective antifungal agent, especially in the control and maintenance of normal healthy micro-organisms in the digestive tract. Oregano oil extract provides carvacrol and thymol, which have fungicidal properties. Biotin (D-biotin) is a sulphur-containing coenzyme (vitamin) produced by intestinal flora in healthy conditions. 

Topical applications for Athlete's Foot...

Fresh onion juice, garlic oil, or tea tree oil are good choices for topical application. Treatment should be twice daily in conjunction with internal treatment. Echinacea, Calendula, and Myrrh are antifungal herbs that may be dabbed on the affected area as often as required. Propolis is also useful in wound healing and may form part of the mixture.

A foot bath with Tea tree oil, Eucalyptus, Patchouli, Myrrh, and/or Lavender is effective as all of these oils are soothing and antifungal. Myrrh has an excellent soothing, antiseptic, and healing effect on cracked skin. It can speed the healing of weepy skin and its antifungal properties make it valuable in the treatment of fungal infections (not to be used in pregnancy). Tea tree has antifungal as well as antibacterial properties making it useful for many skin problems but especially for eradicating Tinea.

Silica might be useful as an acute homoeopathic treatment. It is indicated for sweaty feet and problems that result from getting the feet wet.

Nutritional and Herbal support for Athletes Foot include:

CandAid - Contains a synergistic blend of traditional herbs including Garlic, Olive Leaf, and Pau D'Arco & other ingredients known for their anti-fungal activity including Oregano oil and Caprylic Acid. Should be used in conjunction with a yeast & sugar free diet.

Formula 825 - A powerful antiparasitic, blood cleansing formula that detoxifies and flushes out the body.

Candex - A probiotic supplement to restore the correct balance of micro-organisms in the body.

Kolorex Foot and Toe Cream - Has the strongest Horopito extract combined with Lemon Tea Tree oil for deep down cleansing; Apricot kernel oil, Aloe extract, and Vitamin E to condition and replenish the skin; and Lactic acid to balance the pH. Helps restore feet to their healthy, hygienic best, naturally.

Kolorex Advanced Candida Care - Patented Liquid Horopito extract. Helps maintain balanced intestinal flora.

Some interesting points on Athletes Foot:

  • Keep feet dry. After a shower or bath, dry carefully between each toe. Make sure the towel is used only once and by no one else. Wear shoes or slippers in public locker rooms where the fungus flourishes.
  • Those with recurrent fungal infections of the feet often have a fungal infection in the groin area. Both areas must be treated simultaneously. To prevent transmission of the foot fungus to the groin area, put clean socks on before putting on your underwear when dressing.
  • Avoid soft drinks, processed foods, sugar, and yeast. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, broiled fish and chicken. Do not eat fried, greasy foods. You may dust your feet with garlic powder. Wear absorbent socks made of 100% cotton. Air your shoes out and change socks daily.
  • Prepare a tea using Pau D'Arco; drink 3 cups daily. You can also use the tea as a foot bath.


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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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