Athlete’s foot is one of the most common tinea infections. Tinea is a common fungus which is further defined by where it occurs on the body, as in the case of athlete’s foot, tinea pedis. Athlete’s foot can be spread by contact. The fungus thrives in warm wet environments such as public showers, shoe made of non-breathable material such a vinyl, and pools.
The symptoms of athlete’s foot include dry, cracking, peeling itchy, areas between the toes. The itching can be intense and redness may be present. If the toe nails are involved, the nails may become discolored, thickened and crumbly. It can be very difficult to get rid of tinea under the toe nails. Tinea can also cause the heels to become rough, scaly and unsightly.
Holistic methods of treating the athlete’s foot include twice to three times daily application of a mixture of tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus essential oils to the area affected. On adults the essential oils can be applied neat or directly onto the skin. With children the essential oils should be diluted in witch hazel five drops each to one ounce of witch hazel and then applied. Essential oils should not be used on small infants without supervision from a holistic practitioner. In addition, a lotion can be made using almond oil and melted bees wax to which is added ten drops each, per ounce of carrier oil, of tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils. Melt the bees wax using a double boiler and don’t add the essential oils until the wax is melted and heating complete. This lotion can be used as an all over lotion and can be very helpful in preventing the reoccurrence or spread of the fungus. Mixing one part vinegar to four parts water and soaking the feet several times daily can also be effective. Burrow’s solution can be used in the same way. It’s also important to avoid the causes by wearing shower shoe in public showers and pools, choosing breathable material for shoes and using frequent good hygiene.
When using holistic home remedies it is important to remember not to re-dip a Q-tip or hand which has already touched the skin or body into any bottle or preparation. Essential oils preparations should be mixed in glass not plastic containers and protected from light and heat. It is also important to use 100% essential oils and not a substitute. Organic essential oils are best.
It will take two to six weeks of continual treatment to holistically get rid of athletes’ foot. Err on the side of treating overlong. Holistic methods can be very effective in getting rid of athlete’s foot and are particularly useful in fungal infections of the toe nails which are notoriously difficult to get rid of.
“Herbal and Healing Remedies” by Jason Elias MA,Lac and Shelagh Ryan Masline, copyright1995, Lynn Sonberg Books Associates
“New Herb Bible” by Earl Mindell R.Ph., Ph.D, copyright 2000, Simon & Schuster Publishing
“The Little Herb Encyclopedia” by Jack Ritchason N.D., copyright 1995, Woodland Health Books
“Aromatherapy for Common Ailments” by Shirley Price, copyright 1991, Simon & Schuster Publishing