It is important to note that tinea pedis is common in tropical countries during the summer and monsoon season where men are more susceptible than in women. The fungus grows in the upper layer of the skin or epidermis, usually in warm and moist areas.
Damp socks and environments that are warm and moist are the best place for fungus to thrive and cause athlete’s foot. Foot fungus can spread to others after exposure to contaminated surfaces such as in locker rooms or saunas. Tinea pedis causes rashes, blisters and sores in between the toes and can spread into the dorsum of the feet. Anyone can suffer from tinea pedis, but it is common among people who wear closed fitting shoes for long hours and those who love to take baths in community showers as well as walking barefoot in swimming pool facilities.
The skin of the toes is the first to be affected and a rash develops which is scaly and itchy with a membrane covers the red, glazed and cracked skin. There are plenty of cracks that develop between the toes and the flakes of skin can fall off from the infected area. There is burning and severe itching and sometimes there is oozing from the area. When the skin becomes cracked and fissured, there is a high risk of developing a secondary infection.
If the condition is not properly treated, the infection can spread to the sole and on the sides of the foot. The individual is not capable of wearing shoes and other footwear due to the discomfort and pain. Severe itching can urge the individual to scratch, thus resulting to bleeding of the affected area.
Causes of tinea pedis
- Fungal infection of the foot can be acquired by walking barefoot on areas around swimming pools and taking a bath in community showers.
- Wearing ill-fitting footwear that can cause excessive sweating.
- People suffering from diabetes and other diseases where the immune system is weakened.
- Elderly people are easily infected due to the diminished immune function.
Treatment and home remedies for tinea pedis
- Add a couple of teaspoons of salt to warm water. Soak the affected foot for 10 minutes. Mustard powder can also be added by sprinkling a few shakes of mustard powder into the warm water since it has anti-fungal properties that can eliminate the fungi.
- Create a foot soak by mixing equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water or dab a cotton ball in this solution and apply in between the toes which are susceptible to the skin condition.
- Apply a cold compress over the affected area in order to minimize inflammation, dryness, itching and pain.
- Add a few cloves of crushed garlic to warm water. Soak the feet in this solution for 10-15 minutes.
- Mix minced garlic and a few drops of olive oil and soak a cotton ball in the solution and dab it on the itchy, red feet.