The athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the surface of the human foot. It is typically caused by a mold that grows initially on the surface of the skin and later into the skin tissue, causing the infection. In some cases, yeast may cause the disease.
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The athlete’s foot manifests most commonly in the area between the toes and can also spread to other parts of the body. The athlete’s foot leads to itching, scaling, and flaking of the affected skin. It can also cause blisters and cracked skin accompanied by exposed tissue, pain, inflammation, and swelling. The condition is detected with the naked eye.
According to Ayurveda’s point of view, Pitta and Kapha type of people tend to sweat more and thus are more prone to attacks of Athlete’s foot. Therefore Ayurvedic remedy is aimed at reducing the perspiration thereby preventing moisture as fungus thrives on the moisture provided by perspiration. Ayurvedic remedies use natural herbs and ingredients that act gently on the skin without causing side effects. Some changes in diet and lifestyle may also be advised.
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The factors that cause athlete’s foot are
- Retaining the moisture between toes by wearing improperly ventilated plastic or plastic-lined footwear and socks.
- Keeping feet wet for longer periods
- Injury to the nail or the skin of the foot
- As an athlete’s foot is contagious it can be contracted through direct contact with an infected person. It can also spread to other people through contact or sharing infected items such as shoes, socks, towels, swimming pools, and shower rooms.
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Ayurvedic Treatment of Athlete’s Foot
The affected areas should be washed with Neem soap and applied to Neem oil over the skin after drying the area completely. Blood cleansing medicine containing Neem is prescribed for internal consumption. Ayurveda also recommends the daily application of a mixture of Aloe Vera gel and Turmeric all over the affected area for 2 to 3 weeks.
Home remedies for Athlete’s Foot
Natural remedies can be used to treat athletes’ feet. The natural ingredients found in the kitchen can stop the fungus infection. Raw garlic works as a powerful antibiotic and effectively fights against fungus and provides relief. Crushed raw garlic can also be applied to the feet to kill the fungus.
To prevent any disease the holistic system of Ayurveda approaches them by correcting the dosha balance of the human body with the universe. The external symptoms can be treated with medicated oils, pastes, or powders depending on the ailment and the affected part of the body. For treating Athlete’s foot, Ayurveda recommends that baked foods using vinegar and alcohol should be avoided as they produce yeast which aggravates the fungal growth.
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Wearing cotton and absorbent socks as far as possible, changing the socks frequently if there is increased perspiration is recommended. Keep the feet dry and wear footwear made of material that allows breathing of the feet. Bedsheets and bathing towels should be changed and washed frequently. Avoid sharing towels, socks, shoes, etc.