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Athlete's Foot: Conventional and Alternative Treatments

 

Athlete’s foot itself is not that serious of an infection.  It usually can be treated quite quickly.  There are times, however, when the original fungal infection triggers a secondary bacterial infection.  This occurs if the fungus should kill vulnerable 

bacteria through the production of an antibiotic substance. A hardier, more resistant type of bacteria grows in the place of these more vulnerable ones.

These newer bacteria then release substances that can cause the tissue breakdown which results in soggy skin and painful eroded areas between the toes.

There’s still one more complication of athlete’s foot you should be aware of.  This one occurs after the infection has cleared.  Proteins may enter your bloodstream, which may lead to an allergic reaction.  This could cause an occurrence of blisters on your fingers, toes or even on your hands.  This condition is called dermatophytid reaction.

How your health care practitioner treats your case of athlete’s foot depends on the severity of your infection.  There are choices of topical drugs from which your health care practitioner may select for mild infections as well as three separate prescription drugs for the more severe forms of the disorder.

Your infection may be so mild, in fact, that he may just recommend an over-the-counter remedy. There are plenty on the market.  For the most part, mild infections respond well to the following prescription medication:  Terbinafine (sold as Lamisil AT), Clotrimazole (sold as Lotrimin AF) and Miconazole (Micatin).

If your particular care of athlete’s foot doesn’t improve, then your health care practitioner may prescribe one of these stronger medications: Itraconazole (sold as Sporanox), Fluconazole (sold as Diflucan) or a stronger variation of Terbinafine (sold as Lamisil).

Before you fill that prescription that your personal care practitioner hands you though, be sure to question him thoroughly about the possible side effects of these medications.  Oral itraconazole and oral terbinafine may be linked in rare cases to liver failure or even to death, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Taking oral itraconazole may, in fact, weaken the heart’s contractions.  Be sure to tell your health care practitioner if you have a history of heart failure.

If you should have athlete’s foot as well as another bacterial infection, your health care practitioner may prescribe an oral antibiotic.  He may also decide that your specific case can be helped by using steroid ointments. Other remedies that he may recommend may to wet dressings or compresses as well as vinegar soaks to help clear the blisters or the soggy skin.

Athlete’s foot:  Natural Remedies

Many people use natural, herbal remedies to help heal their athlete’s foot. There are in fact, many remedies that may be of use to you.  Before you use any of them though, be sure to consult with your naturopathic doctor or your health care provider. 

One of the pieces of information she’ll be able to provide you is whether any the supplements you’re planning on taking interfere with any prescription drugs you may be on. Before choosing a supplement, you’ll also want to check with a professional herbalist to ensure that you’re not only taking the most effective herb, but also to ensure that you’ll get the proper serving.

One of the first things you’ll want to do upon recognizing the symptoms of athlete’s foot is to apply aloe vera gel on the affected area twice a day. Aloe vera’s antifungal properties help to hasten the healing process.

Some of the best natural remedies incorporate herbs into them to use as foot baths or rubs.  You may want to soak your feet in a basin of warm water which not only has some rubbing alcohol in it, but several cloves of peeled and crushed garlic as well.

The natural antifungal properties of garlic make it a natural choice as a stand-alone remedy to help alleviate the symptoms of athlete’s foot.  Some individuals advise to simply rub a clove of raw garlic on the fungus.  Others say it’s best to crush the garlic to bring out its natural oils.  Place the crushed garlic on the affected area. Leave this on for about half an hour and then wash it off with just water.  This should be done daily for a week.  By the end of the week, the fungus should be gone.

If the idea of covering your feet with crushed garlic is a bit much, you might want to compromise and just put a dusting of garlic powder on your feet (seriously!).  Some herbalists and others specializing in home remedies say that if you do this twice a day, you’ll athlete’s foot will be gone in no time at all.

If garlic is a bit strong for you, then you might want to consider a poultice made with ginger, which also is widely known for its antifungal powers.  Place one ounce of fresh chopped ginger in a cup of water and simmer this for about 20 minutes. Let it cool sufficiently so you can apply it to your feet.  Do this twice daily until your athlete’s foot disappears.

Here’s another one – it’s a bit sticky, but it works.  Rub raw honey on the infected area before bedtime.  Cover the feet with old socks.  Leave it on overnight.  When you wake up in the morning you’ll notice an improvement.

 

 

 



Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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