It's that time of year again (at least in my neck of the woods!) The temperatures are rising, feet are sweating, and foot fungus rages out of control.
Thankfully, I do not battle this issue personally. However, I know many people who do and they dread the sweaty days of summer.
Athlete's foot is an infection also called tinea pedis, caused when various types of fungus invade the skin. It usually occurs between the toes but can also occur on the bottom and sides of the feet and is highly contagious. It can spread to other parts of the body (most notably under the arms and under the breasts) and can affect your toenails. Athlete's foot usually causes itching, stinging, redness, flaky skin, and burning.
It is VERY important to not allow your foot fungus to get out of control. The more you let it go, the worse it will be to reign it back in. So what is a natural minded person to do?
Let's start with coconut oil! How can you treat and eliminate athlete's foot with this powerhouse of protection?
Quick disclaimer – I am required to clearly state that I am not a licensed medical professional nor do I pretend to be one on this site. Take what I write as a launching off point to do your own research. My advice, experience, and suggestions are not to be considered medical advice.
Coconut oil has powerful anti-fungal properties. These properties are due largely to the presence of lauric acid. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which has been shown to control the activity of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Coconut oil has been proven effective in killing the tinea pedis fungus and at reducing the scaly, red rash caused by the fungus.
In addition to fighting back against unwanted fungi, coconut oil provides a layer of protection for the skin. It is an effective and deeply nourishing moisturizer that can replace other foot lotions permanently. There are two ways to use coconut oil to attack Athlete's Foot.
First up – the therapeutic treatment. If you are suffering from a flare up, you want to bring out the big guns! Mix two tablespoons of coconut oil along with 10 drops of oregano oil, tea tree oil, garlic oil, clove oil, and/or peppermint oil. These essential oils all have incredibly powerful antifungal properties in their own right. Massage this blend into feet (making sure to get in between the toes) 2-4 times per day. The more intense the fungus, the more you need to apply the coconut oil blend.
Second up – maintenance mode. If there is not an active flare up, all you need to do is rub coconut oil into your feet one to two times per day, especially after bathing. No need for the other essential oils.
Consuming a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil daily is a great way to prevent athlete's foot from returning in the future.
Are you looking to add additional treatment to your fight against Athlete's Foot?
There are a couple other natural ways to combat Athlete's Foot in conjunction with the coconut oil regime.
Acidophilus powder is a potent probiotic powder which creates an environment in which funguses are unable to thrive. Sprinkle a small amount between toes and into socks twice daily. This is good to do between the times you are applying the coconut oil blend. You want your feet to be clean and dry.
Apple Cider Vinegar changes the pH of the skin creating an environment in which the fungus cannot thrive. It can be applied to infected areas using balls of cotton or can be added to a bowl of water and used as a foot bath. One part warm water to one part apple cider vinegar is most effective.
And there you have it! Easy ways to fight back naturally!
Have you ever fought the Athlete's Foot battle and won? What was your secret weapon?
Want to know which brands of coconut oil I use and love? Check out my Products I Love page!