Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a persistent and annoying fungal infec- tion of the foot. It commonly occurs between the toes and the toenails but can also occur on other areas of the foot. The skin between the toes can appear red, cracked, and scaly. Sores and blisters can form on the soles of the feet and between the toes. The infected areas may burn or itch.
Moisture and warmth provide an environment for this fungus to thrive. Public or private showers, locker rooms, gym ﬂoors, and hotel bathrooms are common places for a child to contract this fungus. People with sweaty feet are more susceptible to getting athlete’s foot. Some have a natural resistance to athlete’s foot, while others must be more careful with hygiene. Changing into clean socks reduces the risk of reinfection.
We ﬁnd that in many cases of chronic athlete’s foot, there is an underlying systemic problem with candidiasis. For more effective therapy in these cases, it is important to have a systemic treatment to eradicate the fungus. See the Candidiasis section for detailed information.
Most cases of athlete’s foot can be treated at home. However, complications can arise when a bacterial infection sets in, along with the existing fungal infection. If your athlete’s foot does not improve with natural treatment or gets worse, see a doctor for evaluation.
• Burning, itching, and cracking between the toes and on other places of the foot
• Patches of dry skin
• Yellowish-brown toenails
• Prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics or corticosteroids, lead- ing to a depletion of good bacteria that normally keep fungus in check
• Poor digestion and elimination
• Depressed immune system(e.g., diabetes)
• A high-sugar diet
• Poor hygiene (feet in a damp environment)
The following tests help assess possible metabolic reasons for candidiasis: Candida levels—stool, blood (antibodies), or urine (yeast metabolites) Intestinal permeability—urine test
For high-density nutrition and immune support, base your meals around fresh veg- etables, whole grains, and quality sources of lean protein, such as beans, lentils, ﬁsh, and organic poultry.
For severe toenail fungal infections, you can try the following home therapy. Make sure the nails are trimmed as short as possible. Please note that this therapy cannot be used if you have cuts or openings in the skin.
1. In a bucket, dilute 1 cup of bleach in 10 cups of water.
2. Dip the affected foot in the bucket for ﬁve sec- onds. Remove and towel dry.
3. Repeat this procedure every other day for four weeks. Make a new mixture each time.
You should notice that the skin dries out and ﬂakes off. This is normal. You can apply tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil and calendula (Calendula ofﬁcinalis) between treatments for better results.
To replace friendly bacteria, eat unsweetened yogurt daily. Make sure the brand you’re using has live yogurt cultures. Sauerkraut and miso are other examples of foods that contain friendly bacteria.
Vegetable and green drinks will improve your resistance.
Drink 8 glasses of pure water a day to help ﬂush out yeast toxins.
Consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground ﬂaxseeds daily. Flaxseeds have antifungal properties.
Food to Avoid
Fungus feeds on sugar and yeast, so reduce or elim- inate obvious sugars in the diet, such as ref ined foods, which are likely to be loaded with sugars.
Avoid or reduce the use of fruits and fruit juices during the initial phase (ﬁrst month) of treatment. It is especially important to avoid these foods between meals.
Consume foods such as garlic, onions, chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, and others known to support detoxiﬁcation.
Super Seven Prescriptions—Athlete’s Foot
Super Prescription #1 Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil
Apply tea tree oil liquid directly to the fungal infection. For toenail fungus, trim the nails, wash the feet with soap (tea tree oil soap is a good choice), and apply as far under the nail as possible. Repeat daily for six to eight weeks or until the infec- tion is cleared.
Super Prescription #2 Oregano oil (Origanum vulgare)
Take a 500 mg capsule or the liquid form (as directed on the container) orally, three times daily with meals. The tincture variety can also be applied topically. Oregano oil (Origanum vulgare) has a powerful antifungal effect, internally and externally.
Super Prescription #3 Garlic (Allium sativum)
Take 500 to 1,000 mg of garlic twice daily. Garlic ﬁghts fungal infections and also boosts immune strength.
Super Prescription #4 Grapefruit seed extract
Take 200 mg two to three times daily. Practitioners rely on this herb for its anti- fungal properties.
Super Prescription #5 Caprylic acid
Take 1,000 mg three times daily. This type of fatty acid has been shown in stud- ies to have antifungal properties.
Super Prescription #6 Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Take 500 mg or 2 to 4 ml of tincture three times daily. Both herbs enhance immune function. Echinacea has been shown to have antifungal effects.
Super Prescription #7 Probiotic
Take a product containing 4 billion active organisms, twice daily, thirty minutes after a meal. It supplies friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and biﬁdus, which ﬁght fungus and prevent its overgrowth.
Calendula (Calendula ofﬁcinalis) tincture or gel can be applied to the affected area in-between treatments of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil. This herb has an antiseptic effect and promotes skin healing.
Thuja (Thuja occidentalis) oil has potent antifungal effects. Apply 2 drops to the affected area twice daily.
Pau d’arco (Tabebuia avellanedae) has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. Drink several cups every day.
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium), and rosemary (Rosmarinus ofﬁcinalis) all have anti- fungal properties. Take as part of a candida formula.
A high-potency multivitamin provides the many nutrients needed to support immune function. Take as directed on the container.
Vitamin C is used to enhance immune function. Take 1,000 mg two to three times daily.
Tne double-blind study reported in the Australian Journal of Dermatology looked at the effect of tea tree oil on people with a diagnosis of athlete’s foot (tinea pedis). Patients applied the solution twice daily to affected areas for 4 weeks and were reviewed after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment. Fungal cure was assessed by a culture of the skin and was found to be 64 percent in those applying a 50 percent tea tree oil, com- pared to 31 percent in the placebo group.
Pick the remedy that best matches your symptoms in this section. Take a 6x, 12x, 6C,
12C, or 30C potency twice daily for two weeks to see if there are any positive improve- ments. After you notice improvement, stop taking the remedy, unless symptoms return. Consultation with a homeopathic practitioner is advised.
Graphites is helpful when there is cracked skin that oozes a thick, yellow ﬂuid. Silica (Silicea) is a good choice when there is profuse foot sweating and an offensive smell that excoriates feet.
Sulphur is the best choice for chronic athlete’s foot when there is intense itching and burning of feet.
Thuja (Thuja occidentalis) is used when you have long-standing fungal infections of the skin that do not respond to other remedies.
• Expose your feet to the open air. Wear sandals or porous slippers around the home or outside (if the climate permits).
• Use cotton socks. If your feet perspire a lot, change socks twice daily.
• Wear waterproof slippers or sandals in locker rooms and showers.
• Make sure your feet are washed with soap daily.