The feet are one part of the body that suffer quite much. The feet are the end point of all the body weight before this weight is transferred to the ground. They bear so much tremendous weight. As if that wasn’t enough, they are squished in shoes all the day long, so much that they have no breathing space.
On top of that, we expose them to increased risk of myriads of infections in the process, including fungal infections that cause Athlete’s foot. They are mostly in contact with the floor, so they can easily pick up infectious agents.
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Fungal Infections of the Skin in General
The skin is the outer covering of the body. We can say it is the contact of the body with the outside world. As a result, it comes into contact with anything in the air around us, including, of course, fungus. The skin further protects the body from these microbes. Else, if they all found their way into the body, it would be much more trouble.
But in the process, the skin itself takes some hit. This is why fungal infections often happens in the stratum corneum, the topmost layer of the skin made up of dead cells. In the case of the fungal infections for one, the skin reacts in various ways. Fungi can infect the skin in various parts of the body, and the infections are named by the body part they affect. Some of them are:
- Tinea capitis – fungal infection of the scalp, that it, ring worm;
- Tinea cruris – fungal infection of the groin & buttocks;
- Tinea barbae – fungal infections of the beard area;
- Tinea unguium – nail;
- Tinea corporis – skin;
- Tinea pedis – fungal infection of the foot.
They are much more than that. In fact, the private part can also be in infected, as in candida vaginitis, but the focus of this article is tinea pedis, fungal infection of the foot.
The interesting thing about fungal infections is that they spread very easily, either from person to person contact, or person to surface contact. Sharing clothing materials with someone who has a fungal infection, or shaking hands with them, can cause a spread. Even touching a contaminated doorknob qualifies you for a fungal infection. It can also be spread by one person from one part of their body to another. For example, touching an infected hand to the face can transfer the infection.
Athlete’s Foot – Fungal infection of the foot.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the foot. It is caused by the fungus trychophyton.
Tinea pedis is the most common fungal infection. Further, up to 70% of people get Athlete’s foot at one point or the other, and it contributes 10-20% of all skin diseases.
Symptoms of Athlete’s foot.
When you have an athlete foot infection, you are likely to observe:
- Intense itching;
- Cracked, blistering or peeling skin;
- Severe scaling;
- Redness of affected skin.
Ayurveda and Athlete’s foot.
In Ayurveda, Dadru kustha is the term for Athlete’s foot. Ayurvedic texts have defined the symptoms of kandu(itching), daha(burning), pidika(eruptions), rookshata(dryness), pidika(eruptions), raga(erythema), utsana mandala(elevated circular skin lesion). These all match with the description of Athlete’s foot.
Dadru kustha is a skin disorder, classified under Kustha roga. This kustha roga is further classed into Maha kustha(major skin problem) and ksudra kastha(minor problem). Athlete’s foot is one of the ksudra kasthas.
It is a tridoshic problem, but we can point out the Pitta and Kapha doshas. It can arise due to exposure to sunlight, taking cold water immediately after exposure to the sun, sleeping in the daytime, eating too much salty and acidic food, incompatible or contaminated food too.
Further causes of Athlete’s foot.
This fungal infection can be further caused due to the following reasons:
- Public pools, showers and changing rooms are places where various people come and blend together. They share love, friendship. And microbes. Lots of microbes, including fungi. These can easily be washed from the body of one person and picked up by another person.
- Walking barefoot also increases the risk, especially in these areas mentioned above. Exposed feet makes it more likely that the feet will pick up fungi and get infected.
- Wearing tight shoes can cause Athlete’s foot too. If tight shoes are worn, the feet are cramped together. With this, there is a lot of heat. The excess heat causes the sweating. This creates a hot and moist environment, and there is no better breeding ground for fungi than this.
- It also occurs in dry, flaky areas of skin, where the fungi can be better housed.
- Wearing contaminated clothing or sharing of clothing between a healthy and infected person can cause infection too.
Being overweight, having reduced immunity, and diabetes, all mean increased risk of Athlete’s foot.
Treatments for Athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot can be addressed using topical treatments like antifungal creams, lotions. Antifungal drugs can also be used. However, these antifungal medications cause side effects and can interact with other medications, and as such should be used with caution. Another point to note is that athlete’s foot respond poorly to the topical treatments listed.
Ayurvedic cures for Athlete’s foot.
Ayurveda is an ancient science with a huge base of documented medical knowledge, listing symptoms and natural cures. It focuses on holistic healthcare. And this is what Medhya Herbals is intent on helping you to fully maximize for your own health.
To treat Athlete’s foot, the following Ayurvedic remedies can be applied:
- Aarogyavardhihi Vati: This has been tested extensively in studies, and found to be effective. Aside being able to effectively treat Athlete’s foot, it is also useful addressing fevers, liver problems and skin disorders generally.
- Araghwadhadi kashaya: It is useful for skin diseases also, and itching, vomiting, diabetes, and non-healing wounds.
- Haridra khand: Treats allergic skin diseases and itching. It also helps to improve skin complexion.
- Jatyadi oil: also helps with blisters and non-healing wounds.
- Kaishore guggulu.
- Marichadi taila.
Aside these, living and eating right are much important.
Ayurveda is beyond just cures. It is a lifestyle. Beind mindful of what you do and what you eat are very much important in keeping a healthy lifestyle, and keeping your feet free of Athlete’s foot.
Lifestyle for managing Athlete’s foot.
- Don’t wear damp footwear. Give your shoes 1-2 days to dry out appropriately before you wear them again.
- Don’t wear tight footwear so as not to squeeze your toes together. Rather wear wide shoes to give your toes some breathing space. Wider shoes also help with circulation.
- If yo have dry flaky skin at your heel, moisturize it with anti-fungal cream.
- If your skin is moist and sweaty on the other hand, wash them in cold water and dry thoroughly.
- Avoid using powder on your skin. It clogs us and irritate the skin.
- Avoid sharing clothing items like clothes and shoes, towels, etc.
- If you have a fungal infection, don’t scratch it. By doing so, you can transfer the infection from your foot to other parts with your hands. Even the hands can get infected.
- Eat a pitta diet and kapha diet to pacify the dosha.
- Eat light and easy-to-digest food, like turmeric, curry leaves, cinnamon, cardamom.
- Avoid oily foods, junks and sodas.
- Take warm water.
Fungal infections are very easy to spread, and you should be very careful as such. If you begin to notice further complications like excessive redness and sweliing, pus and drainage, then bacteria might have infested it. Seek treatment accordingly.
Also, diabetics should not toy with Athlete’s foot at all.