Athlete’s foot, medically known as Tinea pedis, is a fungal infection that affects the outer layer of the skin on the feet. In some instances, it can also spread to the toenails and hands. The condition is characterized by itchiness and burning on the feet, blisters and ulcers, dryness, and skin peeling between the toes.
The infection is primarily acquired through direct contact with the organisms, especially when walking barefoot or sharing towels. Wearing tight shoes and socks throughout the day causes excessive sweating which also creates a suitable environment for the infection-causing organisms to thrive.
Athlete’s foot is a highly contagious condition; therefore, it is essential to seek treatment immediately one gets wind of the infection. As you explore the available treatments for athlete’s foot, you will come across essential oils as a primary natural remedy for this ailment.
Essential Oils and Athlete’s Foot
Essential oils are oils that are obtained from plants and herbs through a distillation process. The oils possess the chemical properties and fragrance of the plant from which they are derived.
For example, tea tree oil comes from a plant known as narrow-leaved tea tree, and it possesses the healing properties of this tree. Similarly, lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant.
In the medical circles, essential oils are used for their antifungal and antibacterial properties. Certain oils contain healing properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. This makes them useful for treating skin conditions, including athlete’s foot.
They can be used alone or together with other treatments to cure athlete’s foot.
These oils are extremely popular because they are natural treatments. If you don’t want to use over-the-counter creams, gels, and powders for the infection, essential oils are the best option.
What’s more, they have no ingredients that can react with your skin or cause side effects as is the case with some topical creams.
Top Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot
There are various types of essential oils today, but not all of them are suitable for treating athlete’s foot. Your top picks should be those that contain powerful antifungal properties to inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria and restore the appearance of the skin.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is renowned for its powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can kill infection-causing organisms and provide relief from the pain and itchiness associated with the condition. The essential oil is also highly effective in improving the symptoms of athlete’s foot, and it is well tolerated.
Lavender oil is one of the most used oils today. It is famous for its highly potent antifungal properties. Lavender oil also contains a compound known as alphapinine which is known to provide relief and relaxation. When massaged into the affected area, the oil offers relief against pain or itching and helps to completely cure athlete’s foot within a few weeks of using it.
Peppermint and eucalyptus oils
Peppermint oil contains methanol, a compound that is known to provide relief from the inflammation that results from athlete’s foot. Methanol has a soothing effect that also reduces pain and the urge to scratch the affected portion of the foot.
On the other hand, eucalyptus contains powerful antibacterial properties that are useful in curing athlete’s foot. Additionally, the oil also helps hydrate the skin and curb the effects of dryness as a result of the infection.
A past study testing the effectiveness of various types of essential oils indicated that peppermint and eucalyptus oils were effective against all the tested bacteria strains and 11 out of the 12 tested fungi. This shows that peppermint has highly potent properties that can help you cure athlete’s foot.
You never know the importance of having healthy feet until you suffer from a fungal infection that causes you to itch and develop blisters. Essential oils can fight athlete’s foot and relieve the underlying symptoms.
Choose your best oil from the list above and use them as instructed on the packaging to manage athlete’s foot and achieve healthy and better-looking feet.