Athlete’s Foot

athletes_footI know it’s not an appealing topic, but this might be of use to anyone who has a problem with athlete’s foot, a condition characterized by itching, scaling, and redness, usually between the toes.  It occurs when your hot and sweaty feet are kept inside shoes for long periods.
I had a minor problem with athlete’s foot.  The typical itching and scaly skin, just between the fourth toe and the little toe on one foot. It wasn’t bad, but it was persistent.  It didn’t get worse, but it also didn’t get better, though the severity varied.  I tried a few over-the-counter treatments (ointment, powder, spray), but they didn’t help much.  Over time, I developed this treatment.  What can I say?  It works for me.  Try it at your own risk.  No warranties expressed or implied.

Treatment of athlete’s foot (do as many of these as possible for best results)

  • Wash and dry your feet two or three times a day.  Use lots of soap and hot water.  Dry feet completely, using paper towels, especially between the toes, before putting on shoes.
  • Apply foot powder, baking soda, or similar to feet before putting on socks.
  • Separate your toes with “toe spacers”.  I make toe spacers from strips of paper towel, which I wind into a “rope” and then thread between my toes.  This allows air to circulate between your toes, keeping them cooler and dryer.
  • After each feet washing, put on freshly-laundered socks and a different pair of shoes.
  • Have several pairs of shoes and change shoes often, rotating through them so that each pair, after being worn for several hours, is rested for a couple days. If possible, change shoes during the day. I wear one pair of shoes on my way to work, then change into another pair at work, then change into the first pair before I go home.  I also have shoes that I wear only in the evenings and others that I wear only on weekends.
  • Consider wearing sandals (fisherman’s sandals are my favorite) some of the time.
  • Soak feet in a weak bleach or vinegar solution once or twice per day.  In a basin, combine a spoonful of bleach or vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Soak feet for 5 to 10 minutes.  Be careful not to overdo this or you might cause more harm than good.  If this causes any redness or soreness anywhere on your feet, then discontinue immediately.

When the athlete’s foot problem goes away, discontinue the soaks, but keep doing whatever is necessary to keep the problem at bay.

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