Athlete’s Foot – What it is and how to best treat it.
Athlete’s Foot is also known as “tinea pedis,” or Ring Worm, is not too often the subject of discussion over the dinner table, and only seldom discussed with a healthcare professional. Yet, some form of athlete’s foot infections, along with the other members of the same fungus family is estimated to affect as many as 20% to 25% of the adult population worldwide.
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), is a fungal infection of the skin that causes scaling, flaking, and itch of affected areas (mostly the toes). Tinea pedis most often manifests between the toes, with the space between the fourth and fifth digits most commonly afflicted. Blisters and cracked skin may also occur, leading to exposed raw ti
ssue, pain, swelling, and inflammation. These open wounds can easily lead to secondary and more serious bacterial and/or viral infections.
Tinea pedis is caused by a fungus known as Trichophyton. It is typically transmitted from person to person, in moist communal areas where people walk barefoot, such as showers in sports dressing rooms etc. After transmission, the fungus requires a warm moist environment, such as the inside of a shoe, in order to incubate and thrive. Interesting, it has been found that this fungus affects less than 1% of the people who frequently go barefoot for long periods of time.
Although the condition typically affects the feet, it can infect or spread to other areas of the body, particularly areas of skin that are kept hot and moist, for long periods of time with body heat, and sweat, including the groin (tinea crusis) and the toenails (onychomycosis). While the fungus is generally picked up through walking barefoot in an infected area or using an infected towel, infection can be prevented by remaining barefoot as this allows the feet to dry properly and removes the fungus’ primary incubator – the warm moist interior of a shoe or clothing. Athlete’s foot can be treated by a number of products and other treatments, although it can be almost completely prevented by going barefoot, wearing sandals, or wearing enclosed shoes as little as possible.
Athlete’s Foot can also be transmitted by sharing footwear with an infected person, such as at a bowling alley or any other place that lends footwear. A less common method of infection is through sharing towels. Some individuals may experience an allergic response to the fungus called an “id reaction” in which blisters or vesicles can appear in areas such as the hands, chest and arms. Successful treatment of the fungus usually clears this id reaction.
Health Tip: If you discover or suspect that you may have a Tinea pedis infection on your feet, make sure you put clean socks on your feet, before you put your underpants on. This may help to prevent the fungus spreading to the rest of your body.
Since shoes are the primary mode of infection and incubation and since the fungus is almost non-existent in always barefoot cultures due to the prevalence of strong, dry, feet that are very well ventilated, not wearing shoes at all is almost 100% effective in preventing the fungus to invade. People who regularly wear shoes should try to walk barefoot as much as possible in order to prevent infection. Simply remaining barefoot for a few hours after walking through an infected area is usually enough to prevent the fungus growing and wear it off your feet.
When moving through an area that is likely to be infected it is important to remember that the fungus requires the foot to remain moist in order for it to grow. Since fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, keeping feet as dry as possible and avoiding sharing towels aids prevention. Always dry the feet thoroughly if you wish to put on shoes and ensure that both the shoes and socks are clean and dry and have been regularly washed. In shoe-wearers, hygiene and minimization of shoe use play important roles in preventing transmission. Public showers, borrowed towels, and, particularly, footwear, can all spread the infection from person to person through shared contact followed by incubation in a shoe.
Ringworm or Dermatophytosis is a clinical condition caused by a fungal infection of the skin in humans, pets such as cats, and domesticated animals such as sheep and cattle. The term “ringworm” is a
misnomer, since the condition is caused by fungi of several different species and not by parasitic worms. The fungi feed on keratin, the material found in the outer layer of skin, hair, and nails. These fungi thrive on skin that is warm and moist, but may also survive directly on the outsides of hair shafts or in their interiors. In pets, the fungus responsible for the disease survives in the skin and on the outer surface of hairs. It has been estimated that currently up to twenty percent of the people who play contact sports, may be infected by ringworm or one of the other Dermatophytosis. It is especially common among, wrestlers in particular.
A number of different species of fungi are involved. These fungi attack various parts of the body and lead to the conditions listed below. Note that the Latin names are for the conditions (disease patterns), not the agents that cause them. The disease patterns below identify the type of fungus that causes them only in the cases listed:
- Tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) affects the feet
- Tinea unguium affects the fingernails and toenails
- Tinea corporis affects the arms, legs, and trunk
- Tinea cruris (jock itch) affects the groin area
- Tinea manuum affects the hands and palm area
- Tinea capiti affects the scalp
- Tinea barbae affects facial hair
- Tinea faciei (face fungus) affects the face
Dermatophytosis Infections on the body may give rise to typical enlarging raised red rings of infection. On the feet it may cause athletes foot and in the groin jock itch.
Involvement of the nails is termed onychomycosis.
There are four classic types of onychomycosis
- The most common form of tinea unguium, usually invades the nail bed and the underside of the nail plate.
- White superficial Onychomycosis (WSO) is caused by a fungal invasion of the superficial layers of the nail plate to form “white islands” on the plate. In many cases, “keratin granulations” which are not a fungus, but an allergic reaction to nail polish chemicals, that can cause the nails to have a chalky white appearance is misdiagnosis as WSO.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis is the fungal penetration of the newly formed nail plate through the nail fold. It is the least common form of tinea unguium in healthy people, but is found more commonly in older people and when the person is immune-compromised.
- Candidal onychomycosis is a form of Candida that invades the fingernails, usually occurring in persons who frequently immerse their hands in water.
The most common symptom of a fungal nail infection is the nail becoming thickened and discoloured: white, black, or yellow. As the infection progresses, the nail can become brittle, with pieces breaking off, or completely coming away from the toe or finger. If left untreated, the skin can become inflamed and painful underneath and around the nail. There may also be white or yellow patches on the nail bed or scaly skin next to the nail. There is usually no pain or other bodily symptoms, unless the disease is severe.
Dermatophytosis (ring worm) infestations, tends to get worse during summer, with symptoms alleviating during the winter. Animals such as dogs and cats can also be affected by ringworm and the disease can be transmitted between these animals and humans.
Whatever treatment regime is followed, in the treatment of Athletes Foot and/or any related fungal infection, should be continued for at least thirty days after all the symptoms and sign of the infection have disappeared. Care should still be taken during this period, to prevent cross-contamination taking place, where the infection can reoccur or be transferred to another member of the family.
The medical profession will prescribe different anti-fungal drugs, antibiotics and sometimes steroid creams. Some of these drugs are quite effective, however, the more effective the drugs, the more severe side effects, which must then be counteracted with even more drugs.
Tea tree oil, Melaleuca alternifolia, is a product that is commonly used as a first line of defense. In several trials and studies, it has been found that Tea Tree Oil will alleviate some of the acute symptoms. However it will not eliminate the underlying fungal infection, which can cause the fungal infection to recur.
Colloidal silver preparations on the other hand, have been found to be the most effective treatment in the total elimination of any or all of these conditions.
Colloidal Silver Scientifically Supported
One hundred and eighty (180) lab reports and research studies have documented the benefits of using Colloidal Silver. In fact, scientists have found that the Colloidal Silver can destroy 99.9% of all bacteria, viruses, moulds, fungi and other pathogens it has been tested on, within minutes of exposure. These include malaria, common cold and flu viruses, numerous moulds, Methicillin-resistant staph (MRSA), salmonella, E. coli, and streptococcus, among many others.
Colloidal silver’s multi-faceted applications can be used inside the body (internal), as well as on the skin and in the orifices (external). This is especially important when treating a fungal infection, such as athlete’s foot. The Colloidal Silver products available, such as Colloidal silver oral liquid, Colloidal silver ointment, Colloidal silver cream, Colloidal silver spray, Colloidal silver gel, and Colloidal silver soap, can work as a team to eliminate the different forms of the fungi.
The full frontal attack with Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver liquid (Cynthia’s Naturals – Hydro Silver C liquid), taken orally will ensure the removal of ALL rogue bacteria, viruses and fungi, from within the body systems. Follow the instructions as published by the manufacturer.
Wash the affected areas, using Colloidal silver soap. Make sure to dry the area well. Then apply colloidal silver gel, and allow the gel to be absorbed and dry for a few minutes, before putting on clothes (underpants or socks). Repeat this process at least twice daily (will not stain clothes).
Colloidal Silver Gel and Colloidal Silver Cream can be used in areas which will not be covered with clothing or socks, or at night during sleep. These preparations are also very effective as antiseptics in cases such as acne, and other skin conditions and can be used to dress wounds and cuts.
Shoes and Clothes:
In order to prevent re-contamination, as well as to eliminate odours, use Colloidal Silver Spray in the shoes and allow these to air (exposed to direct sunlight for an hour is best), before wearing these again.
While socks and clothing are still wet after they have been washed, spray each piece lightly with Colloidal Silver Spray, before hanging out to dry.
Cynthia’s Naturals can boast about the complimentary range of all the products mentioned here. Rigorous standards of quality control are applied.