Smorgasbord Health A-Z of common conditions – Athlete’s Foot

smorgasbord A - ZThere is nothing quite as embarrassing as having smelly feet. There is a billion pound industry built around foot care, and large proportion of that is down to the sales of foot deodorants. Many of which mask the smell but do nothing to cure the condition.

smelly-feetAthlete’s foot is the common name for the problem since it is associated with locker rooms, communal showers and swimming pools.  However, anyone can get Athlete’s foot as it is a fungal infection and very easy to pick up if you share the same space with someone suffering from the condition. Certainly sharing socks or shoes with someone else is not always a good idea.

You can also develop the fungal infection following damage to the foot or toes or by not washing and drying your feet and between the toes carefully after bathing or showering. Also if your feet sweat a lot and you wear enclosed shoes for long periods of time your risk increases.

The problem becomes more difficult to eradicate when it spreads to your toenails and sometimes to your hands and fingernails.

Other causes of fungal infections include an overgrowth of Candida Albicans (which is a fungal infection) in your gut that compromises our immune system and also can enter the bloodstream when the cells change shape and escape the intestines. The elderly and those who have been chronically ill can also find that their immune system is unable to prevent the fungus taking hold. (check out the posts on Candida here:

There are a number of over the counter products that say that they will treat Athlete’s Foot but this is one of those health issues that requires your participation in curing it.

First and foremost invest in flip flops that you can use in public areas where feet play a prominent role!  Never share anyone else’s socks and shoes and this applies in particular to bowling alleys….If you play regularly then an investment in your own shoes is a good move. If you have to wear shoes that other’s have worn before you I suggest you wear an anti-fungal barrier cream, or as I do a Tea Tree lotion or oil rubbed into my feet and toes.

If you are suffering from Athlete’s Foot, then three times a week soak your feet in warm salty water for about ten minutes. Carefully dry your feet, especially between the toes, and make sure you keep that towel separate from everyone else.

Then separate your toes individually and sprinkle some ordinary baking powder between them. Keep them apart by using small wads of cotton wool and relax for half an hour.

I have tea tree oil on hand for a lot of health issues and certainly I have found that when I was walking several miles a day, in very hot weather, that applying tea tree between the toes and then around the whole foot certainly helped clear up any minor fungal infections.

Letting your feet out of jail often is a good thing and particularly in winter where your feet might have been enclosed all day and then slipped into those cosy fleece lined slippers! A perfect environment for fungus.  I wear flip flops in the house summer and winter and that certainly helps keep them free of infections. Also if possible stick your sneakers in the washing machine and dry outside in sunlight.. you can also rub some tea tree into the innersoles, particularly around the joints near the toes.

 As far as nutrition is concerned


  • Good old garlic does not only keep vampires away.. A clove a day can also help boost your immune system and prevent fungal infections.
  • You also need to look at how much sugar you have in your diet as fungus are not into other fungus.. they thrive on sugar.
  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fat, moderate wholegrains and certain fruits.
  • Keep hydrated and also make sure you use a good quality skin lotion as over dry skin can crack, especially around the heel areas and let in infections.
  • You might consider taking Echinacea drops daily for a few weeks as that might help boost your immune system.
  • Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties and is also super hydrating. Whilst I have only recently started using it in my porridge and cooking… I have used a coconut oil and tea tree oil combination on my skin.

Image of kipper feet – Pinterest.

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have found useful… your feedback is always appreciated.  Sally