One of the most common pathologies of the feet and nails is fungus. Treating this disease takes time, as getting rid of a fungal infection is not easy. In addition to drug therapy, folk remedies are used which, even in advanced cases, have excellent results. In the early stages of the disease, you can cure the infection with natural recipes at home.
What is foot fungus and forms of infection
Ringworm or dermatomycosis is an infectious lesion of the skin of the legs, interdigital areas, fingers, nails. A predominantly fungal foot infection occurs in cultures where it is customary to wear closed shoes most of the time. More often, the disease affects the elderly and people with weakened immunity due to any serious pathology (immunodeficiency, pemphigus, diabetes mellitus, circulatory disorders in the limbs and others).
The causative agents of fungal infection parasitize the stratum corneum of the skin. They produce enzymes that break down keratin. Its cell walls (membranes) contain mannan substances that suppress local immunity and contribute to the development of a chronic inflammatory process in the skin. Among the different mycosis pathogens, the main ones are Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Epidermophyton floccosum.
You can get infected with a fungus in two ways: direct or indirect. The first infection variant offers several versions:
- close contact with a sick person;
- contact with an infected animal;
- by the plants with which the sole comes into contact;
- through the soil in which the pathogen lives.
An indirect route of infection with ringworm of the foot occurs:
- when using household or personal hygiene items for a sick person;
- when using objects that have been touched by an infected animal.
Depending on the type of fungus, the specific symptoms of the disease are differentiated. For example, for a long time dermatophytes do not manifest at all, at this time penetrating deeply into the skin layers or under the nail bed. If the causative agent of ringworm is trichophytosis, signs of infection will be visible immediately - a yeast-like microorganism causes inflammation in the nails and skin, destroying tissue in a short time. It is difficult, even for an experienced dermatologist, to tell what type of infection a patient has without laboratory tests.
In the early stage of the disease, there are common symptoms of foot fungus:
- cracks in the sole;
- itchiness, burning, dryness, peeling of the skin;
- unpleasant odor in feet;
- discoloration and brittle nails;
- shiny surface of the skin;
- thickening and redness of the epidermis;
- increased sole sensitivity;
- the appearance of fluid-filled blisters at the site of inflammation.
Forms of fungal infection
The external manifestations of the fungus depend not only on the type of pathogen, but also on the degree of involvement in the inflammatory process of the skin, nails, and leg hairs. Dermatologists distinguish the following forms of ringworm of the feet:
- Scaly (scaly) form. Redness and peeling of the skin are seen at an early stage. The affected areas have different areas.
- Hyperkeratotic stage. Severe roughness of the sole of the foot, deep cracks in or near the heels. Both legs are affected at the same time.
- Intertriginous form. It is considered the most common. It affects the area between 4 and 5 fingers, develops less frequently between 3 and 4. Cracks are replaced by erosion, which starts to wet, itching, burning occurs. Streptococci penetrate the loose tissue structure, causing pustular inflammation.
- Dyshidrotic form. The watery blisters that appear on the epidermis fuse together. Once hidden, extensive ulcers develop. Ringworm spreads to the hands.
Treating foot fungus with folk remedies
All folk remedies against foot fungus have several functions: destroying the fungal mycelium, eliminating symptoms of inflammation, restoring skin integrity, increasing local immunity, preventing disease relapse. Therefore, decoctions and infusions are used for oral administration, in addition to solutions, ointments and compresses for external use.
Numerous plants, minerals, chemical compounds (copper sulphate) and even gunpowder have antifungal properties - this is proven by scientific research. More than 1000 names of flora representatives have been identified and they have a pronounced fungicidal and antimycotic effect. The composition of such plants includes benzoic and salicylic acid, furocoumarin, novoimanin and other substances that have a therapeutic effect on fungal infection.
Rules and principles of treatment
Before starting to treat foot fungus yourself with folk remedies, you need to consult a doctor to prevent the pathology from developing. It is very difficult to cure ringworm in an advanced way, so if a few days after starting the use of one or the other method of positive dynamics does not appear, a doctor should be consulted.
There are many popular recipes based on the use of natural and herbal ingredients. Home treatment for foot fungus is recommended before bedtime to allow the medicine to take effect. Regardless of which method you choose to get rid of ringworm, you need to follow the basic rule of thumb: take therapy not only until the symptoms completely disappear, but also for some time after that. During therapy, it is necessary to:
- following a low-sugar diet, that is, removing sweet and starchy foods from the daily menu;
- exclude the use of cosmetic varnish, which creates a favorable environment for the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria;
- perform regular iodine treatment of nail plates affected by a fungal infection (with onychomycosis);
- disinfect floor coverings and shoes to prevent relapse.
Footbath for ringworm of the feet
In the early stage of the disease, therapeutic footbaths are very helpful in relieving symptoms. Traditional medicine offers many of the ingredients these treatments are made from. They are decoctions and infusions of herbs (Celidonia, wormwood, yarrow, oak bark and others), vinegar, soda and other components. Fight infection with trays daily, soaking your feet in a freshly prepared warm solution for 15-20 minutes.
The average course of treatment for adults is 2 weeks, but if necessary, the procedure can be done for a longer time. Footbaths not only help to prevent the growth of the fungus, but also to eliminate unpleasant odors, eliminating excessive sweating from the feet. With proper hygiene of the lower extremities, the positive effect will become noticeable a few days after starting treatment. Examples of easy-to-make trays to get rid of foot fungus:
- Take 3 liters of warm water, mix 200 g of sea salt. For greater efficiency, you can add powdered cinnamon (1 tablespoon), a chamomile decoction, or pine needles (250 ml).
- Pour warm water into a bowl, add 50 ml of table vinegar or apple cider and a few granules of potassium permanganate. After the procedure, lubricate the affected skin with tea tree oil.
compresses and lotions
In complex home therapy for ringworm of the feet, it is advisable to use compresses or lotions. For these procedures, celandine oil, garlic, onion, alcoholic tinctures, iodized salt and peppermint are used. Kombucha, pumpkin pulp, fresh burdock leaves are applied to the wounds. The selected substances are crushed, applied in the area between the toes and feet for 40-50 minutes and wrapped in a plastic bag (plastic film). The course of treatment is 1-2 times a day until complete recovery.
Essential oils and natural pastes
Effectively treat foot fungus at home with essential oils and natural vegetables. A tea tree extract (soothes the skin, eliminates itchiness), lemon (strengthens nails, increases local immunity), cinnamon (prevents the fungus from multiplying), rosemary (regenerates tissue) has been shown to be excellent. An effective natural antiseptic lavender oil, which has an analgesic and healing effect, removes ringworm symptoms much faster than other folk remedies.
You can apply the essential oil in its pure form (after an allergy test) or make natural pastes by mixing a few drops with any vegetable oil (coconut, cocoa, olive, jojoba). Manipulations should be carried out 3 times a day for several weeks. If the nails are affected by ringworm of the feet, this treatment lasts until the plaque is completely renewed (several months).
Herbal Decoctions and Tinctures
The popularity of medicinal herbs in the treatment of fungal infections is due to their high efficiency and availability. Herbal medicines are used not only to get rid of the fungus, but also to prevent infections. The main methods of treating ringworm at home are tinctures (infusion of medicinal herbs with ethyl alcohol), decoctions (herbs are heat treated by withering in a steam bath so as not to boil) and infusions (herbs are poured out with boiling water and infused).
The method and duration of therapy depend on the patient's age, concomitant illnesses, and the severity of symptoms. Average duration of use: 2-3 times a day for 14-30 days. The most effective antifungal herbs for treating fungal infections are:
- birch buds;
- cold mint;
- walnut leaves;
- medicinal chamomile;
- Japanese Sophora;
- common juniper.
How to Cure Foot Fungus at Home
Traditional methods of eliminating the fungus have proven to be effective. To forget about ringworm of the feet forever, it is necessary during the treatment and then to properly take care of the foot area. For a quick recovery, you will need:
- dry your skin thoroughly after showering;
- wear only clean, dry shoes;
- don't overheat your legs, avoid sweating a lot;
- in hot climates, wear open-toed sandals;
- wear socks made from natural fabrics with high levels of air permeability and hygroscopicity;
- Always wear personal slippers when showering in a public place.
Useful tools and products in the kitchen
It is easy to find folk home remedies to get rid of fungus. Every housewife, among the utensils available in the kitchen or in the refrigerator, has some kind of cure for ringworm. More accessible:
- Coffee. In this case, the aromatic drink is for external use. Regular freshly brewed strong coffee baths on the feet will help to deal with the condition.
- Garlic. There are many options for using the plant, but the simplest is garlic juice, which is rubbed into the affected tissues. The process is performed with a cotton swab 3 to 5 times a day until symptoms disappear.
- Onion. Fresh onion porridge should be placed in a plastic bag for use on the foot. The edges of the bag should be tied so that the loop does not touch the sole and the leg stays in a makeshift air vapor chamber overnight. As a general rule, 5 sessions are enough to get rid of foot fungus.
traditional medicine pharmacy
If there is no time to look for a remedy for foot fungus at home, an effective medicine of natural origin can be purchased at the pharmacy. Between them:
- Potassium permanganate. The remedy, popularly known as potassium permanganate, is effective in treating ringworm. To get around the problem, it is necessary to apply a compress soaked in potassium permanganate solution to the leg every night until the problem goes away.
- Iodine. The areas of skin affected by the fungus are treated with a 5% alcohol solution 2 times / day. The contraindication for this treatment is the high sensitivity of the skin and individual intolerance to the ingredients.
- Iodinol. In onychomycosis, a blue universal solution is used to soften the nail plate, which has managed to become very thick. Iodinol is used to clean the tissues affected by the fungal infection 2 to 4 times/day.
- Propolis. For the treatment of ringworm, it is customary to use alcohol tincture. You can make a homemade solution by infusing propolis with vodka or alcohol, but that won't affect the effectiveness. For the treatment and prevention of fungi, it is necessary to use a cotton swab soaked in the dye, apply it to the infected area and wait for complete drying 1 to 2 times/day.
- Ammonia. Dilute a tablespoon of the product in a glass of distilled water, saturate the tissue with the resulting solution, wrap the feet, fix with tape and hold the compress overnight.
- Boric acid. For antifungal therapy, you will need a powder, which is sprayed on your feet in the right dose after you spray and put your socks on over the top. The procedure is done every night. Boric acid is left overnight.
Herbal medicine for ringworm of the feet
Some plants are a natural antibiotic, while others have a complex effect on the affected area. For the treatment of ringworm, it is customary to use poisonous herbs, whose ingestion is unacceptable. The destruction of the membrane cells of pathogenic fungi occurs due to the presence of an aggressive plant environment, which leads to a rapid neutralization of the pathology. Potent herbs include:
- black nightshade;
- male fern;
- blackening of the lumbago.
Effective Folk Remedies for Foot Fungus
For ringworm folk remedies to help, the treatment process must be organized properly. Before starting any procedure, you need to vaporize your legs, trim long-grown nails, grind up loose tissue, remove rough, dead skin. Only then can popular recipes be successfully applied. Natural ingredients not only completely destroy the fungal infection, but also return your nails and skin to a healthy appearance. The most effective folk remedies should be discussed in more detail.
An old home remedy for foot fungus is garlic compresses. The effectiveness of this simple and accessible method is due to the composition of the plant. In addition to vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins, garlic contains ascorbic acid, which is harmful to harmful microorganisms. You should be aware that if you use a garlic compress recklessly, it can burn your skin. For this reason, during treatment, it is necessary to strictly adhere to the dosage and duration of therapy. Garlic compress recipe:
- melt 50 g of butter, add 1 head of minced garlic, 2 tbsp. me. coarse salt and mix well;
- apply the resulting mass on sterile gauze in a uniform layer and apply to the affected areas for 1 hour;
- treat it with a compress several times a day, leaving the limbs immobile during the procedure;
- the recommended course of treatment is 1 month.
You can fight ringworm with any essence of vinegar: wine, apple, rice, malt or sugarcane. The principle of action of vinegar is the penetration of its substances into the infected tissues and the destruction of the fungus' cell membranes. Ringworm does not develop under the influence of an acidic environment, as colonies of pathogenic microflora die under its influence. In the initial phase of treatment, a low concentration of vinegar (from 3%) should be used, which gradually increases.
Before being treated with this method, it is necessary to check the infected area of the skin for abrasions and cracks so as not to cause inflammation or chemical burns of the epithelium. If they aren't there, you can start using a vinegar compress:
- stir until smooth 2 tbsp. me. nine percent vinegar, 1 tbsp. me. glycerin and 2 tbsp. me. vodka;
- dip pieces of bandage into the finished mixture and apply to the location location;
- after the dressing has dried, moisten the dressings in the medicine mixture again;
- the use time of the compresses must not exceed 1 hour / day;
- course duration - 2 weeks.
Home treatment of foot fungus with baking soda gives good results. At the first suspicion of fungal infection, it is necessary to use sodium bicarbonate (sodium bicarbonate), which reduces the acidity of the epidermis. In addition to the antiseptic effect, sodium bicarbonate softens the skin and nails, allowing medication to penetrate more easily after use. Under the influence of alkalis, the affected tissues become more susceptible to the action of any other treatment.
In ringworm, the soda can be used dry, diluted with water and in combination with other natural or unnatural ingredients. With onychomycosis, the soda paste will be more effective. To prepare it, you will need:
- 3 tbsp. me. soda mixture with 1 tbsp. me. water until obtaining a thick and homogeneous mass;
- then, apply soda paste on the affected nail, avoiding contact with the skin;
- then, the dough must be acidified with freshly prepared lemon juice, which will immediately react with the soda;
- the solution should be removed 5 to 7 minutes after application and wash your feet with soap;
- the procedure is performed daily before bedtime until the nail condition improves.
tea tree oil
In dermatology, tea tree oil has been used for over 12 years, as it has established itself as a highly effective remedy for skin pathologies. The natural composition of the essential liquid determines its cytotoxic activity, that is, its ability to fight pathogenic microorganisms. Treatment options vary depending on whether the infection is from the skin or nails.
You can cure the nail plate if you drop 1 drop of tea tree oil onto the affected area every day. It will take about 2 months to fully recover and strengthen the nail. It is best to use a diluted extract for single treatment. For this, it is necessary to take vegetable oil (3 parts), mix with the essential oil (1 part), shake and apply to the skin 2-3 times a day for 1, 5 months. It is best to regulate the course of treatment with a doctor. Clove essential oil can be used as an analogue.
In the fight against fungal infections, hydrogen peroxide helps, being considered the best antiseptic with pronounced antibacterial effect. The drug is widely used in medicine and at home for the treatment of ringworm. Hydrogen peroxide does not accumulate in the body, therefore the development of any allergic reaction is excluded. With ringworm, bathing is effective, helping to soften the affected epithelium for the subsequent flow of doctor-prescribed antifungal gels, ointments, creams, or sprays.
Taking a hydrogen peroxide foot bath at home is easy:
- pour warm water into a basin and add a 3% preparation at the rate of 100 ml per 2 liters of water;
- lower feet into a container and hold for 20 minutes;
- so that the solution does not cool down, it is necessary to add small amounts of boiling water;
- after the pumice procedure, remove the softened tissue;
- remove moisture with a sponge and apply the prescribed medication to the surface of the skin;
- bathe daily until condition improves.
Powdered soap or tar
For more than a dozen years, people at home have been cured of a fungal infection with the help of tar or washing powder. By observing the rules for treating the affected skin, you can quickly get rid of the itchiness and unpleasant odor of your feet. To speed up tissue healing, you need to combine soap with salt or iodine. The following recipe will help improve blood circulation in tissues:
- steam your legs in warm water before going to bed;
- then lather them thoroughly with washing powder;
- treat soapy feet with a towel and then with a pumice stone;
- then dry, smear with cream;
- treat areas of infection with a birch tar fungus;
- soak for 1, 5 hours, then remove with cotton;
- put on clean socks and do not take off for 2 days;
- repeat the procedure once a week until the problem is eliminated.
The main advantage of treating ringworm with salicylic ointment is its high antifungal activity. The drug kills pathogens, prevents their reproduction, eliminates the keratinized layers of the epidermis and rarely causes side reactions. With ringworm of the legs, apply salicylic ointment in the form of compresses. On softened skin or nail plate, the drug at a concentration of 5 or 10% is applied in a thin layer, after which the leg is placed in a plastic bag and the socks are placed on top. The procedure lasts 1 hour 2 times / day for 10 days.
As already mentioned, propolis for ringworm is effective as a tincture. The alcohol component also has a positive effect on pathogenic microorganisms. It is possible to prepare an ointment with an apicultural product, which should be rubbed into the affected areas overnight for 10-14 days. Your recipe is simple:
- mix 20 g of crushed propolis (without wax) and 100 g of hawthorn oil;
- heat the ingredients in a bain-marie for 30 minutes;
- cool the mixture, wipe it with a cotton cloth and use as instructed.
Celandine and Chamomile
Medicinal herbs, especially chamomile and celandine, are believed to clear a fungal infection more quickly. It's better to use them together. To achieve a quick effect, it is necessary to drink chamomile broth or tea (to increase overall immunity) and bathe with celandine infusion. You should know that fresh juice from the latter is burning, so it should be used in its pure form with extreme caution.
For infusion, crushed stems of a dried plant are needed. In a cup of boiling water you need to prepare 1 tbsp. me. celandine, leave for 1 hour, then dilute with a little hot water. With ringworm, the solution is used for therapeutic baths, which are done every day for 15 minutes. As a rule, this treatment alleviates the early stage of the disease within 14 days.
The flowers of this plant contain a large group of biological substances with a strong antimicrobial effect. Especially quickly, calendula infusion deals with onychomycosis. Before using the medicine, the nails must be steamed and processed. After mechanical cleaning of the nail plate from the fungal plaque and dead tissue, it is necessary to moisten a cotton swab in the infusion and apply it to the affected area. The procedure is done daily for 4-8 weeks. It's easy to prepare the product at home:
- Pour a cup of boiling water over 1 tbsp. me. dried or fresh marigold flowers;
- insist on not taking a double boiler for 10 minutes;
- cool, strain and store at a temperature not exceeding 4 °C.
Attention! The information presented in the article is for informational purposes only. Item materials do not require self-treatment. Only a qualified physician can diagnose and make recommendations for treatment, based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.