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Itchy Feet in the Heat? It Could Be Athletes Foot.

Toes – the quintessential balancers of our frame, and perhaps one of the most unsung here’s of our anatomy. Toes bear our weight and are on the ground 75% of the time when we are walking. These exceptional podiatric digits do a lot, but more often than not they are only really brought to our attention when something goes wrong with them. One of the most common ailments to strike toes is athlete’s foot. Despite the name, athletes foot, is not concerned with feet winning medals and nor is it just sports people who acquire this foot ailment.  In fact, it’s estimated that up to 25 percent or 1 in 4 will develop athlete’s foot at some point in their life.

What is Athlete's Foot?

Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is caused by parasitic fungi - a microscopic organism that lives off dead skin cells.  The most common athletes foot causing fungi culprits are trichophyton rubrum, epidermophyton floccosum, and trichophyton interdigitale. Moreover, the warm, dark and sometimes moist foot area is a like luxury hotel resort to these fungi this causes them to thrive, and often spread throughout the foot.

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?

Sufferers are likely to feel a burning and stinging sensation between their toes, usually beginning at their 4th and 5th toe.   Followed by scaly, peeling and cracked skin appearing between the toes.  This can cause blisters which in some causes lead to secondary bacterial infection.  Often, the fungus spreads along the sole of the foot causing hot burning feet, dry cracked skin and an unpleasant odour.  In more severe cases, the fungus can spread to nails, causing them to become thickened and discoloured. 

Who is at Risk of Athletes foot?

Studies are inconclusive as to which specific groups of people are at risk to athlete’s foot.  Some research indicators men over 60 years of age are more at risk, other research argues athlete’s foot is more common in ages 30-60 of both sexes. Those with weakened immune systems and diabetes are, however, more susceptible.

How can Athlete’s Foot be Treated?

Antifungal creams, ointments, gels, and sprays are available without a prescription from the drug store/ pharmacy. If the problem persists even with over the counter treatment, it is then necessary to visit a doctor for a clinical diagnosis and antifungal prescription tablets. In terms of natural treatment options, studies have found that natural remedies including apple cider vinegar, castor bean oil, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil are also effective in combating the fungi.

How can Athlete’s foot be Prevented?

Remember your mom nagging you to always dry between your toes?  Well, she was right.  After showering, bathing or swimming, drying between toes is important as fungi love moisture. Wear socks and footwear made with natural breathable materials, which are moisture-wicking, nylon and other polyesters make feet sweat more, and this moisture serves to help feed the fungus. Athlete’s foot is also highly contagious, therefore if someone in the household has it, ensure not to walk barefoot in the home and do not share towels. In public pools, showers and locker rooms, always wear sandals.

Giesswein Top Products for Athletes Foot

Eucalyptus Wood Sneakers

Made from the pulp of the antifungal eucalyptus tree, our Wood Sneakers are breathable and airy, which helps to cool hot and stressed feet. Meanwhile, the foot is encased in the natural antifungal material of eucalyptus.

Bamboo Socks

Bamboo is natural fungal and breathable. Our sustainably made Bamboo Socks have a soothing silk like feel to help treat and ease symptoms.

Eco Slides

Made from seaweed with a super flexible upper, Giesswein Eco Slides are great for public bathing, and they make a funky alternative to traditional slippers.

Wool Sneaker

As light as 120 paper clips and crafted with ultra-smooth merino wool.  The Giesswein Wool Sneakers lets feet feel airy and the lightness of each step is a comfort for distressed feet.

Merino Runner

The classic Merino Runner is not only breathable, but its footbed is infused with naturally antifungal castor bean oil. By encasing your foot in moisture-wicking merino wool and walking on a footbed infused with castor bean oil, troublesome fungi don’t stand a chance!