Question: I find some slight cuts on my toes which are painful at times and the area around those cuts has become black in color. Kindly suggest me some home remedies for the same.
Answer: The signs and symptoms appear to be due to the fungal infection or Tinea pedis in your toes. It is one of the commonest fungal infections on feet and toes. This disease is more prevalent in tropical countries, especially in summer and monsoon. Men are frequently affected than women. The fungus grows in the layer of epidermis (upper layer of skin) in warm and moist areas.
The primary site of infection is mostly between two digits. The disease may then spread to sole and even the dorsum of feet. Anyone can suffer from teniea pedis but it is commonly found in people who wear closed and ill fitting shoes for long hours and people who use community showers and walk bear foot on area surrounding swimming pool. These are the areas where fungus thrives.
Symptoms Of Tinea Pedis
The skin of toes are first to be affected. In the beginning rash develops, which is itchy and scaly. There is white membrane covering a red, glazed and cracked skin.Several cracks appear between the digits. Flakes of skin may fall off from the infected site. There is intense itching and burning and sometimes oozing from the site. As the skin becomes cracked and fissured, there is risk of secondary bacterial infection.
Pain is concomitant symptom when infection is present. When the condition remains untreated, it can spread to sole and on the side of foot. Due to burning and pain patient is unable to wear shoes and other footwear. Intense itching can lead to scratching and bleeding from the affected site.
Causes Of Fungal Infection On Foot
Tinea pedis or fungal infection of foot is contagious. The fungus has tendency to survive for long time in warm and moist areas even after leaving the host. The fungus may enter through cuts and bruises on feet of non infected person. The mode of spread can be while walking barefoot from the side of swimming pool, or while taking community shower.
Wearing fit and ill fitting foot wear may lead to excessive sweating. This may increase the risk of tenia pedis infection.
The risk of tenia pedis is much more in patient suffering from diabetes and other diseases where the immune system is compromised.
As compared to younger generation, elderly individuals tend to be more affected; this may be due to their low immune status.
Natural Remedies For Tinea Pedis
- Garlic has properties to kill bacteria and fungus. Shoes and socks must be sterilized with garlic dusting powder.
- Tea tree oil is recommended by many naturopaths. It is valuable natural anti-fungal agent. Apply tea tree oil on the affected site. Mix few drops of tea tree oil in a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil. Apply it on the cuts and affected lesions.
- Aloe vera gel is also soothing and has antibacterial properties. Apply it daily before you sleep. This will allow aloe vera to get absorbed in the skin.
- Grape fruit seed extract also has anti-fungal properties. Apply it over the painful toes for faster relief.
- To ease the pain, use soothing cold compresses. It lessens inflammation, itching and dryness.
- Soak your foot in saline water. It provides an unappealing atmosphere for the fungus and lessens excess of sweat in the area.
- Prepare a paste of baking soda and apply it over the painful fungal infection. Rinse and dry the area after 10 minutes.
- Wear shoes that are comfortable. Avoid wearing plastic footwear.
- Eat fruits containing Vitamin C, and minerals, and vitamin B complex as these substance help to boost body immunity.
- Avoid eating sweets, cakes and pastries. Control your diabetes if you are diabetic.