Getting Rid of Athlete’s Foot

Iew, really, a post about Athlete’s Foot? Yeah, well, not so nice, but a really common problem, particularly if you use a pool or public showers at the gym. And then once you’ve got the infection, you bring it home, infect everyone in your house and it just goes around in a cycle. I used to get lots of infections, but now hardly any at all.  So here’s my three-pronged system for getting rid of Athlete’s Foot!

First, gather your supplies:

  • foot powder for treating tinea infections
  • anti-bacterial/anti-fungal foot spray (if you want something natural, try Bosisto’s Tea Tree Spray)
  • a good laundry powder (again, I like Bosisto’s EucoFresh laundry concentrate. It’s natural and it’s antiseptic.)
  • bleach
  • a spray bottle with diluted bleach (approximately 1 part bleach to 2 parts water)
  • anti-bacterial/anti-fungal body soap/wash (for something natural, try a soap with Sandalwood oil)
Next, banish the infection from your environment! (Get ready for it, you’re about to do a lot of laundry.)
  • First, scrub your shower and bathroom floor with bleach. I find letting the area soak for at least an hour before rinsing makes it even more effective. In fact, wash any floors that you track along barefoot. Usually the path from the bathroom to the bedroom. If it’ll take bleach, you might as well do it! I understand that won’t work so well for carpets… steam mops are handy here if you’re really worried about the infection or have a fully carpeted home.
  • While waiting for the bleach to work its magic in the bathroom, put all your bath mats and towels through the wash. Use the good laundry detergent, and use bleach or another antiseptic cleanser if your detergent isn’t clearly labelled for the job.
  • Use your foot powder and treat every single item of footwear in your house. Slippers, sandals, flip flops, your stuff, and everyone else’s. Even if you haven’t worn the shoes in ages, or don’t think you will for ages, just do it, why risk it? And everything will smell a lot better next time you do wear it!
Finally, kill the infection and prevent re-infection:
  • When you shower, use that anti-bacterial soap and wash thoroughly in between your toes. Don’t just assume that the soapy water rinsing off your body will actually be effective. Get in there and wash your feet properly.
  • After you shower, use a separate towel to dry your feet, and dry thoroughly in between your toes. This is really important. Don’t let them air dry, or use the carpet as a towel.
  • Throw this foot towel in the wash immediately, don’t reuse it (remember, you’re going to be doing a lot of laundry!)
  • Wash your bath mat as often as you are willing to. Daily is ideal, but often unrealistic. Every couple of days is great.
  • Spray your feet with your foot spray and put on clean, dry socks
  • Use that other spray cleaning bottle to spray the bottom of your shower with diluted bleach, and then just leave it. Encourage everyone in your home to do this, as they will probably have already caught the infection before you knew you had it. In other words, you usually have it before you notice it.
  • Powder the shoes you are going to wear before each use
  • If you do use public showers, try to remember to bring a pair of clean flip flops and shower in them. Have them as your dedicated ‘shower shoes’ and rinse them with diluted bleach when you get home.
Be prepared to continue doing this for about 3 to 5 days after the infection appears to have been cleared up. Often there will be a flash re-occurrence, and it usually really stings! This silly little fungus likes to go down fighting!
I hope you find this guide practical and helpful, should you ever suffer from the problem!

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