Autumn has arrived here in Norway, and with that so has the boots because of the temperature and the rain. With boots comes the risk of athlete’s foot and chafes, so I decided to gather some suggestions to avoid these and how herbs can help cure them if you got them.
If your feet are unhappy, the rest of the body suffers as well.
If your feet often have to put up with a moist environment, like the typical rubber boot, you might find yourself experiencing the effects of foot fungus or athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the foot. It’s caused by a microscopic fungus that lives on dead tissue. There are at least four kinds of fungus that can cause athlete’s foot. These thrive in the warm, moist, cramped and dark environments of conventional footwear.
It usually manifests in the moist areas between your toes, but sometimes also on other parts of the feet. Common signs and symptoms include itching, stinging and burning sensations in the affected areas, sloughing of the skin, open soars.
Untreated, athlete’s foot can potentially spread to other body parts or other people, including family members. If you don’t treat it, you also run the risk of bacterial infections.
- The foot has about 250 000 sweat glands, which can produce up to 250 ml of sweat a day. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to stay dry.
- If the weather allows, walk barefoot or in sandals.
- Change your socks often.
- Use socks and shoes that breathe.
- Wear flip-flops or similar in public areas. Fungal infections of the feet are contagious and can be spread person to person or by walking on contaminated objects and floors.
- Wash your feet daily washing with soap and water and dry them well.
- Repeatedly soak your feet in a footbath with vinegar. Use one part apple cider vinegar to four parts water.
- The use of garlic as a treatment for fungal infections is an old remedy, it can be used for any area affected by fungus.
- Another way to use herbs is to use Thyme, which is another anti-fungal and contains antiseptic properties.
- Add 40 drops of Tea Tree oil to a small amount of water and soak your feet in it for 10 minutes. Dry your feet thoroughly with a towel, and maybe even a hair dryer, to make sure no moisture remains. Place a few drops of Tea Tree oil onto the area.
Chafing occurs when the friction and pressure on a single area of the skin get to be too much. Blood circulation is inhibited or destroyed, and the epidermis separates from the dermis, forming a fluid-filled blister. If the blister continues to grow, pierce it and it developed further until it becomes a wound. The pain of blisters is often caused by the skin being worn away and the wound is left unprotected. Moisture from sweat makes the risk of chafing greater and the pain worse.
Make sure your shoes and socks are dry and fit properly, and that the shoes are worn in. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to stay dry.
New and unused footwear has all the qualifications to give you blisters. When buying new boots, it is necessary to let the boots mould themselves to the foot before using them for long walks.
The first time you use your boots, dampen a pair of socks and wring them out. Walk one to two kilometres with the boots and set them to dry. Remember to walk on rough terrain as well, and not just on flat roads. The boots need to be moulded for this type of environment as well.
Be aware that the larger and stiffer the boots are, the more likely they are to give you problems. You also need to be aware that you may have bought a pair of boots that simply are not made for your feet. Then you should exchange them or sell them before they cause you too much pain. You could end up with worse than chafes. Bad shoes can cause back problems.
If you don’t take good care of a chafe, you could get an infection.
- You can use the membrane on the inside of an egg as a form of artificial skin replacement, to make the chafe less painful.
- Apply a lot of Aloe Vera Gel and let it sit for 10 minutes. This should soothe the irritated skin.
- As for herbs, an infusion made from Marigold petals can be used to bathe the area. This will help it heal faster. Other herbs that can be used as washes are Thyme, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Southernwood, Chamomile, Bay, Myrtle, Horseradish, or Sage.
- Apply tea tree oil or Honey to the affected area to promote healing by preventing infection, and forming a barrier against moisture.
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