When your foot goes fungal, there’s a huge range of treatments available over the counter; but you could just rub an onion on your toes…
Every area of medicine and healthcare has its quirky myths, with ‘wive’s tales’ providing all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas for home treatments. One of my personal favourites came from the builders who claimed WD-40 cures arthritis (yes, read that sentence again…).
Fighting fiction and finding fact isn’t always easy, but when it comes to one of the most common foot conditions – Athlete’s Foot – I can happily bust some myths about the best ways to treat the contagious fungal infection.
Before we talk about any treatments, it’s worth noting that if suspect you have Athlete’s Foot and you suffer from diabetes or have a weakened immune system, you should talk to your GP first.
Myth #1: You should just pee on your feet…
For the sake of your carpet, please don’t do this! Whilst there’s a small amount of evidence to suggest that the urea in your urine could be effective against the fungus causing Athlete’s Foot, in reality the urea content of your wee means you’ll probably need HUGE amounts of the stuff to even begin to combat it. End result? Wet feet and strange looks from your friends and family!
Myth #2: Wash your feet
This really isn’t true – good hygiene clearly has its benefits for your entire health and wellbeing, but even the cleanest feet can become breeding grounds for the fungus. Once you’ve got a fungal infection, it’ll take a little more than soap and water to treat the infection, unfortunately. But it is good practice to keep your feet clean – and make sure they’re dry to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi!
Myth #3: Rub an onion on those toes!
If you’re conscious about foot odour, keep your onions off your feet and in your food. A classic wive’s tale, there is zero proven benefit to using an onion on fungal infections, despite a common misconception that onions have anti fungal superpowers (they don’t). If you do choose to rub onions on your feet, bear in mind you might end up making things worse.
Myth #4: Essential oils aren’t so essential after all
Whilst the lovely aromas of the essential oils can be appealing – as well as their natural provenance – there really isn’t any proof that the oils (like tea tree et cetera) can provide any effective treatment for fungal conditions like Athlete’s Foot. They do make a lovely, relaxing foot soak however!
So how do you treat Athlete’s Foot?
Really, the best treatment is using over-the-counter or prescription medications. They’re usually the most effective and rapid treatments and used in conjunction with a consultation with a professional podiatrist can help you identify the best course of treatment for your condition – everyone’s feet are very different.