Ringworm and Athlete's Foot Symptoms and Treatments
Ringworm is a fungal skin infection, so-called because its red, scaly patches heal from the center outwards, creating a red ring around a normal-colored area. Common sites include the scalp, trunk, pubic area, armpits, and feet, where it is known as athlete's foot. The fungus, tinea, thrives in warm, moist conditions and is very contagious.
- Red patches of skin
- Patches are ring-shaped, around a pale, healing area
- Intensely itchy
- Inflamed skin on soles and between toes
- Turns white and blistered, or flakes and peels off
- Unpleasant odor
Advice would include following a whole food diet, and taking exercise to maximize the flow of oxygen to the skin's surface. Exposure of the lesions to fresh air would be recommended, and hydrotherapy to bathe feet or other affected areas twice daily, as well as poultices and compresses to deliver other remedies.
Vitamins and Minerals
As with Impetigo, whole foods with an emphasis upon antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables will be recommended. A combination of strawberries and fresh dates is recommended by a well-known naturopathic specialist for all skin infections, particularly ringworm - the best way is to juice the strawberries and pulp the fresh dates, then liquidize the date pulp with the strawberry juice because dates have little moisture. Try a combination of 6 oz (150 g) dates and 13 fl oz (350 ml) strawberry juice daily.
Specific supplements include garlic, zinc, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex (especially calcium and pantothenate) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C and vitamin E, the last-mentioned taken both orally and applied to the ringworm as soon as possible after it has appeared. Pollen is believed to boost immunity, and comes in tablet form, or you can take your pollen in the form of Cornish saffron cakes.
Goldenseal kills many infective organisms, including harmful bacteria, parasites and fungi. Practitioners often treat ringworm with a very strong tea made of goldenseal root, then use the powdered root to dust the area after drying thoroughly. Both procedures should be carried out twice daily. For athlete's foot, an infusion of lemon grass is often used as a footh bath. Soak the feet for 20 minutes twice daily and dry thoroughly.
If you are susceptible to athlete's foot, as a precaution take a foot bath twice daily to which has been added 2-3 drops of tea tree oil. To treat attacks of athlete's foot, mix 2 teaspoons (10 ml) soya oil with 2 drops each of geranium and tea tree, then massage this mixture in between each of the toes and around the nails once every day.
Take the following remedies every 4 hours for up to 10 doses: Sulphur 6c for a scalp infection, then Sepia 6c afterwards if no improvement has been noted. If infection is confined to the trunk, take Tellurium 6c.
Other therapies are as for Acne.
Treatment will consist of antifungal drugs delivered in an ointment or cream direct to the area, or in tablet form by mouth.
- Avoid close contact with anyone suffering from ringworm.
- Wash feet at least once daily.
- Wear pure cotton or wool socks and change them daily.
- Dry feet thoroughly especially between toes.
- Wear flip-flops or similar when walking on poolsides or in changing rooms.
- Expose your feet to the air wherever possible; avoid enclosed footwear.
- Seek advice from a pharmacist for early symptoms.
- Your GP will be able to help if simple treatment fails.