Summer is the season for family vacations, backyard cookouts and lazy afternoons by the swimming pool. Unfortunately, it’s also the season for increased episodes of athlete’s foot. More time at public swimming pools, campground showers and other bare-footed activities means you and your family are more exposed to the fungus that causes the infection known as athlete’s foot. If you’ve ever dealt with this tenacious infection, you know it can be a hard one to get rid of. But using coconut oil for athlete’s foot may just make your summer easier.
What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a highly contagious fungal infection that affects the spaces in-between toes and soles of the feet and can spread to the palms, groin and other areas of the body. It causes pain, itching and burning, sometimes severe.
Of course, you don’t need to be an “athlete” to get the fungus. The infection got that name because it’s commonly spread in gyms and shared showers. If someone with the fungus walks barefoot on the floor and another barefoot person walks in the same area, they will be exposed to the infection. Fungal diseases thrive in warm, moist area–like feet that are all bundled up in shoes—which is one reason it can be a challenge to get rid of. In fact, athlete’s foot is easier to prevent than to heal. Take these precautions to decrease your chances of exposure:
- Wear shoes into public bathrooms, showers and around pool areas
- Keep feet clean and dry
- After feet have been washed and thoroughly dried, moisturize with coconut oil for athlete’s foot prevention
- Wear cotton socks and shoes made of natural materials to allow air circulation around the feet
- Don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row, allow shoes to air out for 24 hours
How to Use Coconut Oil for Athlete’s Foot
Over-the-counter creams are available for treating fungal infections, but they can be costly and caustic. Why not use coconut oil for athlete’s foot when you probably already have it in your cupboard? And if you don’t, well it’s time to get some, because coconut oil is not only delicious and healthy, it has so many uses! The lauric acid and caprylic acid in natural coconut oil disrupts the growth of fungal cells, essentially killing them. Caprylic acid is frequently used as an alternative to conventional anti-fungal treatments for athlete’s foot, ringworm and yeast infections.
To treat athlete’s foot, follow these suggestions:
- Use only unrefined organic coconut oil. The natural anti-fungal properties of coconut oil may be destroyed during the heat- and chemical-processing used to refine coconut oil
- Massage a liberal amount of coconut oil into clean, dry feet and cover with cotton socks
- Combine coconut oil with an anti-fungal essential oil for even greater effect. Tea tree, rosemary, lemon, and peppermint are good choices
- Eat coconut oil straight from the jar to help fight fungal infection from the inside out. If you’re not used to taking coconut oil this way, be sure to read our article outlining how to do it. Taking too much of any oil can cause digestive discomfort
No matter what the season, athlete’s foot can make you day miserable. If you’d prefer to use natural products as often as possible, try coconut oil for healing and preventing fungal infections wherever they might pop up.