Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot, various types of ringworm, and jock itch are all fungal infections of the skin.

Athlete’s foot.  Athlete’s foot is caused by a type of fungi called dermatophytes.  There are three types of athlete’s foot.  In any of the three types of athlete’s foot, especially if the fungal infection causes open sores, an added complication of a simultaneous bacterial infection may occur.  The three type are:

·   The most common is the between the toes (most often the fourth and fifth toes) and is accompanied by peeling or cracked skin with burning and itching.  Tight shoes and socks with a warm, damp environment enables the fungus.

·   Trichophyton rubrum fungus causes moccasin type athlete’s foot.  In this case it usually begins with soreness of the feet then the sole of the foot can become dry, thick, and scaly.  In difficult cases the infection can move to the toenails.

·   The least common, known as “jungle rot” is caused by the fungus Trichophyton mentagrophytes.  Symptoms include a sudden development of liquid filled blisters commonly on the bottom of the foot but may also be on the top.  Secondary reactions to the fungus can cause a wave of blisters elsewhere on the body, arm, chest, sides, or fingers.

Of importance to essential oils users is that in any athlete’s foot problem the primarily infection is a fungal infection but in difficult situations it can include a bacterial infection.  Both need to be addressed.

Ringworm.  Tinea capitis and tinea corporis are the medical terms for ringworm of the scalp and ringworm of the body.  Both are fungal infections of the top layer of the skin and the only thing in common with a worm is the circular shape.  They can begin in a localized area and spread in a circular fashion even with the center region healing as the infection spreads outward.

Besides the characteristic red circular rash there may also be blisters and it is usually accompanied by itching.  Ringworm of the scalp, common among children, can also leave bald patches on the head.  The infection can be spread from person to person if clothing is shared or contact is frequent.  Dogs can be a carrier as well.

Jock Itch.  This is another type of fungal infection known as tinea cruris.  Again a red, itchy rash forms, sometimes is a ring shape.  This is usually in moist warm areas of the body, hence the name, as athletes or overweight people will have this rash in the genital, inner thigh, or buttocks area.



Suggested Oils to Use

Geranium, Lavender, Melaleuca, Thyme

Also consider: Cypress, Myrrh, Peppermint

Suggested Ways to use

The most common oils mentioned for these types of fungal infections are Melaleuca, Oregano, Thyme, and the blend ClearSkin to address the infection itself.  Concurrently, applying Lavender soothes and helps relieve itching.  Finally, Geranium is an excellent oil for skin disorders and healing.

A protocol suggested is to make the following blend and apply topically.  Mixing up a 10 day supply initially would be wise.  The amount typical for one application would be:

·   1 drop Lavender

·   1 drop Melaleuca

·   1 drop Thyme

·   Therefore, 30 drops of each blended together would provide the 10 day protocol.

Apply 2-3 drops of this blend topically on the area of infection 3 times a day for 10 days.  Follow this with Melaleuca (may be mixed 3:1 with a carrier oil) for 30 days to assure the fungus does not return.

If you are treating someone else it is a good idea to cleanse with Melaleuca after treatment so the fungus is not spread. Also consider giving your feet a sun bath. Sunlight or UV rays often kill fungus rather quickly.