Gym class, swimming, locker rooms, play – getting back to school can put your kids soles in the path of some contagious foot ailments. Here is the skim on the three most Common. Of course we gardeners can from time to time encounter the same.
Athlete’s foot / tineapedis– that red, scaly and itchy infection – there is not a single culprit here in fact there are a variety of fungi that can cause athlete’s foot and you don’t even need to be athletic, it is contagious and easily picked up bare foot at the gym, pool or table top dancing at the weekend- it affects the sole of the foot and the skin between the toes but can spread to other places.
Garden spa – both thyme and oregano contain the antiseptic and antifungal phytochemical thymol – release it in a hot water infusion and make a foot soak. Fennel seed tea is also antifungal.
Kitchen spa- a rub of raw garlic can kill off fungal spores. Apple cider vinegar and salt in a foot bath is soothing and also antifungal.
Planter warts develop in the sole of the foot and sometimes on the toes. They start as a black puncture mark but you won’t often catch them until they become a hard bump – easily mistaken for a callus until they grows out with a ‘cauliflower appearance’, altering colour to a brown shade. Black dots are often visible in the centre these are the blood vessels feeding it.
Garden spa – calendula oil and willow paste. Vitamin A in calendula oil helps disrupts the warts cellular development and the salicylic acid removes layers and helps shrink it.
Verruca – A verruca is a plantar wart with all the appearance of small cauliflowers – often missed or dismissed as corns – you can tell the difference by the presence of petechiae (black dots) and the potential of the verruca to alter the natural pattern lines or striations in the skin of the area affected – corns won’t . Verrucae are contagious so treat with expediency.
Garden spa – while euphorbias have a traditional utilization in burning off warts and killing fungal infections – in this manner I would restrain as their sap can be irritant to all skin. Dandelions secrete a milky sap when plucked which is reputed to remove warts, corns and verruca when applied over several weeks too.
One of the best treatments is willow – the salicylic acid undermines the fungus and exfoliates infected skin – use in footbaths, as poultices and even the blitzed leaf in a little apple cider vinegar is good as a compress. OTC treatments contain salicylic acid.