These days, people are living, working and playing in closer proximity to each other than ever before. Nearly all of us frequent locker rooms, exercise studios, pools, hotels and shared living spaces, where the hidden spores causing athlete’s foot are prevalent, but invisible.
Because of the widespread nature of athlete’s foot, and the difficulty in treating it, it’s no wonder people are turning to cannabis to see if they have better results treating this embarrassing condition.
Certainly, there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) is an effective antifungal agent.
What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Tinea pedis is the medical term for athlete’s foot, a fungal condition that generally affects the areas around the toes. A fungus that thrives in moist, warm conditions, like sweaty running shoes, causes the contagious condition. It can also be spread by direct contact—from walking on a floor where the fungus is present or by using an infected towel.
Many myths about athlete’s foot continue to spread. Some people believe that showering or being painstakingly clean will prevent athlete’s foot, but unfortunately, this just isn’t true.
Symptoms of athlete’s foot usually begin with mild itching or burning in between the toes, often most noticeable just after you take off your shoes. A scaly rash can spread from the toe spaces to the sides and tops of the feet. And unfortunately, it can spread to your hands if you touch feet that carry the infection.
If left untreated, athlete’s foot can also infect your toenails, and this requires much more extensive medical treatment.
Athlete’s foot is especially troublesome for diabetics and others with compromised immune systems. If the fungal spread isn’t treated, it can sometimes lead to fluid-filled ulcers, which can become infected. These ulcers pose yet anotherserious problem for folks with other health issues.
Athlete’s Foot Is Hard to Treat
Most people begin addressing their athlete’s foot with over-the-counter antifungal creams or powders that are placed into shoes. But you have to start these types of treatments in the very early stages of infection or your chances of successfully getting rid of athlete’s foot are slim.
Many people suffering with athlete’s foot must resort to prescription medications, even steroids. And it’s not unusual for those undergoing weeks of prescription treatment to have the fungal infection return shortly after completing a course of medication.
High-Quality CBD Products May Help Ease Athlete’s Foot
Besides the National Institute of Health’s study highlighting CBD’s potent antifungal properties, another study points to the effectiveness of cannabis as an effective alternative to antibacterial medications, like Nystatin.
Because there are CBD receptors in the skin, using topical CBD products to treat skin disorders is gaining in popularity.
It’s important to seek out full-spectrum CBD products. This is because full-spectrum CBD products contain all of the plants’ chemical components, which work in conjunction with one another to help the body address a wide range of imbalances, including ones that lead to infections.
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How to Use CBD to Treat Athlete’s Foot
Because of the nature of athlete’s foot, it may take some time to see beneficial results. It’s important to experiment with products and document your progress.
One of the most difficult aspects of following a CBD protocol is that the plant extracts work differently for everyone. This can cause frustration, because there truly isn’t a one size fits all dosage when it comes to taking cannabis for specific health conditions.
That said, when you first start to take CBD, it’s helpful to note:
- The type of product or products you’re taking
- How many milligrams of CBD are in each dose
- How often you use it
- How you consume it—orally or topically, for example
- How the product is working
Here are a few other helpful tips for when you start your CBD regimen to combat athlete’s foot:
- Take a photo of your feet before starting on CBD, so you have a baseline to measure your progress.
- Give your topical products at least a week before making a decision about their effectiveness.
- With oral products, you’ll want to start with the lowest dose possible, but you may need to increase your dose to get the benefits you’re looking for.
- Because there really isn’t an unsafe upper limit for CBD consumption, don’t be afraid to gradually increase your dose week by week to land on the dose that’s most effective for you.
Using a combination of oral CBD with topical salves, creams or spray gives you a double-shot of cannabinoids to help improve the condition of your feet. Meanwhile, you can try immersing your feet in CBD-infused soaks.
Since there are virtually no negative side effects when consuming CBD products, it’s an ideal complement alongside other types of treatment. Anecdotal reports indicate that fungal infections tend to reappear if those afflicted discontinue the use of CBD products. So, keep an eye on your symptoms, even if they’ve decreased.
More Tips for Avoiding a Repeat Bout of Athlete’s Foot
Those who’ve been successful using CBD for athlete’s foot suggest following a long-term protocol to help reduce the possibility of the infection coming back. You should always visit your dermatologist or family doctor if any outbreak of athlete’s foot doesn’t respond to treatment.
Along with continuing to use CBD as part of a daily wellness regime, here are some other suggestions to help keep the fungus at bay:
- Always wear shower shoes in public showers, gyms, around public pools or in your hotel room.
- Keep your feet as dry as possible by wearing moisture-wicking socks, and limit the use of cotton or other natural-fiber socks that tend to keep moisture near your feet.
- Thoroughly dry your feet after bathing, especially between the toes.
- Don’t share shoes or towels, especially if someone in your household has athlete’s foot.
- Switch out your shoes frequently if possible. Wash removable insoles and replace them frequently.
- Avoid getting pedicures if your salon doesn’t use footbath liners and sterilized instruments.
- Always wash your hands after applying any medication to your feet.
Photo credit: Mikael Damkier/Shutterstock.com
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