Calendula, also known as “pot marigold,” is a widely known, versatile, and bitter, pungent herb known for its stimulating effect on the senses. Often it is used to rejuvenate and invigorate tired bodies and minds. It has been used to remedy cuts, scrapes, and other minor skin wounds and irritations. Calendula increases circulation, supports the immune system, and even provides respiratory support. Not only does calendula lessen the chance of infection it’s also resistant to fungus.
Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot fungus is picked up in warm, damp places such as public pools, showers, or locker rooms. It is a contagious, persistent ailment caused by fungal growth on the feet. While this infection may be found on any area of the foot, often the most affected area is between the toes, where it is especially warm and moist.
Athlete’s foot may first be an itchy red rash, typically beginning between the fourth and fifth toe. If the infection is allowed to spread and worsen, the skin may become soft and extremely sensitive to the touch. In the most severe cases, the edges of the afflicted area will become white and the skin can peel away, creating a milky discharge. Large cracks may develop in the skin as the infection advances, making the body vulnerable to additional infections. It is possible for the infection to be transmitted to other parts of the body by excessive scratching, tainted bedding or contaminated clothes. Sufferers with severe forms of athlete’s foot may also contract what is known as “moccasin foot,” a rash that covers the bottom of the foot in the pattern of a shoe. The soles of the feet may become thick, rough and scaly.
Visiting a traditional doctor when afflicted with athlete’s foot may result in a prescription, either oral or topical, that can be used to combat the problem. However, these medications can be costly and may come with undesirable side effects, so it is beneficial to try one of many natural remedies known to help return good health to your skin.
Calendula can make a substantial difference in the overall health of skin that is infected with tinea pedis. Because it is not soluble in water, a tincture made from calendula can be an effective remedy for athlete’s foot. Simply rub the infected area of the foot with calendula and not only will it work to destroy the organism that has caused the athlete’s foot, it also has a slight calming effect, which serves to relieve the painful itching that often accompanies the condition. Please note that it is wise to maintain clean skin by gently cleansing the skin twice daily with at mild soap, especially prior to a calendula application. Do not scrub or vigorously rub the skin as this typically irritates the afflicted area and may spread the infection. It is always recommended that the infected skin be thoroughly dried after cleansing to discourage new fungal growth.
There are no known negative experiences associated with calendula. It may be ingested; however using it topically is often preferred. Although calendula is much more gentle than many chemicals used for athlete’s foot, it may irritate sensitive skin, especially around the eyes and vaginal area. Before using this product it is wise to do an allergy test by swabbing some of the calendula on the inner arm. If the skin becomes red, swollen, or itchy, do not use on other parts of the body.
Be proactive against the risk of fungal infection by wearing waterproof sandals or shoes in public showers, locker rooms, and any other warm damp place that may host tinea pedis. Keep your feet dry, especially between the toes. Ensure that the environment in your socks is inhospitable to fungal growth by making sure that there is no moisture present. Socks that are made of cotton, wool, or other natural materials allow feet to breathe and remain dry. If your feet sweat, see that your socks remain clean and dry, even if this means changing socks during the day.
Choose shoes that are well ventilated and give them a chance to dry out before wearing them again. It is also vital to immediately address athlete’s foot at the first sign to reduce the discomfort.