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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.
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Oils, blends & products recommended:
Oils & Blends: Clear Skin, geranium, lavender, melaleuca, OnGuard, thyme
Essential oils based products:
Also consider: myrrh, peppermintThe 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 or OnGuard after treatment so the fungus is not spread.
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Testimonials (shared by Rob James)
Tamera - Is there any one out there who has had success with getting rid of ring worm. This person has had doctor treatments years ago. One always pops up every few months . He put oregano on it for a few weeks and it burned it off. Now two more have come. Should he try something internal?Stephanie - My first choice would be melaleuca. I know this list is about oils but just as a note, we used black walnut tincture topically before we were introduced to oils and it worked within a few days.
John - I would use geranium, lavender, melaleuca, peppermint or myrrh. The following blend may be useful:
2 drops lavender, 2 melaleuca , and 2 thyme .
Apply 1-2 drops of the blend on the ringworm 3 times a day for 10 days. Then melaleuca with a carrier oil daily until the ringworm is gone.
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Protocols folks recommend for childrenTeresa - I have to share a story. We have a 10 year old daughter that had what I figured was a ringworm type fungal infection. She had oozing spots on her scalp, arms, hands, legs and groin. The doctor gave us a prescription with the ominous warning that it may or may not work, then told us horrible side effects to watch for, including sever allergic reactions, vomiting, and seizures.
I "accidentally" lost the prescription, and we started with a blend of melaleuca and rosemary applied neat to every spot 3 times daily or more. We would alternate with lavender and lemon so her body wouldn't grow tired of one blend. After about 2 days, many of the legions started to crust over and dry out. Most were gone within a week. There are still a few hanging around, but not nearly as many as their were, and we are trying to find an oil or blend that will get rid of the last of these fungus.
I'm so thankful for the oils and the power it gives us to take care of our own families.
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What Science & Research are saying
Layman’s summary:Trichophyton mentagrophytes is the technical name for a common found fungus that is the source of superficial infections on the skin of humans and some animals. It commonly infects the skin, hair, and nails being a frequent causative agent of chronic infection of the feet, nails, and groin. The common names of such infections are jock itch and ringworm.
The study only explored exposing this fungus to the vapors of essential oils and did not explore direct (topical) application. The essential oils tested in this research were clove, geranium, lavender, oregano, perilla, and tea tree (melaleuca). The findings were that they all were effective in killing this fungus. Oregano was the most effective; clove and perilla second most effective; and geranium, lavender and melaleuca third. Further oregano, perilla, melaleuca and lavender were effective in 3 hours while clove and geranium required overnight exposure.
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Original report (from SpringerLink):The vapor activity of oregano, perilla, tea tree, lavender, clove, and geranium oils against a Trichophyton mentagrophytes in a closed box.
Inouye S, Nishiyama Y, Uchida K, Hasumi Y, Yamaguchi H, Abe S.
Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology, 256 Otsuka, Hachioji, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0395, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
The vapor activity of six essential oils against a Trichophyton mentagrophytes was examined using a closed box. The antifungal activity was determined from colony size, which was correlated with the inoculum size. As judged from the minimum inhibitory dose and the minimum fungicidal dose determined after vapor exposure for 24 h, the vapor activity of the six essential oils was ranked in the following order: oregano > clove, perilla > geranium, lavender, tea tree. The vapors of oregano, perilla, tea tree, and lavender oils killed the mycelia by short exposure, for 3 h, but the vapors of clove and geranium oils were only active after overnight exposure. The vapor of oregano and other oils induced lysis of the mycelia. Morphological examination by scanning electron microscope (SEM) revealed that the cell membrane and cell wall were damaged in a dose- and time-dependent manner by the action of oregano vapor, causing rupture and peeling of the cell wall, with small bulges coming from the cell membrane. The vapor activity increased after 24 h, but mycelial accumulation of the active oil constituents was maximized around 15 h, and then decreased in parallel with the decrease of vapor concentration. This suggested that the active constituent accumulated on the fungal cells around 15 h caused irreversible damage, which eventually led to cellular death.
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