Health

Listerine foot soak?

Angela Davis

Sunday, June 10, 2018

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LISTERINE is a common mouthwash generally used in dental care to help prevent gingivitis and tooth decay.

It also has many other uses apart from oral hygiene. One of these is as a foot soak, which is is a growing trend.

People have started to use the product to treat conditions like athlete's foot, fungal nails, and smelly feet. It is thought to help these conditions due to its active ingredients of menthol and thymol.

At present, there has not been a clinical study produced to prove it's efficacy regarding foot care. However, some studies have shown that it can prevent oral fungal infections, especially in people who have compromised immune systems.

How to prepare a Listerine foot soak for a fungal infection

• Fill a basin with one-third Listerine and two-thirds warm water. You can also add a cup of apple cider vinegar.

• Ensure that the feet are submerged.

• Soak for about half an hour.

• Repeat this procedure daily for about two weeks and, hopefully, the fungus will clear up.

Though this is thought to be a relatively safe treatment, those with sensitive skin may exhibit some mild irritation. It is always advisable to do a skin patch test before commencing any new topical treatment.

This treatment is not suitable for children.

It is important to note that any fungal treatment needs to be approached holistically. Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing, especially between the toes. Socks should be cotton-based and changed daily.

Patients should alternate their shoes to prevent the build-up of fungus. Try to buy shoes made of leather rather than man-made materials.

In my opinion, one the most important things to remember is to monitor your sugar intake — fungi loves sugar!

Angela Davis BSc (Hons) DPodM MChS is a podiatrist with offices in Montego Bay (293- 7119), Mandeville (962-2100), Ocho Rios (974-6339), Kingston (978-8392), and Savanna-la-Mar (955-3154). She is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom.

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