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Foot Myths: Don’t Believe the Hype

People have used home remedies for foot ailments for many years. Many of these “cures” are not medically sound. Below are some foot myths, debunked.

Listerine and Vicks VapoRub will cure toenail fungus. The claim is that these chemicals will cure toenail fungus and provide a safe alternative to prescription antifungal pills and a cheaper alternative to topical fungal medications. These chemicals cannot effectively penetrate the skin underneath the nail where the nail fungus is located. Nail fungus should be diagnosed and treated properly by a podiatric physician.

Vinegar can cure foot odor. People often mix a water and vinegar soak to treat foot odor. Vinegar contains acetic acid and may contribute indirectly to reducing foot odor. The most efficient way to kill odor-causing bacteria is by using antiperspirants on the skin of the foot. Antiperspirants reduce the sweating that leads to the bacteria in the first place. So, while a vinegar soak for foot odor may be helpful in an indirect way, there is a better, more effcient solution to this problem.

Aspirin and ibuprofen are good treatments for plantar fasciitis (heel pain). Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatoryy drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen is believed to help with heel pain. However, these medications provide only temporary pain relief and do not treat the underlying condition. Seeking medical attention from your podiatric physician is the first line of defense in treating heel pain.

Source: Footprints Winter 2012/13