Sitting musing in the bath this morning - coconut oil in hot water - I suddenly realised that I haven't had athletes foot for ages. It was a regular problem and thinking about it, since I started the paleo / primal eating regimen, I don't think it has occurred!
Will this be lack of grains, or coconut oil in the bath water, or eating coconut oil or what?
Of course, I realise that mentioning this is tempting fate and I'll probably be cursing in a day or twos time....
I have had toenail fungus since I was a teenager, but rarely had athlete's foot, though I'm sure I picked up this loathsome infection from the school gym. For years it was just in one middle toe but eventually it had spread to all of them except the two big/great toes. I underwent two rounds of treatments with the generic equivalent of Lamisil and now it's gone except in the middle toe where it all started. However since going paeleo in January it looks a little better. I used to get so-called jock itch all the time but not any more. I'm hoping the toenail thing will eventually clear but they grow so slowly that it may take a year to notice much change. A few of the cured toenails are permanently distorted. Oh well.
A few people criticized me for taking such a potentially-toxic medication for something they thought was largely cosmetic, but having it it more than a few toes is painful, smelly, and cutting the infected nail often caused the whole thing to shatter and bleed, so it wasn't mere vanity though that certainly was a factor. I don't think going paleo alone would knock out such a chronic infection esp. given that the little bastards feed on keratin and aren't dependent on carb intake, unlike Candida, but who knows, maybe over a few years the change in body chemistry might have an effect; as I mentioned I no longer get jock itch, and the fungi responsible for that and toenail infection, ringworm, etc are all closely related so it's not unfeasible for a paleo diet to help clear them out.
I guess I need to EAT. MOAR. COCONUTZ.
Lauric acid in coconut is a known anti-fungal
I don't use it externally, but use it daily internally and have seen same results. Previous small case cleared up when I went paleo, haven't seen even a hint since
Excessive soap usage changes the natural (neutral) acidity of the skin. This creates an oppurtunity for fungi.
Not using soap restores the natural acidity and protection of the skin.
Also i would say that, depending on your personal particular intake of carbohydrates, fungal things like athlete's foot are less common with us groks. Heavy carbohydrate intake (especially the starch in the SAD) is, I believe, a major cause of candida overgrowth, manifesting in things like athlete's foot. When eating mostly fats and proteins, with supplemental carbs (and those usually in veg form, rather than starch) you are literally starving any candida yeasts that are in your system. They need food and that food is carbohydrate. Starve it and it dies. Also, like everyone else said, it seems that coconut oil has "anti-fungal properties." Though to be completely honest, although ive read that many many times, i have never come across the more in-depth, detailed explanation of those properties. I believe it, i just dont have the science or explanation for it. -ben
I can't speak to the whys and wherefores, but after going low-carb for 6 months or so, my seemingly permanently itchy little toes quit itching. I was still deodorant-soaping everything in my daily shower, at that point the only change was my diet.
Some other external treatments to consider, if diet alone doesn't change the pH of the skin enough to get rid most of the fungus:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Virgin unrefined coconut oil
Raw & unfiltered honey
Some combination of them might work too, if you feel like making a lotion out of these items. If it starts working, bleach your bath, and put your washable shoes in a washing machine too before using them again. Make sure the rest of your sheets/shoes/socks are also clean, or you'll get fungus again eventually. Fungus can live a few years without food to eat in these items, so there's always a danger you will get it back.