Athlete’s foot is a contagious skin disease that causes itching, scaling, and sometimes blisters. This disease is caused by a variety of molds and parasitic fungi (Tinea pedis). To incubate, these fungi require warm environment like the inside of shoes, clothes, body heat, sweat, etc. Fungal infection may be acquired in many ways, such as – walking in an infected locker room, using an infested bathtub, sharing a towel with the infected person, scratching the infected area of the body, wearing contaminated socks or shoes, etc. Symptoms of the disease include itching, stinging, and burning on the soles of the feet, blisters on the feet that itch, cracking and peeling of the skin on the feet and between the toes. If you notice any of these symptoms, try these simple home remedies to get rid of athlete’s foot before the condition gets worse.
Home Remedies for the Treatment of Athlete’s Foot
1. Baking Soda
It neutralizes the pH level of the skin, helps remove moisture from the feet, relieves the itch, helps absorb odor and also eases the burn between your toes. Add a little water to one tablespoon of baking soda to make a paste. Apply the paste on the affected area of your foot. Let it rest for 15 minutes, and then wash off with normal or lukewarm water. Repeat daily for several weeks to prevent the fungus from spreading.
The microorganisms in the yogurt keep the fungus in check. Simply, apply it directly on the infected areas. Let it dry, and wash off. Thoroughly pat dry the foot.
Note – Avoid flavored yogurt.
3. Olive Oil and Olive Leaves
Grind a few olive leaves into a paste. Dab some cotton balls in it, and apply the mixture on the affected area. Cover the area with a piece of soft cloth. Leave it on for half an hour. Wash off with normal to lukewarm water. Pat dry thoroughly.
Afterwards, apply olive oil as olive oil helps to tenderize skin.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Add 1 cup of vinegar to a bucket of water (half-filled). Soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes every night.
- Alternatively, make a solution of 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup water, and apply it directly to the affected areas with a cotton ball.
- ACV can also be used directly. Dab on the affected areas using a cotton ball.
- Mix equal parts of apple cider (or regular) vinegar and ethyl alcohol. Apply it over infected area. (Avoid using too much alcohol).
5. Corn Starch
Dust corn starch on the affected area before wearing socks or shoes. It will keep your feet moisture free.
6. Oregano Tea
Add 4 ounces of oregano leaves into water (1/2 to 3/4th bucket) to cover your feet. Soak your feet in this solution at least 2 times daily. Prepare it fresh each time in order to keep it fungus free.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties. It can be applied directly to the feet. Apply it on clean feet with a cotton ball to lessen the effect of infection.
8. Sesame Oil
This can be applied in a same way as coconut oil. You can apply it regularly or on alternate days to coconut oil.
Several studies have shown that a person’s own saliva is helpful in curing athlete’s foot. Apply it all over the affected area, early in the morning.
Add 8 to 10 pieces of cinnamon sticks to four cups of boiling water.
Let the solution simmer for five minutes on low heat. Immerse your feet in the solution for about half an hour. Thoroughly pat the skin dry afterwards.
Wash your feet with a solution prepared by adding the juice of 2 lemons to a mug full of water. Do this thrice, every day, to cure the infection.
12. Epsom Salt
Add 1 teaspoon Epsom salt to a cup of water. Boil it for 10 minutes. Clean your foot thoroughly, and then soak them in the prepared mixture.
This is one of the most effective methods to get rid of athlete’s foot. Apply Vicks on infested areas of your feet daily, before hitting the hay.
Blend two onions and extract the juice out of it. Apply the juice on affected area after properly washing it off with an antifungal soap. Leave it on for half an hour. Wash the area with lukewarm water. Dry thoroughly afterwards.
15. Castor Oil
After washing and drying the feet, apply castor oil. It helps eliminate athlete’s foot completely. Do this every day as many times as required until you notice a major difference.
16. Mild Bleach
Soak your feet in mild bleach water each night or alternate night, for 10 minutes. Add a little amount of bleach and be very careful in using this method, as too much of it can actually burn your skin.
17. Immune Boosting Food
Include some immune boosting foods in your diet. Low immunity can make you more susceptible to a fungal infection. You can include broccoli, red meat, scallions, etc.
Tea contains tannic acid which helps dry the foot. It also kills the fungus that causes athletes foot. Take 6 tea bags (or 3 tablespoons loose tea) and add it to half a bucket of lukewarm to warm water. Soak your feet for 20 minutes and pat dry thoroughly.
19. Colloidal Silver
It is a suspension of submicroscopic silver particles. To treat fungal infection, spray a little amount of the solution on your feet and let it dry. Wash afterwards. Do this every alternate day.
Note: Be very careful about the amount of silver. Long-term and over use of silver preparations can lead to argyria (a condition in which silver salts deposit in the skin).
It has antifungal properties. It is known to treat several types of disease. To cure Tinea, you can use it in the following ways:
- Apply garlic juice on the affected area, twice a day.
- Another method is to rub a clove of raw garlic on the fungus, daily at night. Wash with cold water in the morning.
- Alternatively, put some crushed garlic on the infection and cover it with a cloth or a sterile gauze dressing. Leave it for an hour and wash with water.
- Mix a few drops of olive oil and crushed garlic cloves. Apply over the infected area and wash after half an hour.
Put some diluted vodka on cotton balls. Apply it on the infected skin twice daily.
Note: If the infection is severe, you can directly apply the vodka.
22. Chaparral and Whiskey
Mix six tablespoons of chaparral (dry) and a quarter of whiskey or wine. Boil the mixture until reduced to 3/4th. Let it cool down for a few hours (4 to 5 hours). Soak your feet in this solution. Repeat daily.
23. Raw Honey
Rub honey over your foot and keep it overnight. Cover the feet with a clean, washed cloth. Wash off in the morning. It will not only cure athlete’s foot, but also keep your foot soft.
24. Vitamin E
Take a few vitamin E capsules and cut it with the help of scissors. Take out the constituent and apply it on your foot twice daily.
Ginger is known for its antifungal properties. Prepare a sauce by adding a little water and roughly chopped ginger. Now put the sauce on medium heat and add a cup of water. Let it cook for a few minutes. Allow it to cool and apply twice a dayto cure athlete’s foot.
Herbal Remedies to Get Rid of Athlete’s Foot
26. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac is known for its antiseptic and antifungal properties. You can simply boil some water and add a handful of Indian lilac leaves to it. Soak your feet in this water for 20-30 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can apply Indian lilac oil or cream on the affected area, twice a day.
27. Grapefruit Extract
Grapefruit extract is one of the effective methods to get rid of Tinea. Add one tablespoon of it in 4 liters of water, and soak your feet in it for 15-20 minutes.
Herbal tea foot bath prepared by adding thyme and chamomile tea (in equal portions) in boiled water helps treat the infection. Soak your feet in the mix for 20 minutes.
Extract juice from this plant and rub it on the infected area every day. It is one of the best athlete’s foot treatments.
30. Tea Tree
This oil has antisepticproperties. It not only helps destroy the fungus in infested areas, but also prevents it from spreading to unaffected areas. Add 40-50 drops of organic tea tree oil to a bath tub or a big bucket and immerse your feet in it for 10 minutes. Thoroughly dry the feet.
- Alternatively, massage a few drops of the oil directly into the affected area.
Calendula has both antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is known for the treatment of wounds and skin condition. It is also very helpful in treating athlete’s foot infection. Rub calendula ointment on the affected areas, twice daily after washing feet properly.
Lavender not only smells wonderful, but also helps treat Tinea. To prepare massage oil, just add three to four drops of lavender oil in one teaspoon of vegetable oil (you can use any lotion/ body butter instead of oil). Apply it all over the infected area, before going to bed.
33. Aloe Gel
Mix one part aloe gel with three parts tea tree oil. Rub this solution onto the infected area twice a day, for six to eight weeks.
You can also directly rub the gel over the affected area.
- Keep your feet dry.
- Wear socks to absorb sweat.
- Wash your socks every day.
- Use antifungal powder on your feet.
- Wash your feet twice or thrice daily.
- Keep your shoes outside in the sun to dry them.
- If you notice redness, increased swelling, bleeding, or if your infection is not clearing up, see your healthcare professional.
- Wear canvas shoes or slippers so that air can enter your foot.
- Don’t use harsh bleach to treat athlete’s foot.
- Don’t stop using the antifungal cream when your symptoms subside. Continue using it for at least for a week or two.