12 Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot

Essential Oils foot fungus

Skin fungus infections are a common problem. While minor, they can be painful and annoying and sometimes embarrassing. The worst offender is the infamous athlete’s foot, caused when fungal spores combine with sweaty feet, which can be stubborn to get rid of. While there are many other athlete’s foot home treatments, using essential oils for foot fungus works best as the oil can penetrate deep below the skin, curing the problem fast. So to find out about the best essential oils for athlete’s foot, keep reading.

Essential Oils for Foot FungusWhat is Athlete’s Foot?

skin fungus - athletes footAlso known as tinea pedis, athlete’s foot refers to a fungal infection on your toes and feet.

It is quite common in humans and occurs in about 15% of the world’s population. [1]

Fungi such as Microsporum and Trichophyton epidermophyton, etc belonging to the dermatophyte family are responsible for this infection.

Despite its name, the fungus that causes athletes foot can spread to nails, hands, groin (jock itch) and even under the armpit.

Athlete’s foot symptoms

  • Itchiness
  • Inflammation
  • Burning of skin
  • Flakiness of skin
  • Formation of scales
  • An unpleasant odor

There are a number of over-the-counter anti-fungal ointments, lotions, and creams to treat this infection. These medicines are costly and evidence is mounting that fungal resistance is growing.

Using essential oils for athlete’s foot is more convenient. Essential oils are the essence of different flowers and plants. [3] They have been used to cure multiple skin disorders like inflammation and eczema.

Being rich in anti-fungal properties, these oils can get rid of stubborn athlete’s foot infections easily. If the fungus has spread to your toenails, you can use essential oils for toenail fungus as well.

Athlete’s foot causes

The closed, warm and damp spaces of your body are more likely to get infected by this infection. Sweaty feet, where there are narrow spaces between your toes, the heels, and the soles of your foot, are highly prone to athlete’s foot.

The fungal organisms make their way into the body via small cuts or cracks in your skin. As soon as they settle in, the fungi start feeding on keratin, a protein substance present on the top of your skin. With time, they grow and reproduce, resulting in a fully grown infection. [2]

Men are more susceptible to infection, especially those who have sweaty feet and wear tight-fitting shoes.

The fungus can also be caught by sharing linen or clothes etc with an infected person. Walking barefoot in public bathing areas is a common transmission mechanism for the infection.

essential oils for athlete’s footEssential Oils for Athlete’s Foot

  1. Oregano Essential Oil

oregano oil for athlete's footThis essential oil is obtained from the dried leaves of the oregano plant via steam distillation. With a sharp, camphoraceous smell, oregano oil is rich in antioxidant, antiseptic, and antifungal properties.

Oregano oil contains almost 71% phenols all of which are strong antiseptics.

Additionally, it has carvacrol and thymol, two major anti-fungal components that destroy fungal species in a matter of days. [4] [5]

How to use oregano oil for athlete’s foot

To use oregano oil for athlete’s foot, mix three drops of it in one tablespoon of coconut oil. Rub this mixture on the affected areas three times a day.

  1. Tea Tree Essential Oil

tea tree oil for athlete's footTea tree oil comes from a native Australian plant called Melaleuca. This oil is highly versatile due to 92 active ingredients in its composition. Using tea tree oil for athlete’s foot is a great way to get rid of this infection fast.

Tea tree oil is the best essential oil for sweaty feet as this oil dries out the skin as well as killing fungus, removing the environment for the fungus to grow.

The anti-fungal properties of this oil can also heal wounds, treats acne, and other skin disorders. [6].

How to Use tea tree oil for athlete’s foot

You can use tea tree oil for athlete’s foot in a number of ways. Add three drops of this oil in one tablespoon of almond oil. Use this solution to massage the affected foot thrice a day.

You can also make a tea tree oil spray for athlete’s foot by mixing a few drops of this oil and vodka in water. Spray this solution twice a day to kill the fungus.

Alternatively, try a tea tree oil foot soak. The recipe is simple:

  • Take a half cup of apple cider vinegar
  • Add eight drops of tea tree oil
  • Soak your feet twice a day for 30 minutes.
  1. Peppermint Essential Oil

peppermint oilThe use of peppermint oil dates back to the ancient Egyptian civilization. This oil is loaded with vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and has strong anti-fungal properties. [7]

Additionally, it contains methanol which provides your feet with a refreshing treat.

Using peppermint oil for athlete’s foot will help get rid of itchiness and decrease the unpleasant smell as well.

How to Use

To use peppermint oil for athlete’s foot, mix two drops of peppermint and tea tree oil each in two tablespoons of coconut oil. Use this blend to massage the infected foot twice every day.

  1. Lavender Essential Oil

lavender oil for athlete's footIf you want to get rid of foot fungus and get a refreshing feeling at the same time, consider the health benefits of lavender oil for athlete’s foot.

Lavender oil is popular for its strong therapeutic properties. In addition to being well-scented, it is a strong anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial agent. [8]

How to Use lavender oil for athlete’s foot

To use lavender oil for athlete’s foot, add four drops in a mild skin lotion of your choice. Mix it to form a paste and apply it on the affected area. Massage for a few minutes.

Repeat this process every night before you go to bed.

  1. Lemon Essential Oil

lemon oilLemon essential oil has a pleasant citrus aroma and a strong purifying effect. It has a lot of medical benefits owing to its antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. [9]

Lemon oil can boost your digestive system, strengthen the immunity, and improve the respiratory processes. For skin infections like athlete’s foot, it can help repair the damaged skin from the inside.

How to Use

Add 8 drops of lemon oil and olive oil in 1 liter of lukewarm water. Soak your feet inside this solution for twenty minutes. Repeat this remedy every night for healthy feet.

  1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

eucalyptus oilEucalyptus oil is distilled from the leaves of the famous eucalyptus tree. With compounds like eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol, eucalyptus oil can be a great way to get rid of fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. [10]

As a bonus, it also has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to improve your health.

Eucalyptus oil for athlete’s foot must be your preferred choice because it can moisten the dry feet and get rid of flakiness.

How to Use

Add a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil in two cups of water. Place this solution in a spray bottle and use it on your feet twice a day. Spray it in your shoes to protect your feet from fungus spores that remain.

  1. Ozonized Olive Oil

olive oilOzonized olive oil refers to cold pressed or extra virgin olive oil mixed with an ozone injection. Ozone is a reactive gas which stabilizes itself in the oil and enhances its quality and purity.

This type of olive oil contains 50 percent more saturated oxygen in its composition. It can stay on your skin for 12 hours more than the ordinary olive oil. [11]

Ozonized olive oil has antifungal properties and a high amount of antioxidants. It can, therefore, help in releasing the toxins out of the skin and cure foot infections.

How to Use

Place a few drops of this oil directly on the affected area. Massage the area for a few minutes. Repeat this process twice a day for 2 to 4 days.

  1. Grapefruit Essential Oil

grapefruit oilGrapefruit essential oil comes from the seeds, pulp, and the peel of the grapefruits through distillation. It is rich in antioxidants, nutrients, and has antibacterial effects.

A substance named Limonene is a primary constituent of grapefruit oil which can disinfect the skin and can help in regenerating it

How to Use

Use one tablespoon of jojoba oil and add five drops of grapefruit oil in it. Mix it well and use it to massage the infected foot for 10 minutes. Use this remedy thrice a day for a fast recovery.

  1. Myrrh Essential Oil

myrrh oilMyrrh refers to a resin that is derived from the myrrh tree. The distillation of these resins produces the famous myrrh essential oil with its characteristic woody flavor.

Myrhh has held an important role in medicine since the ancient times. It has potent antifungal, antiseptic, analgesic, and astringent properties which can help treat athlete’s foot. [12]

Using myrrh oil for athlete’s foot can purify and moisten your feet. At the same time, it helps new tissue to grow and provides a youthful skin to your feet.

How to Use

Take one liter of warm water and mix 8 drops of myrrh oil in it. Soak your feet in this solution for about 15 minutes. Repeat this process two times a day to get rid of athlete’s foot.

  1. Sunflower Essential Oil

sunflower oilAs the name suggests, sunflower oil comes from the seeds of sunflowers via cold pressing.

Oleozon sunflower oil is particularly beneficial for skin infections such as athlete’s foot due to its antifungal properties. [13]

How to Use

Mix 3 drops of sunflower oil in any carrier oil of your choice and use it to massage the affected foot. Repeat this process every day for a fast recovery.

  1. Thyme Essential Oil

thyme oilThyme essential oil is popular for its disinfectant and antiseptic properties. With powerful agents like carvacrol, thyme oil can boost the immune system and fight infections including athlete’s foot.

It has been known to possess antifungal activity against molds present in damp areas and can be equally effective in treating skin fungi. [14]

How to Use Thyme oil for athlete’s foot

Add a few drops of thyme oil into any carrier oil of your choice. Use this mixture to massage the affected foot for a few minutes. Repeat this remedy once daily to get rid of athlete’s foot fast.

  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil for athlete's foot

Our final essential oil for athlete’s foot is extra virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil is used extensively for foot fungus treatment in tropical climates.

And for good reason.

Coconut oil contains caprylic acid which is a natural fungicide. It disrupts the natural metabolism and growth of fungal cells.

Indeed, caprylic acid is often used in over the counter anti-fungal creams and can treat vaginal yeast infections to cure ringworm.

How long does it take for coconut oil to cure athlete’s foot?

Coconut oil will cure an athlete’s foot infection within a few days to a week. How long it takes will depend on how extensive the infection is and how deep the fungal spores are under the skin.

How to Use Coconut oil for athlete’s foot

  • Find some organic, unrefined coconut oil. Processed coconut oil loses much of its anti-fungal properties.
  • Apply the oil onto clean dry feet.
  • For added potency, try combining coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree or oregano oil.


  • Eat healthy to boost your immune system
  • Wash your socks and towels every day with hot water
  • Wash your feet every day to maintain proper hygiene


  • Do not share your towels, socks, or shoes with anyone
  • Do not walk barefoot in public areas
  • Do not put on socks or shoes while your feet are still wet



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