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7 Easy and Effective Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot

Updated on July 21, 2017
isvayah profile image

Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia) for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.

How Can You Get Rid of Athlete's Foot Fast?

Many people sometimes suffer from the infection, athlete’s foot, or in medical terms it is known as tinea pedis. You get a nasty, itchy, red rash between your toes. This fungal infection is caused by various fungi, such as Trichophyton rubrum, which thrive in the moist conditions that can occur between your toes. You can pick up these fungi from the moist floors of showers or locker rooms, or by sharing towels, etc.

The fungus, if left untreated, can spread over the foot, onto the nails, and may even infect other areas of the body. Wash your hands thoroughly with hand soap and warm water if you touch the infected areas, so you don’t spread the fungus to other parts of your body or to other people.

Athlete's foot, in medical term it is called tinea pedis, is an infection caused by fungi that appears between the toes.
Athlete's foot, in medical term it is called tinea pedis, is an infection caused by fungi that appears between the toes.

7 Powerful Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot

So, how to treat athlete’s foot at home? However, despite your best efforts, you may still get an attack. You will then need to consider the question of how to cure athlete’s foot. Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies for athlete’s foot, at least one of which should work for you.

If the symptoms persist after treatment, however, see a qualified doctor, specialist, or pharmacist, since if you don’t cure the fungal infection, you risk spreading it to others. Also, you may eventually suffer complications, such as bacterial infection.

Here are some remedies for athlete’s foot that may bring all the relief you need:

#1 Remedy: Baking Soda

Baking soda is a long-standing athlete’s foot natural alternative remedy. It is a mildly alkaline substance which tends to inhibit fungal growth.

How to make a baking soda paste for treating athlete's foot?

  • Make a sticky paste using baking soda and a little water.
  • Spread it over the affected areas.
  • Leave it on for at least 15 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with clean water, and then dry your feet thoroughly.

#2 Remedy: Yogurt

Find a brand of plain yogurt that contains a live culture (it should be indicated on the label). The live culture is very essential if you want an effective remedy for athlete’s foot, since you need these good microorganisms in the yogurt to inhibit the athlete’s foot fungus. Most sugary commercial yogurts will only feed the fungus.

How to use yogurt for treating athlete's foot?

  • Spread the yogurt over the affected areas.
  • Leave the yogurt there for at least half an hour, then rinse it off.
  • Carefully dry your feet before putting your socks and shoes back on.

#3 Remedy: Apple Cider Vinegar

Active substances of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has significant anti-fungal and pain-killing effects. In addition, the substances also help ease swelling and inflammation.

How to use Apple Cider Vinegar for athlete's foot remedy?

  • Mix one part of ACV with two parts water.
  • Use this mixture as a footbath, keeping your feet in there for at least 20 minutes.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Repeat three times a day, continuing a few days after symptoms disappear.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a popular folk remedy for the treatment of medical conditions, including athlete's foot.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a popular folk remedy for the treatment of medical conditions, including athlete's foot.

#4 Remedy: Cinnamon

A Japanese scientific paper, published in 2007, had concluded that cinnamon oil was among the most effective essential oils for the inhibition of athlete’s foot fungi, which were cultured in the laboratory. Further work on human patients is needed to confirm these results. However, it probably can't to give the oil a try.

You can try making a cinnamon “tea,” which can be used as a foot bath.

  • First break up cinnamon sticks, boil them in water for 5 to 10 minutes, then allow the broken cinnamon to soak in the water for another 40 minutes.
  • Check the tea is cool enough, then use it as a foot bath, keeping your feet immersed for around 20 minutes.
  • Rinse with water, then dry your feet thoroughly.
  • Repeat every day, stopping a few days after all the symptoms have gone.

Cinnamon essential oil is another way to use cinnamon. Spread it on the affected areas. A warning word: Try a small area of the skin at first, since hypersensitivities or allergies to cinnamon oil occasionally occur.

#5 Remedy: Cornstarch

Cornstarch works by removing moisture from the affected areas, thus inhibiting the fungus. It’s best to heat the starch gently in a low oven to slightly brown it before use (don't overheat, around 5 minutes at 325˚F should be enough). The oven will remove most of the moisture present in the starch, so that it will readily absorb more moisture than if untreated. Allow the starch to cool, and then immediately dab it onto your feet. Leave it on your feet all day, so that it keeps them dry.

#6 Remedy: Garlic

Garlic has significant antifungal and antibacterial properties. A good scientific study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2000, found that ajoene (a sulfur-containing compound found in garlic) was an effective treatment for athlete’s foot.

You can crush garlic and mix it with water to give a foot bath. After about 20 minutes, rinse and then dry thoroughly. Alternatively, mix crushed garlic with olive oil, and then apply the oil directly to the affected areas using a cotton swab or cotton ball. Carry out the treatment three times a day.

Garlic has a powerful natural antiseptic property, making it one of the most popular home remedies for the treatment for athlete's foot.
Garlic has a powerful natural antiseptic property, making it one of the most popular home remedies for the treatment for athlete's foot.

#7 Remedy: Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is isolated from an Australian tree, Melaleuca alternifolia. This tree is not related to the bush that gives the beverage tea, which is Camellia sinensis. Tea tree oil has antifungal properties, making it a useful home remedy for athlete’s foot.

A scientific study, published in 2002, showed that 50% tea tree oil was significantly more effective than a placebo (dummy treatment) in treating athlete’s foot.

Dilute the oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, in a one to one ratio before use. Use a cotton swab to dab the diluted oil on the affected areas. A warning word: Try this remedy on a small area the first time you use it, since allergies to tea tree can occur.

Top 3 Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot by StyleCraze

Most Popular Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot

Remedy
Instruction
Note
Baking Soda
Make a sticky paste and then spread over the affected areas.
Also sprikle baking soda directly into your shoes.
Yogurt
Spead yogurt over the affected areas.
Pick a brand of plain yogurt containing live culture.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Make a mixture and use it as a footbath.
Repeat this remedy three times a day.
Cinnamon
Make a tea and use as a footbath.
Be sure you are not allergic to cinnamon.
Cornstarch
Dab cornstarch onto your feet.
It is best to heat the starch before use.
Garlic
Mix crushed garlic with water and then use as a footbath.
Repeat this remedy three times a day.
Tea Tree Oil
Dab tea tree oil on the affected areas.
Be sure you are not allergic to tea tree oil.
More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

Prevention of Athlete’s Foot

Prevention is better than cure, and there are several measures that you can take to avoid athlete’s foot:

  • Avoid sharing towels, socks, or shoes with other people.
  • Change your socks or pantyhose frequently, particularly if your feet are sweaty.
  • Wear cotton socks.
  • Wear flip-flops, or other suitable footwear, in communal areas, such as locker rooms.
  • Wash your feet every day, making sure you dry them thoroughly, particularly between the toes.
  • Wash your towels and bedding frequently.
  • Avoid tightly-fitting shoes as much as possible. Wear open sandals around the house. You can even wear sandals to work, if your boss lets you.

© 2017 Isvaiyah

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