If you've been experiencing intense pain, redness and itchiness between your toes, you're no doubt on a serious hunt for some powerful home remedies for Athlete's foot. The foot fungus can wreak havoc on your life — whether you're truly an athlete or not — and can even lead to nasty blisters and sores. Fortunately, Athlete's foot treatment isn't as complicated as it might seem. A few DIY remedies you can easily whip up at home are usually enough to get rid of the annoying fungal infection in just a couple of weeks when used on a daily basis. The best Athlete's foot home remedies include:
Tea Tree Oil
Organic tea tree oil is a natural antifungal that can clear up an existing Athlete’s Foot infection and keep it from recurring. Add 40 to 50 drops of tea tree oil to a footbath filled with water and soak your feet in the solution for 10 minutes. Afterward, thoroughly dry the feet and then apply a few drops of the oil directly on your feet for added antifungal protection. Be sure to use a fresh batch of your tea tree oil solution for each foot soak to eliminate the chance of reinfecting yourself.
This herb is commonly used as a natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Cut slices of a fresh garlic clove and place the slices between your toes, keeping them in place with tape or socks. You can also add fresh garlic into the foods you eat, stew garlic tea or use garlic supplements — but note that these methods will take longer to clear up your infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt
A mixture of 1/2 cup of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with two tablespoons of Epsom salt or Himalayan salt in a foot bath filled with warm water will create an acidic environment which fungus finds unfavorable. Soak your feet in this solution for 10 minutes and also use it to wipe your feet after getting out of the shower. Be sure to thoroughly dry your feet afterward, as Athlete’s foot thrives in moist conditions.
Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is considered nature’s wonder drug, as it has natural antifungal properties and can easily destroy fungal microbes. Use a clean cotton swab to apply the oil on your feet several times a day to help clear up an Athlete’s foot infection.
Filled with beneficial probiotics that help keep fungi to a minimum, plain yogurt can help clear up Athlete’s foot. Simply apply the yogurt to the affected area, allow to dry and then rinse with water. Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly afterward — and only use plain yogurt, not the flavored kind that is loaded with sugar and will actually feed your foot fungus.
Ginger has natural antifungal properties and can help clear up your infection when stewed into a tea. Add about an ounce of fresh, chopped ginger to a cup of water and boil. Allow the solution to cool to a comfortable temperature and then soak your feet for 10 minutes a day or apply the tea to your feet twice daily until the infection clears.
Oregano is also a natural antifungal herb. You can mix about four ounces of fresh or dried oregano leaves in a footbath filled with warm water and soak your feet for about 10 minutes, two times daily.
Lavender oil not only smells delightful, it has natural antifungal properties, as well. Mix three drops of the oil with organic coconut oil and massage into the feet several times per day.
If the above home remedies for Athlete's foot don't seem to help cure your foot fungus infection, there are several OTC medicines available on the market to help clear up Athlete’s foot, including Micatin, Lamisil (a terbinafine powder), and calendula ointment (an herbal medication used to clear up fungal infections).
Internet research on sites like WebMD, Medicinenet and Medscape will show you that curing Athlete’s foot is not an easy process and the fungus has a tenacious ability to recur after treatment. If home remedies do not clear up your Athlete’s Foot infection within a couple of weeks, or if you have diabetes or develop a fever, you should see your doctor right away. Your infection could be serious, or it could be a different type of infection like psoriasis.
How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot
Athelet's foot is extremely contagious, but you can prevent your chances of developing the foot fungus with just a few simple precautionary steps:
- Wearing sandals or flip flops in public areas like locker rooms, gyms and swimming pools
- Keeping your feet clean and dry at all times
- Keeping each toenail cut short and straight across, and using separate clippers for infected nails
- Wearing socks made out of moisture wicking fabric and being sure to change your socks every day
- Wearing breathable, comfortable shoes that you rotate so as not to wear the same pair two days in a row
- Using powders like cornstarch or baby powder on the feet to keep them dry
How to Reduce the Chance of Spreading Athlete’s Foot
In order to reduce the spread of Athlete’s foot, be sure to clean bathtubs, showers, bathroom floors, sinks and counters with an antiseptic or Chlorine bleach, which is a disinfectant that kills mold and other types of fungi. You should also avoid sharing clothing, socks, shoes, towels and bed linens until the infection has cleared up. For extra precaution, you may want to encourage your family or housemates to apply some of the above home remedies, as they all have the ability to prevent Athlete's foot from forming as well as the ability to treat it.