If you’ve been affected by this common fungal infection you’ll know how irritating and painful it can be. Athlete’s foot is never welcomed, although thankfully there are natural ways you can treat athlete’s foot, and prevent it.
The condition is caused by the Tinea pedi fungus, which loves damp and warm places. This is why athlete’s foot usually occurs between the toes or the fingers, on your toenails, or on your feet. The condition is characterized by white scaly patches, redness, and itching. You are most likely to pick up athlete’s foot – it is highly contagious – from public swimming pools, gyms, public showers, and locker rooms.
Find out more about how to prevent athlete’s foot and how to get rid of the itching if you already have the condition.
Preventing Athlete’s Foot Naturally
Make it less likely you will suffer from athlete’s foot by wearing shoes and flip flops in gyms and changing rooms. Make sure that your toes and feet are completely dry before you put on socks. Change socks if they become sweaty and wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe. Try sleeping in bare feet with your feet above the covers as this also gives your feet the chance to dry out.
But if you fail to prevent athlete’s foot, don’t panic. Try these natural remedies to ease the irritation.
11 Ways to Treat Athlete’s Foot
1) Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has strong anti-fungal properties that will kill the infection in the affected areas as well as stop it spreading. Bathe your feet in some warm water with 40 drops of tea tree oil added. Soak feet for 15 minutes and then thoroughly dry your feet and apply a few more drops of the oil directly to the toes and feet. You can also try mixing tea tree oil with aloe vera gel and rubbing this into the area.
2) Calendula Oil
Calendula oil is used in creams and ointments to help relive inflammation and prevent and treat fungal infections. Use this on the feet or between the toes.
You may not like the sound of this one, but apparently it really works. Put some crushed garlic in the affected area of the foot – usually between your toes. Put on socks and leave it for the day. The allicin in garlic prevents the athlete’s foot fungus from growing.
4) Plain Yogurt
Apply live, plain yogurt to the areas affected by the fungus, allow it to completely dry, and then wash it off. The live bacteria in the yogurt help to kill the fungus.
5) Neem Oil
Use neem oil directly on the feet to kill the fungus and other organisms that cause athlete’s foot and other foot hygiene problems. Use a little oil on a clean cotton wool ball and make sure it is dry before dressing.
6) Oregano Oil
You can buy oregano essential oil to apply to the feet to get rid of the fungal infection, or you can make your own remedy with oregano leaves placed in warm water for a foot soak. Lavender oil is another good oil with antifungal properties. You can massage this into the affected area or use it in a foot bath.
7) Corn Starch
Corn starch may not stop the feet from itching but it does remove the moisture from the affected areas. Applying corn starch to the feet can also help if you suffer from foot odor.
8) Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, the unprocessed, organic type, has antifungal properties and you can use it on your feet to relieve the itching and prevent the infection from spreading to other areas. Apply coconut oil on a cotton wool ball a few times each day.
Ginger is also a good antifungal and it works well to create a hostile environment for athlete’s foot fungus. Make a solution by putting some chopped fresh garlic in boiling water, letting it cool, and then wiping it onto the feet with a cotton ball a few times a day.
Add some water to a little bicarbonate of soda to make a smooth paste and then rub the paste into the feet where you suffer from athlete’s foot. Then rinse off the paste and dry the feet.
11) Salt and Apple Cider Vinegar
Make a foot bath with warm water and a few tablespoons of dissolved sea salt plus some cider vinegar. The vinegar contains properties that prevent the fungus from thriving. The salt is also good for sanitizing the area. If you don’t have time to bathe your feet you can spray them with a solution of salt and cider vinegar, and then make sure they are dry before putting on socks and shoes. You can also add mustard powder to a foot bath as mustard is also a fungus-killer to treat athlete’s foot.