Athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis), is a fungal infection that usually thrives in damp, warm places. It grows between toes and fingers, on toenails, and on top of and between the feet. This stealthy intruder targets the nails, hair, and skin, and causes skin to crack, redden, burn, itch and scale.
Some of the most common symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
- Excessive itching between the fingers or toes
- Burning sensation
- Peeled skin
- Dry skin
- Discolorations of the toenails
Athlete’s Foot Home Remedies
Similar to other fungal infections, athlete’s foot can spread from person to person via contact with the contaminated surfaces. Good hygiene and proper skin care could help treat and prevent the development of athlete’s foot. Besides, there are some home treatments that use natural ingredients you can apply.
1. Baking Soda
Use baking soda to remove moisture in your feet and neutralize the skin’s pH level by mixing 1 teaspoon with a little water to create a paste. Rub that paste over your affected area. Wait for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with tepid water and pat dry your feet thoroughly. Follow the routine twice to three times per day for a couple of weeks to prevent the spreading and recurrence of the infection.
It is found that the compound named ajoene in garlic acts as natural antibacterial and antifungal agent, speeding up the healing process of fungal infections, including athlete’s foot. Mix crushed garlic with 2-3 drops of olive oil to create a paste. Apply the paste over the infected areas and wait for 30 minutes before washing with an antifungal soap and water. Finally, pat the skin area thoroughly. Repeat the treatment daily for a few weeks until the symptoms clear up.
Not only is salt a popular ingredient in our home kitchens, but it is also a great home remedy for athlete’s foot. Using salt can help kill the fungus naturally. Add 6 teaspoons into a tub of a quart of tepid water and soak the feet into the mixture for 5-10 minutes. Use a soft cloth to pat dry your feet and dab a small amount of baking soda between toes to keep them moisture free.
It is recommended to repeat this method 4-5 times per day until there’s permanent relief. However, do not try this if you have open wounds or sores on the feet.
Vinegar is very useful in killing fungus and decreasing the alkaline level of the skin, which may inhibit the infection from spreading. In addition, vinegars can help draw out excessive moisture from the feet, boosting the healing process. Mix 1 part of vinegar with 3 parts of warm water and soak feet in the solution for 15 minutes. Do this 1-2 times per day. After each soak, pat your feet thoroughly. Follow this method for one week until the problem is gone.
Having active bacterial cultures, yogurt is one of the best home treatments for athlete’s foot. The live acidophilus bacteria available in plain yogurt can keep bacterial and fungal infections in check. Buy the types of plain yogurt with active, live cultures and apply on the infected area and let it dry. After that, wash it off with tepid water and pat dry the skin carefully. Repeat this method twice per day for a few weeks until the infection is gone.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Due to the antifungal and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil can naturally kill the fungus and prevent it from widely spreading. Mix equal amount each of 100% pure tea tree oil and olive oil together. Rub the solution over the infected area two times per day. Repeat this a few weeks to prevent the recurrence of the infection.
7. Olive Leaf
Similar to the other home treatments for athlete’s foot mentioned above, olive leaf also has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, helping to kill the fungus causing athlete’s foot. Grind several olive leaves into a good paste and apply it over the infected area using cotton balls. Use a tape to cover the area. After 30 minutes, rinse it off with tepid water and pat dry thoroughly. Apply this treatment 1-2 times per day to eradicate the problem for good. You can also use olive leaf extract as an alternative to get the same effect.
Onion could be used effectively to kill fungal infections thanks to its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. Take two raw onions and grind them to get the juice. Wash the infected area with an antifungal soap and then apply the onion juice over the infection. After 30 minutes, rinse the area with tepid water and pat dry. To keep the infected area moisture free by applying talcum powder. For best results, repeat this method twice per day until the foot fungus is completely gone..
When it comes to home treatments for athlete’s foot, cinnamon is among the most effective thanks to its antiperspirant and antifungal properties. Take 8-10 cinnamon sticks and break them into small pieces. Add these pieces into 4 cups of hot water and simmer for 5 minutes on the low heat. After letting it steep for about 45 minutes, soak feet into the solution for 30 minutes or so. Pat dry thoroughly.
These are natural home treatments for athlete’s foot which will facilitate and speed up the healing process without spending a lot. However, for desired results, be patient and give these treatments at least two weeks to work.