Home Remedies
Stylecraze

15 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Athlete’s Foot

by
15 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Athlete’s Foot March 27, 2018

Whether you are a sporty person, someone who hits the gym frequently, or someone who just spends hours at the office in those sweaty shoes and socks, you are at equal risk of developing athlete’s foot. How and why? And what could you possibly do to get rid of this infection? Let’s find out!

Table Of Contents

What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot
Causes And Risk Factors Of Athlete’s Foot
Types of Athlete’s Foot
Home Remedies To Treat Athlete’s Foot
Prevention Tips
What Happens If You Leave Athlete’s Foot Untreated?

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It is contagious and is medically known as tinea pedis. This fungal infection can also spread to the toenails and the hands.
This infection is termed as athlete’s foot because it is mostly seen in athletes. It is often accompanied by the following symptoms.

Back To TOC

Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot

  • An itchy, burning, and stinging sensation between the toes
  • Itching or burning sensation on the soles of your feet
  • Itchy blisters on the feet
  • Cracking and peeling skin between the toes and on the soles of your feet
  • Dry skin on the soles and/or sides of the feet
  • The skin on your feet becomes raw
  • Discolored, thick, and crumbly toenails
  • Toenails that pull away from your nail bed

Let us now look at the main causes and risk factors for athlete’s foot.

Back To TOC

Causes Of And Risk Factors For Athlete’s Foot

The main cause of athlete’s foot is a fungal infection caused by the growth of tinea fungus on your feet. You can contract it on direct contact with an infected individual or object. Since this fungus thrives in moist and warm environments, it can be commonly found in showers, locker room floors, and around swimming pools.

Although everyone is susceptible to developing athlete’s foot, some people are at an increased risk. Factors that could be held responsible for increasing your risk of developing athlete’s foot are:

  • Going barefoot to public places like swimming pools and showers
  • Sharing utensils with an infected person
  • Wearing tight-fitting shoes
  • Keeping your feet soaked and covered for long periods
  • Having sweaty feet
  • Minor skin or nail injury on your foot

Athlete’s foot can be classified into different types depending on the kind of infection and the area of the foot affected. The three main types of athlete’s foot are discussed below.

Back To TOC

Types Of Athlete’s Foot

  • Interdigital: This type of infection is also known as toe web infection. It usually occurs between the smallest of your toes and might even spread to the soles.
  • Moccasin: This can result in dry and peeling skin on your foot. It may affect the entire sole and can even spread to the sides of your foot.
  • Vesicular: This is the least common kind of athlete’s foot. It is usually categorized by a sudden outbreak of fluid-filled blisters under the skin. These blisters usually develop under your feet, but in some cases, they can also appear between your toes, on the heels, or on your feet.

Nobody wants to experience the constant itchiness and pain that usually accompany this condition. And given that it takes its own sweet time to heal, you need to take some immediate measures to address the issue. The following home remedies can help in treating athlete’s foot and speeding your recovery to a great extent.

Back To TOC

Home Remedies To Treat Athlete’s Foot

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Essential Oils
  3. Baking Soda
  4. Coconut Oil
  5. Bleach
  6. Garlic
  7. Ginger
  8. Grapefruit Seed Extract
  9. Jojoba Oil
  10. Neem Oil
  11. Hydrogen Peroxide
  12. Turmeric
  13. Epsom Salt
  14. Vicks
  15. Listerine

How To Get Rid Of Athlete’s Foot Naturally

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take two cups of warm water in a bowl and add half a cup of apple cider vinegar to it.
  2. Soak your feet in this solution for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Pat your feet dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice daily for best results.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar, with its anti-inflammatory properties, can prove to be quite useful in reducing the inflammation and pain. It also helps in destroying the fungal infection responsible for causing athlete’s foot with its antifungal properties (1).

Back To TOC

2. Essential Oils

a. Lavender Oil

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 12 drops of lavender oil
  • 30 mL of any carrier oil (coconut or almond oil)
  • Water (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 12 drops of lavender oil to 30 mL of any carrier oil.
  2. Apply this mixture directly to the affected area on your foot and allow it to dry.
  3. Alternatively, you can add the lavender oil mixture to two cups of water and soak your feet in it for 10 to 15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

The antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties of lavender oil help in fighting the fungus that causes athlete’s foot (2), (3).

b. Peppermint Oil

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 12 drops of peppermint oil
  • 30 mL of any carrier oil (coconut or olive oil)
  • Water (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix 12 drops of peppermint oil with 30 mL of any carrier oil.
  2. Apply this mixture to the affected areas.
  3. You can also add some warm water to this mixture and use it as a foot soak.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this thrice daily.

Why This Works

Peppermint oil contains menthol, which possesses anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help reduce pain and inflammation (4). It also has antifungal properties that eliminate the infection-causing fungi (5).

c. Tea Tree Oil

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 12 drops of tea tree oil
  • 30 mL of any carrier oil (coconut or almond oil)
  • Water (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 12 drops of tea tree oil to 30 mL of any carrier oil and mix well.
  2. Apply this mixture to the affected foot and allow it to dry.
  3. You can also add some water to this oil mixture and use it as a foot soak.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil help in treating many skin conditions, including athlete’s foot. Tea tree oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain (6), (7).

Back To TOC

3. Baking Soda

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply this paste to the affected areas and allow it to dry.
  3. Rinse thoroughly and pat your skin dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least twice daily.

Why This Works

Baking soda is a natural antiseptic that helps prevent the development of secondary infections in the affected foot (8). It also keeps the area moisture-free, which, in turn, makes it uninhabitable for the fungus responsible for causing the infection (9).

Back To TOC

4. Coconut Oil

Shutterstock

You Will Need

2-3 drops of coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply two to three drops of coconut oil to the affected area.
  2. You can either allow it to be absorbed by your skin or keep it on for 20 minutes and then wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 3 to 4 times daily, at regular intervals.

Why This Works

Coconut oil is another amazing remedy for athlete’s foot. Its antifungal properties destroy the tinea pedis fungus, while its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties soothe the affected area (10), (11).

Back To TOC

5. Bleach

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of regular laundry bleach
  • 1 gallon or 16 cups of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of water and mix well.
  2. Soak your feet in this solution for no more than 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Wash your legs thoroughly with water and pat dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily for about a week.

Why This Works

Bleach exhibits disinfectant properties due to the presence of chlorine, which can help in fighting the tinea pedis fungus. A bleach foot soak also helps in keeping your feet dry, thus making your feet unsuitable for fungal growth.

Back To TOC

6. Garlic

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 2-3 drops of olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Take two cloves of peeled garlic and mince them to form a thick paste.
  2. Add two to three drops of olive oil to this paste and mix well.
  3. Apply this paste to the affected areas.
  4. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes, after which you can wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times for a few days until you notice an improvement in your condition.

Why This Works

Garlic contains compounds like ajoene and allicin, which impart antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties to it (12), (13), (14). This is why its topical application works wonders in getting rid of athlete’s food and its painful symptoms.

Back To TOC

7. Ginger

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • An inch or two of peeled and cut ginger
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add some cut ginger to a cup of water.
  2. Allow it to boil and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. Strain and let it cool for a while.
  4. Apply a few drops of this solution to the affected area.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 3 to 4 times daily.

Why This Works

Ginger is another herb that can be used to treat athlete’s foot. It exhibits antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help to get rid of the inflammation and bad odor associated with the condition (15), (16).

Back To TOC

8. Grapefruit Seed Extract

Shutterstock

You Will Need

2-3 drops of grapefruit seed extract

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply two to three drops of grapefruit seed extract evenly to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Grapefruit seed extract possesses excellent antifungal and antimicrobial activities that can help in relieving the symptoms associated with athlete’s foot and fight the underlying infection (17), (18).

Back To TOC

9. Jojoba Oil

Shutterstock

You Will Need

2-3 drops of jojoba oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a few drops of jojoba oil directly to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes, after which you can wash it off with water.
  3. You can also leave the oil on your skin to be absorbed.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Jojoba oil is widely known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties (19), (20), (21). These properties fight the fungus responsible for causing the infection and alleviate the symptoms of the infection.

Back To TOC

10. Neem Oil

Shutterstock

You Will Need

2-3 drops of neem oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply two to three drops of neem oil to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

The potent antifungal properties of neem oil help in the treatment of athlete’s foot (22). Also, its anti-inflammatory properties relieve the inflammation that is often associated with the condition (23).

Back To TOC

11. Hydrogen Peroxide

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of water.
  2. Dip a cotton pad in this solution and apply it to the affected areas.
  3. Allow it to dry naturally.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

The antiseptic nature of hydrogen peroxide helps in disinfecting the affected area and prevents secondary microbial infections. Hydrogen peroxide also exhibits antifungal properties that fight the underlying fungal infection responsible for causing athlete’s foot (24).

Back To TOC

12. Turmeric

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a teaspoon of turmeric powder and add a few drops of water to it to make a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the affected foot.
  3. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice daily.

Why This Works

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which possesses remarkable antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat athlete’s foot (25), (26).

Back To TOC

13. Epsom Salt

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of Epsom salt to a large bowl of warm water and allow it to dissolve.
  2. Soak your feet in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

An Epsom salt foot soak is an easy and effective remedy to get rid of athlete’s foot. Epsom salt contains magnesium, which possesses anti-inflammatory properties and helps treat the condition (27), (28).

Back To TOC

14. Vicks VapoRub

Shutterstock

You Will Need

Vicks VapoRub (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a little Vicks VapoRub to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily, preferably before going to bed.

Why This Works

Although its main purpose is to act as an expectorant, Vicks VapoRub is also known for its positive effects on fungal skin conditions like athlete’s foot. This is possibly because of the presence of antifungal and anti-inflammatory components like menthol and eucalyptol in it (29), (30), (31).

Back To TOC

15. Listerine

Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of Listerine
  • 2 cups of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a cup of Listerine with two cups of water.
  2. Pour this mixture into a large basin or bowl that can accommodate both your feet.
  3. Soak your feet in this mixture for 30 to 40 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Listerine is a popular home remedy used for the treatment of fungal infections like athlete’s foot and toenail infections. This is due to the presence of certain active antifungal ingredients in it like menthol and thymol. A Listerine foot soak can not only combat all such infection-causing fungi but also relieve the symptoms with its soothing properties (32).

Now that you know how to get rid of the fungal infection, there are a few things you must do to prevent its recurrence. They are as discussed below.

Back To TOC

Prevention Tips

  • Wash your feet with soap and water daily (the temperature of the water should be 60ºC or higher to kill the fungus).
  • Dry your feet after every wash.
  • Put some antifungal powder on your feet every day.
  • Do not share your shoes, socks, and towels with others.
  • Wear socks made of breathable fibers like cotton.
  • Change your socks daily, especially if your feet tend to get sweaty easily.
  • Alternate between two pairs of shoes. This is to give each pair ample time to dry before it is used again.

If left unattended or untreated for too long, athlete’s foot can also lead to the following complications.

Back To TOC

What Happens If You Leave Athlete’s Foot Untreated?

Athlete’s foot can cause mild to severe complications if you leave it untreated for too long. They include:

  • An allergic reaction to the tinea fungus, which may cause blistering.
  • Development of a secondary bacterial infection, accompanied by swelling and pain in your foot.
  • The bacterial infection can also spread to your lymph system and cause infections in your lymph nodes and lymph vessels.

With the help of the remedies and prevention tips we have provided in this article, you will not just be able to fight an existing athlete’s foot infection but also steer clear of it in the future. Was this post helpful? Let us know through the comments section.

Back To TOC

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is athlete’s foot contagious?

Yes, athlete’s foot is highly contagious. Direct contact with infected individuals or objects can cause it to spread.

What kills the fungus on the feet?

You can kill the fungus by washing your feet daily with soap and hot water (60ºC or higher). You can also use topical antifungal medications or any of the above remedies to get rid of the fungus naturally.

How long does it take to get rid of athlete’s foot?

Depending on the course of treatment, it can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to heal completely. You will start noticing a positive change in your condition in a week.

Feedback
The following two tabs change content below.
Profile photo of Shaheen Naser

Shaheen Naser

Skip to toolbar