There is no topic too embarrassing to talk to your doctor. Some people do not understand that premise, and live with certain conditions for years due to the fear of speaking with their doctors. Athlete’s foot is one of those conditions. Patients complain about itching, gases, STD, body odors, and so on, but athlete’s foot has somehow managed to become an embarrassing condition.
What is athlete’s foot essential? It is a fungal infection that grows between the toes and on the top of the feet. The fungus, called tinea pedis, can also appear between the fingers and on the toenails. Athlete’s foot happens in warm and damp places, such as swimming pools, public showers, public locker rooms and health clubs. And to make matters worse, athlete’s foot is a contagious condition. So, aside from talking to the doctor, is there something you can do? For those who live in fear and embarrassment of speaking, there are home remedies for athlete’s foot that are effective. Those who are not embarrassed can use the remedies as well.
Symptoms and What Happens
The symptoms for athlete’s foot can vary from one person to another. However, there are common symptoms that include:
- Itching and burning on the affected areas
- Peeling and cracking of the feet
- Redness and breaking down of the skin
- Additional symptoms include severe discomfort.
The condition begins with the skin that is soft and moist, and become pale white. Athlete’s foot usually starts between the two smallest toes, and spreads from there. The skin may become scaly, and then it peels and cracks. Severe infection may lead to bacterial infection, which can cause even more problems and foul odor.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the natural and home remedies for athlete’s foot.
1. Tea Tree Oil
One of the first ingredients you need in your home remedies first aid kid is tea tree oil. It can be used for so many conditions, athlete’s foot included.
Prepare a foot bath and add 40 drops of tea tree oil in it. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes, and then dry the feet. Continue the treatment by sprinkling some tea tree oil on your dry feet and massage them.
2. Soaking Feet
There are multiple home remedies for soaking feet, and let’s start from the simplest one. For this soaking remedy, you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons of Himalayan salt
- ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
Mix all the ingredients in a solution, and prepare a foot bath. Soak your feet for 10 minutes in the acidic environment that will kill off bacteria. Another option is to wipe your feet with the solution after a shower.
3. Bleach Water Soak
Another soaking mixture for athlete’s foot, this one includes slightly different ingredients. The ingredients include one tablespoon of bleach and half a gallon of water.
Mix the bleach into water, and make sure not to use too much bleach. Soak your feet to kill off bacteria, and after 10 minutes, dry out your feet with clean towel.
4. Salt Soak
For this soaking home remedy, you can use Epsom salt. With Epsom salt you are feeding your skin with magnesium and sulfate, two minerals that can reduce inflammation and get rid of bacteria.
Simply add salt to warm water and soak your feet for 10 minutes. Make sure to repeat the treatment 3 times per day for maximum results.
5. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit extract can be taken orally, but topical application is what will make your athlete’s foot disappear in a matter of seconds.
Derived from the seed, pulp and peel of grapefruit, the extract has strong antimicrobial properties.
This remedy is recommended only if you are staying home. If not, you might reconsider using some different remedy, since garlic and its odor might be too much for the environment you are in.
However, if you want to get rid of athlete’s foot by using garlic, simply place few slices between your toes and let them stay there for one day.
7. Olive Oil
Get a cotton swab, dip it in olive oil, and clean your dry feet two times in the day: in the morning and in the evening.
Constant use of olive oil for four days will clear your feet from fungus and bacteria.
8. Baking Soda
With antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, baking soda is a household name in the department of home remedies. For the remedy you’ll need:
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of water
Mix the ingredients and form a paste. Apply the paste to your feet, and rub it gently between the toes. Let the paste dry off on itself and then wash it with cool water. You can also sprinkle some baking soda in your socks and shoes for prevention of athlete’s foot.
9. Lavender Oil
You cannot use lavender oil on its own directly on your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Therefore, you need to dilute it with other oils.
One way to use lavender oil for athlete’s foot is by mixing three drops of lavender oil and 2 tablespoons of carrier oil and then applying the solution to the affected area.
Alternatively, you can mix 10 drops of lavender oil and 10 drops of tea tree oil with witch hazel or aloe vera. The solution should be applied to the affected area two times per day.
Last, but not least, you can prepare a soaking solution by adding 10 drops of lavender oil and 7 drops of tea tree oil to foot basin filled with warm water. Soak your feet for no longer than 20 minutes.
10. Oregano Leaves
Another solution on the list of home remedies for athlete’s foot, you can prepare a “tea” out of oregano leaves. Mix 4 ounces of fresh oregano leaves and water into a foot basin, and then soak your feet in.
Make sure to use fresh leaves every day. You can use the same mixture for two to three times per day.
11. Onion Juice
Some of the compounds in onion help neutralize free radicals and protect your body cells. Additionally, onion improves immunity when taken orally. For athlete’s foot, however, you need topical use of onions.
Grind two onions and then extract the juice out of them using cheesecloth. Wash your feet, and then dry them out. Apply the onion juice to the dry feet and let it stay there for 30 minutes
One of the spices on the list of home remedies for athlete’s foot, cinnamon is here because of it antiperspirant and antifungal properties. You’ll need 10 cinnamon sticks for this remedy.
Start by boiling some water. Break the cinnamon sticks into small pieces and then to the boiling water. Let the cinnamon sticks stay in the boiling water for five minutes on low heat and then let it steep for another 45 minutes. The solution is ready, and all you need is to soak your feet in it for 30 minutes. Repeat the process every day for one month before going to bed.
13. Neem Oil
You can apply neem oil, as long as it is organic directly on your feet using a cotton ball.
Repeat the treatment once in the morning, and before you go to bed.
Similar as with cinnamon, ginger is a spice that can help soothe the symptoms. Chop fresh ginger and add it to a cup of boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes, and then let the solution cool down.
Apply the solution to clean feet two times per day.
15. Olive Leaf
For this remedy you’ll need few olive leaves. Grind them to form a paste, and then get cotton balls to apply it on your feet. Once applied, cover the affected area with tape and let it stay there for 40-60 minutes.
Uncover the area, and rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
You can use either mustard powder or mustard oil for this remedy. Both have great anti-bacterial and antifungal properties. If you are using powder, add one teaspoon to warm water.
If you are using mustard oil, add one and a half teaspoon to the foot basin filled with warm water. Soak your feet for 30 minutes, and then dry them using a clean towel.
Yogurt is rich with probiotics, or good bacteria which can help you get rid of the fungal infection. Get a cotton swab and apply yogurt on the affected areas and let it dry off.
Wash your feet after the yogurt has dried off, and then dry them with a clean cloth.
18. Apple Cider Vinegar
Folk medicine uses apple cider vinegar for almost everything, and home remedies for athlete’s foot are also an area where ACV can help. Thanks to its anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, ACV is a powerful ally. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water, and fill a foot basin with the solution.
Soak your feet for 10 minutes, and then let your feet dry out naturally.
Sometimes, the best home remedies for athlete’s foot are prevention tips. It is always better to prevent something from happening than healing it afterwards. Here are some ways you can prevent athlete’s foot:
- Wear flip-flops in public pools and showers
- After bathing or swimming, make sure to dry your feet thoroughly
- Keep your toenails at short length, one that is comfortable for you
- Purchase few pairs of cotton socks that do not keep moisture inside. Change your socks through the day if you tend to sweat
- Let the air out when possible, but do not walk barefoot. During the warm days, wear open-toed shoes for more air circulation
- Pour some antifungal powder on your feet in the morning before you put on socks
- Do not walk barefoot
- Bleach your socks once a week