The condition affects many people all over the world, particularly those who wear shoes a lot. Fortunately, the condition is easily curable with many home remedies. It is a fungal infection. It causes itching and flaking of the skin at the foot. According to statistics, approximately 15 % of the population at any time is suffering from athlete’s foot. ( Source : Wikipedia )
Athlete’s foot is actually quite troublesome. It leads to crusting and flaking of skin. There is so much itching. If it is scratched, the skin might even peel off and bleed. In severe infections, the skin may be badly crusted and bleeding. A bad case of athlete’s foot requires medical treatment. However, mild cases can be treated at home, easily, using home remedies.
Eliminate the needs of the fungus
Athlete’s foot is caused one of a several species of fungus. It is also called ringworm of the foot, because of certain similarities. These fungi require moisture and warmth to grow. And they are killed only by anti-fungals. So, our home remedies need to have some of the best natural anti-fungals on the planet. Fortunately, they are among the most common things we use at home.
Home remedies for athlete’s foot.
1. Immerse in hot water
Just make some hot water. Check it for temperature and dip your feet in it. The water should be really hot but not hot enough to cause a burn. This really is a cheap remedy for athlete’s foot. Fungus are not able to tolerate hot water beyond a certain temperature. It acts slowly, but you can see results in a few days. Do not do this remedy if your feet are bleeding because of the athlete’s foot.
2. Sit in the sun without the sunscreen
If you can get some bright sunshine, then get it on your feet. Sit for prolonged period in the sun. If your skin is prone to sunburns, then use a very mild sunscreen. Otherwise sit for a longer period in the sun. Treat your shoes with sunlight as well. Shine the sunlight into your shoes. Use mirrors to shine light into every corner of your shoes. This keeps the shoes free from fungi that cause athlete’s foot and others like toenail fungus. Sunlight acts as a natural anti-biotic, killing many species of fungus, bacteria and even viruses.
3. Stay Barefoot All Day
If you can, stay barefoot for as long as possible. If you go to work, avoid wearing shoes, if possible. Go with something that allows air to flow into your feet. Continuous contact with natural air prevents moisture from accumulating. This stops further growth of the fungus. Many people recover just by staying barefoot for most of the time. You can also point a blow dryer at your feet if the air is not moving well. That happens in certain climates where moisture is naturally too high. The infection should be gone in a few weeks time.
4. Icy Water Soak
This is just the opposite of hot water. Ice cold water is also great for healing athlete’s foot, or any other skin condition of the feet ( except raynaud’s disease ).
- Directions / How to use
Pour cold water in bucket. Then place a whole tray of ice cubes. What is the reason for ice cubes ? Well, they keep the water colder for long. Then immerse your feet in the water. Take them out every few minutes when you feel the cold getting to you. Don’t let the feet get too cold so you feel like you are in the Arctic !
- Why it works ?
Fungi can’t tolerate extreme cold either. They start to die in shock. Performing this treatment 2 -3 times a day should be enough.
5. Coconut Oil
Dab some coconut oil on your feet. It is better if the oil is extra virgin but still fine if it is not. Smother the feet completely in coconut oil. It absorbs well into the skin, so you don’t feel oily in the feet. You may need to wipe the soles of your feet with a towel. Coconut oil is one of the most powerful natural anti-fungals . That is because of natural fatty acids called caprylic acid and capric acid. They are really very powerful fungus killers. It literally annihilates the fungi. Coconut oil should get rid of athlete’s foot in a week.
6. Zinc oxide based cream
If you can get a skin cream which contains zinc oxide, then it is great for athlete’s foot. Many baby creams and sunscreens contain fair amount of zinc oxide. Smear it all over the athlete’s foot region. It feels nice and soothing on the itch. Zinc oxide has actually been a popular skin care ingredients for centuries, even millennia. It is still used today in many products and creams and has great dermatological value. Use it many times a day for getting rid of athlete’s foot.
7. Apple cider vinegar soak
Make a solution of apple cider vinegar in water. Use equal amounts of both. Now, dip your feet in this water for quite some time. Pat dry. If the skin is peeling off, help it by peeling completely. Apple cider vinegar has got good fungus cleaning ability. If athlete’s foot has grown way above the feet and reached your groin, armpit or any other region, then use an Apple Cider Vinegar bath. Add 2 cups of ACV to bathwater at warm temperature and take bath in it. This should cleanse the fungus off your skin. It can take many treatments using this bath to get rid of athlete’s foot from your body.
8. Castor Oil
Most people really hate this oil for its smell, but it is really a very powerful oil to have at home. Castor oil helps to get rid of athlete’s foot without much hassle. It is pretty easy to apply. Get cold pressed and organic castor oil. This is not easy to get, as most of the castor oil on the market is processed. However, it is the organic one which has boasts of tremendous powers. Apply organic castor oil on dry feet. Do not apply on moist feet, or it will lock moisture in place which can promote growth of fungi, worsening the problem.
9. Baby wipes
If you have a baby, then lots of baby wipes too. Use these baby wipes again and again on your athlete’s foot. They keep your feet clean and dry as well. This is helpful in athlete’s foot, as you would want your feet to be dry and clean, not dirty, moist and warm.
10. Corn Starch
Many people use talcum powder to keep the feet dry. However, corn starch is much better at this task. Sprinkle copious amount of corn starch on the feet. It keeps them cool and dry.
Apply plain yogurt on feet. Yogurt works against athlete’s foot because it has got lactic acid, and probiotics as well. Lactic acid has been identified to work against the athlete’s foot. Probiotics too help by displacing the harmful pathogens.
12. Pineapple Soak
Get 2 pineapples, ripe and tasty. Then take 2 bowls. Crush the pineapple and add them to each bowl. Then soak your feet in the bowl and let it roll. You can feel a tingling sensation in your feet. Keep your feet in this soak for about 10 minutes, and that should be enough. Do this 2 times a day, and keep utilizing the pineapples. Within a few days, athlete’s foot should be gone.
One can also mix carrot juice with the pineapple. Carrot is also an antifungal and helps to cleanse the skin.
13. Vapor Rub
Apply vapor rub on the athlete’s foot. It is surprisingly good at treating athlete’s foot. Vapor rub has many anti-fungal ingredients. In fact, it is full of really powerful ingredients, like menthol, camphor and many small ingredients.
14. Copper Socks
You can get copper socks for athlete’s foot. These are actually copper oxide treated with sock material to produce such socks. They have been identified to work good for athlete’s foot.
Spray some aftershave on your feet. This is one remedy which is quite popular among men, although women too know of it too. Aftershave also has highly powerful anti-fungal ingredients. It works pretty fast and is quite effective. You can easily apply this remedy even while traveling, which is an advantage.
Tincture iodine is also applicable to athlete’s foot. You can easily get low concentration tincture iodine solution which can be applied directly on the skin, no diluting is necessary.
17. Tea tree oil
Put a few drops of tea tree oil in olive oil and then apply on a clean foot, that is after it has been washed. Tea tree essential oil also works great for athlete’s foot .
Do not wear shoes for a few days. In the few days coming up, stay barefoot. Allow natural air to flow over the legs and stay in outdoors for some time. This really helps in healing an athlete’s foot. Putting lemon slice in between the toes is also a fine remedy for athlete’s foot. The skin slowly absorbs lemon juice which heals the skin off the infection. Practice good hygiene. This helps to prevent any chance future infections by the fungi.
- Apply Neem leaves : Fresh neem leaves of the neem tree can be ground into a paste and applied on the skin to treat athletes foot.
- Chaparral : This plant is found in Baja California. It is made into a powder which is used as an antifungal dusting powder to get rid of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot.
- Oregano leaf wash : Dissolve some leaves in a bowl of water and then put your foot in it. This is quite soothing and relieves the itch.
Athlete’s foot on hands – This is really an embarrassing condition for any person. Our hands are just more visible than our feet. However, one can get rid of this condition by using the same remedies that work on feet.
When treating an athlete’s foot, one should take proper care of the feet. Make sure they don’t stay confined in warm, moist places. Socks and shoes can be the main cause behind an athlete’s foot. Wear comfortable shoes and once in a while, give it some air. Some people suggest placing the shoes in snow or very cold temperature which kills the fungus. One needs to be resilient in treatment otherwise this infection can recur.
1. In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria.Ogbolu DO, Oni AA, Daini OA, Oloko AP
2. Tea tree oil in the treatment of tinea pedis.Tong MM, Altman PM, Barnetson RS