Athlete’s foot is a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It isn’t serious, but sometimes it’s hard to cure, and can spread to the toenails and the hands.
Athlete’s foot is a common skin problem on the feet, and its symptoms can be bothersome, although, it is rarely serious.
Home remedies can be quite effective in treating many cases of athlete’s foot, and many of these natural or home remedies can be helpful in killing the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
Tea tree oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the tea tree, and studies suggest that tea tree oil may help to kill fungi. It is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, and studies have found that solutions containing 25 percent and 50 percent tea tree oil worked significantly better than a placebo in relieving athlete’s foot between the toes.
The tea tree oil also cured the infection in 64% of the people who used it. Tea tree oil is more effective at killing fungi than several other antifungal agents.
People should take care when using tea tree oil because it can be irritating to the skin, and can cause rashes and irritation. Alternatively, tea tree oil creams and salves may be available at health food stores.
To use tea tree oil:
- place a few drops into a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil,
- Rub it on your feet.
People should not use undiluted tea tree oil on their skin, to avoid rashes and irritations
Garlic has a long history of medicinal use, and several studies have found garlic to be effective against microbes like fungi and bacteria.
A review in the Avicenna Journal of Medicine states that garlic can kill a variety of microorganisms, and there are some pieces of evidence that fresh garlic extract can kill or stop the growth of Candida, a common fungus that infects humans.
A report also states that it found that garlic has effective antifungal properties, and looked at a compound found in garlic known as ajoene. The compound cured athlete’s foot in every person who used it when it was made into a 0.4 percent cream and applied directly to the area.
A garlic foot soak using fresh garlic cloves is one way for people to try this garlic home remedy against athlete’s foot.
- Crush three to four garlic cloves and
- Stir them into a basin of warm water.
- Soak feet for 30 minutes, twice a day for up to a week.
The only regret is that the powerful compounds in garlic can leave a lasting garlic smell on the skin.
Hydrogen Peroxide With Iodine
Hydrogen Peroxide and iodine are commonly used to disinfect cuts and wounds and to kill germs on the skin.
Hydrogen peroxide combined with iodine can kill different fungi, and the two used together to become even more effective than using them separately.
Iodine solution is available at most drugstores in the wound care section. To try this remedy:
- Mix iodine solution and hydrogen peroxide in a bucket or large bowl.
- Dip the feet directly in the solution, or
- Use a cotton pad to apply it to the affected area or areas.
- Applying this mixture in a bathtub or shower may prevent unwanted stains, and bleaching.
- Do not use iodine on the skin without diluting it. It can damage the skin if used by itself. Iodine can also cause stains
- Peroxide may sting if the skin is broken or irritated, and can bleach hair and fabrics.
If fungi do not have an ideal environment to live in, they cannot continue to grow and increase. Getting rid of moisture from your feet can help keep the fungus from spreading.
People can remove moisture from their feet by thoroughly drying them with a hair dryer after bathing, making sure that no moisture remains. However, you have to be careful not to burn the skin.
People with loss of sensation in the feet should not use this method.
Using talcum powder is also to eliminate moisture and keep the toe dry. When the feet are dry, sprinkle them with talcum powder to help absorb sweat. Many foot powders contain talc and help keep the feet dry.
In addition to this step, wearing socks that absorbs moisture away from the skin can help keep the feet dry.
Similarly, changing socks at least once a day when feet feel sweaty or damp is also helpful. In warmer weather, wear open shoes or sandals to increase airflow to the feet.
Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
Baking soda has antifungal properties and could be used in a foot soak. Baking soda is an item most people have in their homes, and it may also be an effective way to cure athlete’s foot.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) does have antifungal abilities when used on the skin. To make a foot soak:
- Mix about a half cup of baking soda in a large bucket or basin of warm water.
- Soak feet for 15 to 20 minutes, twice a day.
- Dry the feet thoroughly but do not rinse when done