Natural treatments for athlete’s foot can kill the fungal infection fast and prevent it coming back.
And it’s very easy to make home remedies for athlete’s foot with natural ingredients you already have.
In this post I will show you how to make the best simple natural treatments for athlete’s foot using :
And will also share other home remedies made with:
To start treating your athlete’s foot fast jump straight down to these natural remedies for athlete’s foot.
Or keep reading to understand more as I kick off by explaining :
At the end of the post I will share more tips and advice on how to stop athlete’s foot recurring.
Please Note : This post does not provide qualified medical advice.
Athletes Foot Symptoms
The most common symptoms of athletes foot are:
- Flaking patches of white skin
- Between & behind toes
- That are itchy & scratchy
- And look like mould!
You will know you have athlete’s foot if you have these symptoms.
But other symptoms include:
- Thick red scaly skin
- Cracked skin
- Discoloured toe nails.
The first two can also be symptoms of psoriasis or eczema. And the third can be a sign of diabetes.
Painful white patches on the ball or heel of our foot are more likely to be verrucas or plantar warts.
If in doubt seek medical advice.
Causes Of Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection also known as tinea pedis. It is caused by trichophyton which is a skin based or dermatophyte fungi.
These fungi also cause other common fungal infections including:
Fungal infections sound gross but fungi like candida play helpful roles all over our bodies as long as they don’t get out of control.
Athlete’s Foot Triggers
The two biggest triggers for excess fungal growth on our feet are:
- Excessive sugar in our diet
- Synthetic footwear that traps sweat & moisture around our toes.
Tackling these is a great way to prevent athlete’s foot recurring.
OTC Anti-Fungal Treatments
OTC anti-fungal treatments may trigger recurrent athlete’s foot.
They take a scorched earth approach to treating athlete’s foot that disrupts the natural balance of healthy fungi and bacteria on our skin. This may contribute to anti-fungal resistance and make us more vulnerable to athlete’s foot infections.
Natural Remedies For Athletes Foot
These natural treatments for athlete’s foot all get to work fast.
But if you have several of them try alternating treatments as athlete’s foot – like many health issues – may respond better to a mix of remedies.
NB Home remedies can have side effects. Test carefully & stop use if they cause pain or discomfort.
Baking soda is a very useful natural treatment for athlete’s foot.
It is an alkaline which kills the fungus and prevents it reproducing and can be made into a poultice or foot soak.
Baking Soda Poultice
Simply mix the baking soda into a paste and leave on feet overnight:
- Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a few teaspoons of water
- Stir into a fairly thick paste
- Apply over the athlete’s foot
- Cover with a dry dressing and / or wear a cotton sock
- Leave on over night
- Wash off in the morning
- Dry feet well with face cloth & then put cloth in laundry.
Baking Soda Foot Soak
If your athlete’s foot symptoms include cracked skin use the baking soda in a foot soak.
- Make the foot soak before bed:
- Measure out half a cup/125ml of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- Add to 4 cups/1 litre of warm water
- Soak your feet for 15 minutes
- Dry feet well with a face cloth. Put the cloth in the laundry.
If you don’t have baking soda do get some. It is a great home remedy for everything from stomach pain and heartburn to mosquito bites and gets rid of blood stains and ants!!
Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal treatment and a natural antibiotic.
So it will both see off the fungus and prevent infection of broken skin.
To use as a remedy for athlete’s foot, soften oil in your hands and:
- Apply a small amount under dressing in the morning
- And / or apply generously a night and cover with an old cotton sock.
Coconut oil can also used as a DIY treatment for dandruff which surprisingly is a fungal infection.
Turmeric is another useful natural treatment for athlete’s foot that is also a natural antibiotic.
Research suggests it can’t match OTC fungal treatments on its own but can be helpful combined with other natural treatments.
The easiest way to use turmeric as a home remedy for athlete’s foot is to:
- Soften a table spoon of coconut oil
- Mix in half a teaspoon of turmeric
- Apply as per coconut oil above.
Turmeric is also an effective natural treatment for gastritis, sore throats, blackheads & constipation.
Green Tea Soak
Research shows a green tea foot soak can reduce the trichophyton fungi which cause tinea pedis.
But it won’t kill infections completely on its own so combine with other natural treatments for athlete’s foot.
To make a green tea foot soak:
- Heat a litre of water until warm
- Add with green tea bag to a basin
- Infuse for 5 minutes
- Pop feet in & soak for 15 minutes
- Dry feet well with a face cloth & then put cloth in laundry
- Apply another natural treatment such as baking soda or coconut oil.
Green tea is also a natural dandruff treatment and can help to relieve both cystitis and gastritis.
Garlic Tea Foot Soak
Garlic is an age old natural treatment for athlete’s foot and research now shows garlic can treat tinea pedis.
The down side is the smell!!
But a nightly garlic soak for a week can get rid of an athlete’s foot infection and a weekly soak can prevent repeated infections.
To make a garlic tea foot soak:
- Crush 3 or 4 garlic cloves
- Add to a saucepan with roughly 1 litre / 4 cups of water
- Boil for 15 minutes or so
- Leave to cool until warm
- Pour into a foot bath or basin
- Soak feet for 30 minutes
- Dry feet well after the foot soak
- You could then apply some coconut oil or aloe vera.
Garlic is also an effective natural treatment for pinworms, cold sores, sinus congestion & UTI infections.
It is easy to grow garlic in a small herb garden or vegetable patch.
Herbal Foot Soak
Basic herbs in your kitchen – or herb garden – can help treat tinea pedis:
They are very useful for tackling the first signs of infection fast if you have no other home remedies available.
As natural antibiotics they also stop bacterial infections in cracked skin.
To make a quick herbal foot soak as a natural athlete’s foot treatment :
- Boil a litre / 4 cups or so of water
- Pour into a foot bath or basin
- Add a tablespoon of mixed herbs
- Or 5 to 10 sprigs of fresh herbs
- Leave herbs to infuse in water
- Until cool enough to put feet in
- Soak feet for 15 minutes or so
- Dry your feet well.
- Apply baking soda or coconut oil.
It is easy to grow oregano, thyme and rosemary in a healing herb garden.
Apple Cider Vinegar Soak
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be used in various quick, simple ways to treat athlete’s foot naturally.
You can dab ACV directly onto the infection with cotton wool pad.
Or add the ACV to a foot soak :
- Get out a foot bath or large bowl
- Add 500 ml / 2 cups of water
- Plus 125 ml / 1/2 cup of ACV
- Soak feet for 30 minutes
- Dry your feet well
- Apply baking soda or coconut oil.
Repeat soak daily for a week or alternate with the garlic, green tea or herbal foot soaks above.
ACV can cause skin to sting so test carefully for a few minutes.
ACV is also a natural treatment for gastritis, sore throats, dandruff and blackheads plus bites & stings.
Corn starch is a useful home remedy for athlete’s foot when used alongside other natural treatments.
It is a natural alternative to talcum powder – associated in the past with health risks – and soaks up the sweat that triggers athlete’s foot.
Simply dust your feet with corn starch – known as corn flour in the UK – before putting on socks.
More Home Remedies For Athlete’s Foot
These home remedies for athlete’s foot all use basic supplies you probably have in your bathroom.
They let you treat infections instantly and can be combined with the natural treatments above.
You can use hydrogen peroxide as a home remedy for athlete’s foot but it should be used with care and not applied directly to broken skin.
You can kill the trichophyton fungi simply by dabbing your feet with hydrogen peroxide twice daily.
Or bathe your foot with:
- 1 part hydrogen peroxide
- To 3 parts of water.
Hydrogen peroxide comes in various strengths. The NHS recommends 6% for safe use on skin infections.
As one of the strongest home remedies for athlete’s foot available, it may be best alternated with gentler natural treatments.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a remedy for blood stains and blackheads.
Rubbing alcohol – or surgical spirit as sold in the UK – is a powerful home remedy for athlete’s foot.
You can apply it directly to the skin but test a tiny amount first and do not apply to cracked skin.
Alternatively bathe feet by diluting:
- 2 parts of alcohol
- With 1 part of water
- And apply with a cloth
- For up to 30 minutes.
Rubbing alcohol is also a useful home remedy for ink & grass stains and disinfecting kitchens.
Rubbing Alcohol & Aspirin
Rubbing alcohol & aspirin sounds like a crazy internet remedy that won’t work but salicin in willow bark was a traditional remedy for athlete’s foot and is similar to aspirin.
To use as a quick home remedy :
- Wash your feet well
- Dissolve 5 aspirin
- In half a cup of rubbing alcohol
- Wipe solution over feet
- Leave on for 30 mins
- Then wash off.
Remember rubbing alcohol is a strong remedy. Test a tiny amount first and avoid badly cracked skin.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is a handy home remedy for athlete’s foot and recent research shows it can kill tinea pedis.
Do use it – like all essential oils – with care and test a tiny amount first as some people react against it.
To treat athlete’s foot:
- Read instructions on your bottle
- Dilute with carrier oil as instructed
- Dab feet with diluted oil twice daily.
I am not a big fan of essential oils. I hate the business models behind big brands but I do stock tea tree oil. I find it an effective home remedy for verrucas, dandruff & head lice.
Thuja is a useful home remedy for persistent fungal and viral infections such as athlete’s foot, ring worm, warts, verrucas and cold sores.
I mostly use DIY remedies made from kitchen ingredients but I do buy this gentle but effective thuja cream. It has helped clear painful infections.
You can also buy thuja tinctures.
To use as a home remedy for athlete’s foot simply apply around infection twice daily.
Aloe vera gel is a helpful home remedy if you have athlete’s foot.
It won’t kill the fungus – use the other home treatments & remedies for that – but can heal damaged skin to protect against re-infection.
Not everyone tolerates aloe vera so test a tiny amount on feet first.
Then to use as a DIY remedy:
- Apply after soaking feet with green tea, garlic, ACV or herbs
- Or alternate with baking soda, turmeric, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol treatments.
Aloe vera is also a home remedy for sunburn, mosquito bites, cold sores, dandruff & as liquid heartburn.
How Do You Stop Recurring Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot often goes away only to come back and you may feel you constantly get athlete’s foot.
There are 4 key reason for this:
- The fungi is everywhere
- We have poor foot hygiene
- Our body is too fungi friendly
- OTC treatments weaken skin.
Luckily there are simple ways to tackle all four problems and permanently get rid of athlete’s foot.
Avoiding Tinea Pedis Fungi
The trichophyton fungi that causes tinea pedis or athlete’s foot flourishes in pools & gyms.
To avoid repeated infections:
- Don’t go bare foot in public pools, gyms and changing rooms
- Wash & dry feet well at home
- Regularly wash sliders, flip-flops and sandals worn at pools.
If anyone at home has athlete’s foot:
- Pop sneakers in freezer for 24 hours
- Sprinkle all shoes with baking soda
- Get them to dry feet with hair dryer
- Do NOT share towels.
Better Foot Hygiene
Synthetic sneakers and socks trap sweat creating a warm, wet space in which fungi grows easily.
To tackle this:
- Go bare foot at home if you can
- Wear sandals when you can
- Switch to cotton or wool socks
- Make sure everyone changes socks daily – especially teenage boys!
- Switch shoes as much as possible
- Always dry feet thoroughly.
Anti-Athlete’s Foot Diet
Fungi live all over our bodies and are important for our overall health.
But poor diet causes excess and is often why athlete’s foot constantly keeps coming back again and again.
To prevent recurrent athlete’s foot:
- Cut right back on added sugar
- Choose lower carb side dishes
- Improve gut health.
Repeated use of strong OTC anti-fungal treatments for athlete’s foot may undermine the balance of healthy fungi & bacteria on our skin.
This may create fungal resistance.
Alternating between different natural treatments and home remedies for athlete’s foot may prevent this.
Try these anti-fungal soaps to stop infection before it gets established:
- Neem oil
- Tea tree
I do hope these natural treatments for athlete’s foot help clear your infection fast so it doesn’t come back. Do let me know what works best.
For more quick treatments check out my other DIY remedies:
They are all based on common store cupboard ingredients so you can start treatment fast.
And for even more simple home remedies follow me on Pinterest:
Original photos: Sleeping female beautiful feet on the bed , Woman leg, towel, razor and cosmetic cream on white background, Coconut oil and Aspirin by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0
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