Athletes Foot or Tinea Pedis is one of the most common fungal infections (tinea infections) afflicting the nails, hair or skin. In this skin conditon, a fungus – Dermatophyte- breeds on the moist areas of the skin in between the toes or under the toenails. You can pick the fungus up from shower rooms or wet floors while walking barefoot in such areas. Typical symptoms of Athletes foot include redness, pain, scaling, itchiness and rashes between the webbed areas of the toes. In this article, we will study some natural home remedies to quickly get rid of the worst cases of Athletes foot.
1. Soothe the sores
In case you do not have athletes foot cream on hand, you can use a cool compress to soothe the itchiness in between toes. Soak the feet in a hot or warm bath for 15 minutes and you can make this athletes’ foot remedy even more effective by adding some apple cider vinegar or Domeboro powder or a tablespoon of Burrow’s solution (all available over the counter at any drugstore) to the bath. Soak the feet in for at least 15 minutes. Repeat this remedy several times a week.
2. Scrub away the dead skin
Once you have soaked your feet, use a pumice stone or a foot brush to remove the dead skin. Scrub gently; do not over-scrub as it could cause bleeding. The dead skin houses the fungi and regular scrubbing of feet can help remove it completely. You can also prevent Athlete’s foot by scrubbing the feet during bath every day.
3. Apply apple cider vinegar
Apply some plain white distilled vinegar or raw, organic apple cider vinegar to the fungal rash with clean, sterile cotton. Let the solution air dry. Repeat application several times a day. Also, soaking the feet in warm bath with vinegar can help kill fungi and balance the ph of the skin.
4. Apply crushed garlic
Garlic is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Apply a thick paste of crushed garlic on the fungus. Leave it on overnight (you can protect your sheets by covering it up with a light bandage).Repeat application several times a week until the skin heals completely. Also eat plenty of garlic or take garlic capsules to fight the infection from inside.
5. Iodine solution
Athletes usually dab iodine solution between their toes to get rid of (and prevent) toenail fungus and other skin problems. Iodine not only dries out the fungus, it also disinfects the skin to prevent bacterial and fungal skin issues.
6. Apply hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide kills the microbes and also lightens the rash and discoloration caused by the fungus. Apply hydrogen peroxide all over the scaly, itchy rash. Wait for it to dry completely. Repeat treatment 3 times a day for up to a week to see results.
7. Urine therapy for athletes foot
As gross as this might sound, this folk remedy does work! Pee in a bucket or bowl first thing in the morning (use only early morning urine for this athlete’s foot treatment). Soak the infected foot in the urine. The urea contained in the pee will kill off the fungus. Repeat this therapy each morning for up to three days but your symptoms will have reduced in a one day itself. (Note-You can wash off the urine after 5-10 minutes of application). This is the best and easiest way to cure athlete’s foot in one day.
8. Vicks Vaporub
This is a little known natural cure for getting rid of Athletes Foot. Apply a thick layer of Vicks on the fungus at nighttime and cover up with socks. Repeat treatment several times a night. The menthol and eucalyptol in the rub quickly work on the fungus, killing it instantly. You can also use slightly stronger (and more expensive) Tiger Balm Ultra for making an all natural, homemade athlete’s foot cream.
9. Tea tree oil
The essential oil of tea tree is naturally antibacterial, anti fungal and antiseptic. Apply it directly (or diluted with coconut oil or olive oil) and leave it on the skin for a few hours. Repeat application 3 times a day. Tea tree oil is also a wonderful natural remedy for tinea infections on the scalp. You can also use Manuka oil or Eucalyptus oil with or in place of tea tree oil as part of natural remedies for athlete’s foot.
10. Salt water and lemon juice
Make a warm foot bath with water, salt and some lemon juice. Soak your tired, infected feet in it for up to 10 minutes. The acidic action of lemon juice quickly kills the fungus, while salt, being naturally antiseptic, prevents bacterial infection from setting in and heals the skin.
11. Rubbing alcohol
Soak cotton in alcohol or rubbing alcohol solution. Apply it in between the toes, on the heels and other infected areas of the feet. Repeat application after bath and several more times a day. Continue this regimen at least for 90 days.
12. Antifungal lotions, powders and sprays
Over the counter antifungal medications with clotrimazole, miconazole or tolnaftate may be used daily on the Athlete’s foot. These are available in the form of sprays, powders, lotions and gels. Use them as directed.
13. Avoid walking barefoot
This is important to prevent tinea pedis. Always use rubber flip flops or slippers in wet areas like swimming pools, gyms and near public toilets or baths. Also keep your feet dry after you have bathed or washed them. Use a hair dryer to dry them quickly. You can also use an antiperspirant stick or powder to keep the skin dry. Wear moisture wicking socks or DRYMAX socks which absorb moisture and sweat.
14. Avoid sharing personal items
Do not share towels, combs, socks or shoes etc with others, even if they are closely related to you. This is necessary to prevent the spread of the fungi.
15. Change your shoes and wash your socks from time to time
The fungus thrives in cold dark areas. So make sure you change your shoes or at least disinfect them from time to time. If possible, dust the inside of shoes and socks with anti fungal powders and sprays. You can also use mild bleach or Lysol on the inside of the shoes. Wash the socks or stockings in hot water and detergent to kill fungal spores. Also wash all gym clothes in hot water and dry it on the highest dryer setting.
If these 15 steps do not cure your Athlete’s foot despite treating it for 3 weeks, see your doctor.