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Athlete's foot is a type of foot fungus. It mostly affects people who spend large amounts of time in a gym or other public spaces that are exposed to fungi. Athlete's foot is best prevented by adhering to hygienic measures such as adequate washing of feet and toes and drying wet areas after showering. That said, bacteria that thrive under the toenails can cause the condition. Luckily, some home remedies for athlete's foot can have a positive effect.

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Tea Tree Oil

Known for its potent and calming scent, tea tree oil has a long history of use for the treatment of skin conditions such as athlete's foot. Tea tree oil's antibacterial properties make it optimal for the battle against all kinds of bacterial and fungal infections. The relaxing effect of this essential oil is also highly beneficial, and treatment involves considerably effective non-invasive procedures. The best way to use tea tree oil is by mixing up to 25 drops of tea tree oil into a foot bath. Allow your feet to soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Bath Salts

Another highly regarded treatment option for athlete's foot involves using special bath salts to kill bacteria and promote natural healing. One of the best minerals for this purpose is Himalayan crystal salt, which contains powerful anti-fungal properties. Try mixing a few tablespoons of the salt in a foot bath with warm water. Add half a cup of apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil for an additional antifungal boost. These elements work by creating an environment in which fungus cannot thrive. Before leaving the gym, you can rub some apple cider vinegar onto your feet to kill any remaining bacteria.

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Garlic

Garlic is a great treatment option for many conditions of the skin. Fungal bacteria are particularly vulnerable to the powerful healing effects of garlic. Apply garlic directly onto the foot or toes to keep bacteria and fungus at bay. If you suffer from athlete's foot, add fresh slices of garlic between your toes, and allow them to act for up to 30 minutes. This way, allicin, which is the main compound in garlic, can effectively destroy any traces of bacteria. Another option is to incorporate more garlic into your diet.

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Probiotics

Probiotics, such as those in yogurt and certain other similar products, are an excellent way of treating athlete's foot. The health of our intestines is closely related to that of our body overall. That's why it's important to consume sufficient amounts of probiotics to ensure a healthy balance of intestinal flora. If you suffer from athlete's foot, the culprit may have to do more with your gut than your feet. Some ways to get more probiotics include consuming yogurt in the morning or adding milk to smoothies. Greek yogurt is preferred, as it has the highest concentration of probiotics.

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Baking Soda

This unsuspecting remedy is considered by many to be highly effective in treating fungal infections. Baking soda is popular because it is lightweight, portable, and easy to use. It mainly acts like a sponge, absorbing excess amounts of moisture from the foot and surrounding area. The best way to use baking soda is to apply it directly onto the feet after going to the gym; this ensures that your feet stay dry and safe from bacteria. Alternatively, you may apply cornstarch onto the feet to suck up moisture, although this remedy works best by combining the two ingredients.

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Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is another essential oil on the list that contributes to treating foot fungus. Its antibacterial properties are harmful to organisms, making this an excellent remedy that also provides a unique benefit: relaxing aromatherapy. Not only is oregano damaging towards fungus, but it also smells great, making it an overall pleasant treatment option. To use oregano oil, add up to four ounces of oregano leaves into a warm foot bath. Soak your feet before going to bed and repeat up to twice a day. Discard the mixture and repeat when necessary.

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Sesame and Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has proved to be highly useful against conditions such as athlete's foot. Offering a combination of antifungal and antibacterial properties, coconut oil is one of the best treatments for athlete's foot. Coconut oil is even more powerful if mixed with other ingredients, such as oregano oil or apple cider vinegar. Another highly successful alternative to coconut oil is sesame oil, which contains many similar components as coconut oil. Apply the mixture directly onto the feet and allow drying. Repeat as often as necessary. Be sure not to apply too much as not to clog the pores of the skin.

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Ginger

Ginger is a staple food in many parts of the world due to its numerous health-related benefits. It's mostly consumed internally, but it can also be used topically to fight off skin conditions such as athlete's foot. Ginger is a versatile product; it can be used similar to fresh garlic, but you can also boil ginger and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. The resulting mixture can be applied up to twice a day onto clean feet. Using ginger on the feet will also ensure a fresh and long-lasting natural scent.

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Olive Oil

Thoroughly used throughout the world of cosmetics, olive oil is one of the most valued natural remedies for skin-related ailments. Olive oil contains a plethora of active agents such as lipids and other fatty acids that promote healing and protect the skin from further damage. A recent innovation involves the use of ozonized olive oil, which can be instrumental in dealing with Athlete's Foot. It both counters and prevents fungus from further developing. To use it, apply a small amount of olive oil paste onto dry skin and allow it to sit overnight. Wash and repeat whenever necessary.

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Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is often used in cleaning and beauty products as a means of eliminating bacteria. It also works great on human skin when it is diluted in water. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxygen-rich substance that overwhelms fungal growth, instantly killing it. To use hydrogen peroxide, dilute a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a foot bath. Allow your feet to soak for up to 10 minutes and dry the skin carefully. Be sure to get the substance under the toenails as well. If you feel a burning sensation, reduce the amount of peroxide and add more water. It is also a good idea to moisturize after using this remedy.

Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot
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Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol has long been used to disinfect cuts, but it is also known for treating athlete's foot. Research shows alcohol effectively kills fungus and bacteria on the skin's surface and works against infection in the earliest stages. The best way of using rubbing alcohol is by applying directly to the area or soaking feet for 30 minutes in a footbath of 70 percent alcohol and 30 percent water.

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Talcum Powder

Talcum powder helps treat athlete's foot by absorbing excess sweat and moisture, making it difficult for fungus to thrive. Research studies show the efficacy of talcum in treating infections like athlete's foot and ringworm. The best way to use talcum is to apply directly on clean, dry skin before putting on socks or shoes.

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Green Tea

While there is limited research on its effectiveness, green tea has long been a natural remedy for athlete's foot. Green tea contains nutrients called polyphenols, which have antifungal properties that help treat the condition. The best approach is to soak the feet in strong, lukewarm green tea for 30 minutes. However, this method doesn't work quickly, and it may take up to three months to see results.

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Soda

Baking soda is a popular home remedy for athlete's foot, and most people already have it in their cupboard. Studies show that sodium bicarbonate has antifungal properties when used on the skin. The best method is to make a foot soak using half a cup of baking soda in a big basin of water. Soak the feet for 20 minutes, twice a day. Dry the feet afterward, but do not rinse them.

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Calendula Ointment

For centuries, calendula has been a topical treatment for wounds and skin conditions. It is extracted from the calendula officinalis herb, which has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can assist with athlete's foot. Most pharmacies and health food shops carry calendula ointment, which works best when applied directly to the area, paying special attention to the area between the toes.

calendula ointment for athlete's foot spukkato / Getty Images

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.