Home Remedies to Cure Athlete's Foot Fungus

It starts with cracking and peeling in the tender skin between your toes that itches. Athlete's foot, or tinea pedis, might spread to the soles and sides of your feet, causing dry, scaly skin and redness. This fungal infection can be efficiently nipped in the bud when caught in its early stages; however, the American Academy of Dermatology advises first seeing your doctor before using home remedies to cure athlete's foot.

Drugstore Topicals

If your case of athlete's foot is mild, your doctor is likely to recommend over-the-counter antifungal creams, ointments, sprays or powders. The Mayo Clinic states that products with the medications clotrimazole, miconazole, terbinafine or tolnaftate are probably your best bet. Apply these in a thin layer after washing and drying you feet well or according to the label's instructions. The National Institutes of Health states that you need to use these for two weeks after symptoms of athlete's foot go away.

Natural Cures

Using tea tree oil is just as effective as commercial products made to treat athlete's foot. He advises applying a light layer of the oil to the affected area two to three times daily and for two additional weeks after your symptoms go away. You can purchase 100 percent tea tree oil at most natural food markets. Alternately you can try grapefruit seed extract and use it in the same way.

Soaking your feet in tea also can help so the tannic acid can kill the fungus. The tea also soothes the feet. Add six tea bags to a quart of boiling water. Wait until the tea is cool enough to put your feet in. Soak your feet for at least 30 min.


Let your feet get a little fresh air. Wear open-toed shoes if you can, and change out of damp or sweat-saturated socks as soon as you can. Preventing recurrence of athlete's foot is an important part of your cure, as it can return. If you walk in damp public areas such as locker rooms, wear flip-flops. Toss out old gym shoes, and never borrow anyone else's footwear.

Dry Feet Completely

Drying your feet after showers and keeping them dry throughout the day discourages the fungus growth. Towel off your feet completely, particularly the area between your toes. Using baking soda or talcum powder on your feet helps keep them dry. Choose socks that help keep your feet dry. You should also change your socks frequently if they become wet with perspiration.

Wash Socks on Hot

Because they touch your feet all day long, socks may end up with the athlete's foot fungus on them. The Safe Natural Cures website recommends washing your socks with hot water to get rid of the fungus. The site also recommends placing clean socks in the microwave to kill the fungus.

Prevent Future Outbreaks

Once you get rid of athlete's foot, take precautions to prevent future outbreaks. Wearing shower shoes or flip flops in the locker room and near wet pool areas helps you avoid athlete's foot fungus that may be growing there. Shoes that allow your feet to breathe help prevent athlete's foot. Wash your feet at least once a day with soap and warm water.

Athlete's Foot Home Remedies 


Healers in Australia, the native home of the tea tree, have long used the herb for treating various skin and fungal infections. Tea tree oil has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it especially effective for treating athlete's foot. One study, published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology, examined patients applying 25 or 50 percent tea tree oil solution to athlete's foot twice daily for four weeks. At the end of the study, patients using tea tree oil experienced marked improvement compared to those using placebo. To use the treatment at home, dilute one part tea tree oil to one part olive oil and apply directly to the affected area up to three times daily. It may take several weeks before you notice results.


Garlic, a powerful natural antibacterial and antifungal agent, may also help treat athlete's foot. In his book "Alternative Cures," Bill Gottlieb recommends rubbing 2 to 3 drops of pure garlic oil onto the affected areas of the feet before bedtime. Use liquid garlic oil or pierce a garlic oil capsule with a pin and squeeze the oil directly onto the fungus. Rub the oil into the skin, and then put on a pair of socks to prevent staining your bedclothes. If you don't have access to garlic oil, rub a fresh, crushed garlic clove over the area instead. Repeat the treatment each night for up to four weeks, or until your athlete's foot infection subsides.


Also known for its antibacterial properties, onion juice may help reduce symptoms and expedite healing of an athlete's foot infection. Lydia Wilen, author of "Healing Remedies," suggests applying onion juice to the affected area three times daily until the infection clears. Grate a small onion and press it through a piece of cheesecloth to get the juice, or use a vegetable juicer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Massage the onion juice into the feet and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse your feet with tepid water and dry thoroughly.


A natural antifungal, goldenseal works to combat athlete's foot. In her book "Smart Medicine for Your Skin," Jeanette Jacknin recommends consuming goldenseal tincture each day and applying a tea made from the herb externally until the infection is gone. For best results, add 5 drops goldenseal tincture to juice and drink three times daily. Make a goldenseal tea by steeping 6 tsp. of the dried herb in 1 cup water for 20 minutes, straining and allowing to cool. Apply the tea directly to the feet using a sterile cotton ball three times daily.

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