Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that is very contagious. It is the same fungus that causes jock itch and ringworm. You can get athlete’s foot by going barefoot in a gym, at the pool in the changing rooms, locker rooms, wearing damp shoes and socks, or using someone’s towel that has athlete’s foot. Because it is a very contagious disease that causes severe itching you want to make sure you get rid of athlete’s foot quickly.
In addition to the severe itching your skin may be red, cause a stinging or burning pain, and develop blisters that get crusty or ooze on your feet. You may also have peeling or flaking of your foot, and develop dry skin. Sometimes you may also see blistering, cracking, and bleeding. These symptoms can appear any place on your feet, even between your toes and your toe nails.
1. Practice good foot hygiene
In order to keep your athlete’s foot infection from spreading and getting worse, you need to make sure that you are practicing good foot hygiene. It will also help to cure your case of athlete’s foot.
- Make sure that you are keeping your feet clean and dry so after bathing, dry completely, including between your toes.
- Wash your feet with warm water using an antifungal soap at least two times a day.
- Avoid wearing synthetic or tight footwear because you want to make sure that your feet can “breathe.”
- Change your socks at least once a day, especially after bathing. Use cotton socks because nylon or synthetic socks can accumulate moisture.
- When washing your towels, washcloths, and socks do it in hot water using a mild detergent. Wash them separately from your other clothes.
- Give your shoes time to air dry, so do not wear the same shoes every day.
- Wear sandals or flip flops when you are at the pool, gym locker room, or gym shower.
- Go barefoot at home to give your feet a chance to get some air.
- Keep your feet free from moisture.
- Never wear damp shoes, sandals, or socks.
- Spray your shoes at night with an antifungal spray. If possible do this several times a day.
- Sprinkle your feet with baking soda or cornstarch before you put on your socks to help absorb the moisture and keep your feet dry.
2. Tea tree oil
Soak your feet in a liter and a half of warm water and add fifty to sixty drops of tea tree oil. You can dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil or use it full strength. Soak for at least thirty minutes. Tea tree oil has been shown to get rid of athlete’s foot and using it on a regular basis, you may be able to prevent it from coming back.
3. Soak in Epsom salt
Soak your feet in warm water with about a half cup of Epsom salt each day for thirty minutes. After drying your feet you can sprinkle them with baking soda to help prevent athlete’s foot from returning.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one of the most trusted home remedy used to treat athlete’s foot. This type of vinegar has the ability to destroy the fungal infection that is causing this problem and helps to relieve the persistent itch.
- Foot soak—mix one part warm water with one part pure all natural apple cider vinegar in a pan big enough to soak your feet for twenty minutes. Before and after you soak your feet you need to clean them with a gentle soap like Ivory. You can do this treatment once or twice a day. Depending on how severe your athlete’s foot is it should clear up in seven to fourteen days.
- If it is a severe infection instead of using a foot to soak you should use a cotton ball or washcloth that is soaked in the vinegar to gently rub the areas of your feet that are affected. This home remedy will give you instant relief from the itchiness.
5. Soak in Betadine
If you have cracks between your toes or redness there is a possibility that the infection causing your athlete’s foot has been compounded by a bacterial infection. To help cure your athlete’s foot and give you some relief from the burning and itching soak your feet in Betadine.
- Soak your feet in warm water to which you have added two cupfuls of Betadine. Soak your feet once a day for twenty minutes. After the soak, dry off completely and apply an antifungal medication.
6. Baking soda
Mix a little water with a teaspoon of baking soda and mix together until it becomes a thick paste. Put it on all the affected areas and leave on for forty-five to sixty minutes, and then wash off with warm water.
Garlic is an herb that exhibits anti-fungal properties which can help to inhibit or destroy the growth of the fungus causing this infection. You can take a garlic supplement to get rid of the infection from the inside out. You can also swab the infected area two times a day with garlic juice. Adding garlic to your food is also a good way to help clear up your athlete’s foot.
8. Aloe Vera
Using aloe Vera will help to cool and soothe your skin. Using a swab or cotton ball dab some of the affected areas. It is best to use this treatment at night when you can let your feet “breathe.”
9. Over-the-counter medications
If your case of athlete’s foot is mild you can use these types of treatment alone or along with other home remedies. It can be in the form of a lotion, cream, spray, or powder. Whichever you choose should contain the ingredient miconazole, terbinafine, clotrimazole, or butenafine. These are the ingredients that will help get rid of fungal infections. You need to make sure that you are following the instructions and applying them to the affected area each day. You will need to do this treatment for twenty-one to forty-eight days.
10. Prescription medications
To get rid of athlete’s foot that is severe or is not responding to home remedies you may have to see your physician to get a prescription strength medication. The most common topical medication that is prescribed is a stronger strength miconazole. Your physician may also prescribe an oral medication like terbinafine or fluconazole.
11. Taking a dietary supplement
Check the ingredients to make sure that the dietary supplement contains a probiotic. This probiotic works in a natural way to prevent the fungus from growing. If you do not want to take a dietary supplement, you can eat yogurt, which has the same essential benefits as a probiotic.
12. Cinnamon soak
Using this particular treatment will help to slow down the fungal infection. Boil four cups of water to which you add eight to ten broken cinnamon sticks. Let it simmer for five minutes and then let it steep for another forty-five minutes, After cooling the mixture a little you should now soak your feet for fifteen to thirty minutes.
13. Salt water soak
For each cup of warm or cool water you are using add one teaspoon of table salt. Soak your feet for ten minutes and after drying, they apply some baking soda between each of the toes. You can even rub some in on your feet.
14. Lemon or lime juice rinse
Before you put on your socks and shoes you should take the time to rinse your feet in a lemon or lime rinse. Add the juice of a lemon or lime to warm water and rinse your feet for at least five minutes. Either of these fruit rinses will help to prevent excessive sweating and help to restrict the fungal infection from spreading and getting worse.
15. Tannic acid
This is found in black tea and will help to restrict fungal activity along with helping to dry out any excess moisture from your feet. In two quarts of water, steep ten small tea bags. When cool soak your feet for approximately fifteen minutes. You can also use it as a rinse before putting on your socks and shoes.