Athlete’s foot is a fungal skin infection that usually begins between the toes and commonly occurs to people whose feet become sweaty while confined in tight ill-fitting shoes. As the name suggests, it is mostly seen in people who engage in regular physical activity. The fungus thrives in warm, damp areas like locker room floors, health clubs, showers, swimming pools and can be spread by stepping on surfaces contaminated with the fungus. It causes a scaly, itchy rash that may have painful or burning sensations. Here are some home remedies for athlete’s foot.
Hydrogen peroxide can effectively kill the fungus causing athlete’s foot. Pour some onto the affected area twice daily until the infection subsides. Expect it to sting and bubble especially if you have open wounds.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has long been used to treat topical skin infections. Multiple studies confirm that topical application of tea tree oil has a positive effect on treating athlete’s foot. Mix tea tree oil with another carrier oil of your choice and apply to the affected area. Other oils that you can use are jojoba oil, neem oil, and coconut oil. Apply a few drops of oil to the affected area and let it soak for 20-30 minutes then wash it off with water and thoroughly dry the area. You can also let the oil fully soak into the skin.
Coconut oil and neem oil work on athlete’s foot because of its antifungal properties. Jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Foot bath – vinegar, sea salts, green tea
Vinegar has anti-microbial properties that eliminate fungi thus treating athlete’s foot. It also keeps the skin dry facilitating the healing process. Mix vinegar with water in the ratio 1:3 and soak your feet in the mixture for about 15 minutes. Thoroughly dry your feet and repeat daily until the infection is gone. You can also use apple cider vinegar. Mix equal amounts water and apple cider vinegar. Soak your feet in it for 15 minutes twice daily. Thoroughly dry. Health: 15 Proven Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Other foot baths that work are sea salt baths and green tea. For sea salts, dissolve a cup of sea salt into a warm foot bath and soak for about 20 minutes. Dry your feet thoroughly when done. Sea salt has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can also use ordinary salt.
Green tea helps keep the skin free of moisture and restricts fungal activity. Steep five tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Soak your feet in the bath for half an hour then dry your feet thoroughly. Repeat twice daily for 5-6 weeks. 7 Ways To Use Green Tea That You Probably Didn’t Know About
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Baking soda is a natural antiseptic that helps prevent the development of secondary infections. It also keeps the area moisture-free which aids with healing. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water to form a thick paste. Apply it to the affected area and allow it to dry. Rinse thoroughly and pat your skin dry.
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Garlic has anti-fungal properties that are effective against athlete’s foot and is considered most potent when it is raw. Crush 4-5 garlic cloves and directly apply it to the affected area twice daily. One study found that garlic resulted in a complete cure in 79% of participants in just 7 days.
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Talcum powder or baby powder keeps the area dry which makes it difficult for the athlete’s foot fungus to thrive. You can also use corn starch. Just apply it directly to the affected area every time before putting on socks.
Vicks VapoRub is not just for bad coughs. It has eucalyptus oil and menthol both of which have antifungal properties. Massage some onto the affected area for at least a month until a week after the infection has disappeared.
Prevention of athlete’s foot
Here are a few things to do to prevent re-infection.
- Keep your feet dry, especially between your toes.
- Wear quality socks and change them regularly.
- Wear light, ventilated shoes.
- Alternate pairs of shoes.
- Protect your feet in public areas, like wearing sandals at the pool.
- Avoid sharing shoes.
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