Natural Athletes Foot Remedies
Natural athletes foot remedies include the use of herbs, essential oils, and other nutritional supplements.
Athlete's foot, known medically as "tinea pedis", is a persistent fungal infection that develops in the moist areas between your toes and sometimes on other parts of
your foot. The skin affected by this condition usually appears red, cracked, and scaly, and can cause itching, burning, and stinging.
Athlete's foot is contagious. It can be spread through direct contact with the infection and by skin particles left on towels, shoes, floors of private or public showers,
gym floors, and around swimming pools. People with sweaty feet are more susceptible to getting this skin condition.
Most cases of athletes foot are not serious and can be safely treated at home. However, complications can and do arise when a bacterial infection sets in, along with
the fungal infection. The bottom line? If your athletes foot does not get better after you have used some natural home athletes foot remedies, or if it gets worse over
time, consult a doctor.
Symptoms of Athlete's Foot
Depending on the type of athletes foot, you may see some of the following symptoms:
- Burning, itching, peeling, and cracking between the toes and on other places of the foot
- The skin on the bottom or heel of the foot may become thick and cracked
- Yellowish-brown toenails
- Toenails sometimes pull away from the nail bed
- Patches of dry skin
- Itchy blisters
Causes of Athlete's Foot
A group of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes causes athlete's foot. These fungi infect the outer layer of the skin. In response to this fungal growth, the basal
layer of the skin produces more skin cells than usual. As these cells push to the surface, the skin becomes thick and scaly.
The fungi that cause athlete's foot thrive in damp, close environments - tight shoes, damp socks, wet feet all favor fungal growth.
Some people are more susceptible to athlete's foot than others. For example:
- People with a depressed immune system (e.g. diabetes)
- People with poor digestion and elimination
- People who are on a high sugar diet
- People with prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics or corticosteriods
Natural Athletes Foot Remedies
There are quite a few natural athletes foot remedies that you may want to try to get rid of this skin condition.
In addition to topically fight the fungal growth, it is also important to use natural remedies and diet to strengthen your immune system. Fungus feeds on sugar, so
eliminating sugars in your diet is a first step.
A healthy diet based on fresh vegetables and lean protein such as fish, beans and lentils is recommended. Unsweetened yogurt can provide "friendly bacteria" to your
digestive system to help fight fungal overgrowth.
Natural Athletes Foot Remedies - Herbs
Quite a few herbs are antifungal and antiseptic. The most effective ones are:
- Garlic: Garlic fights fungal infections; and it strengthens the immune system at the same time. You can take up to 1000 mg of garlic twice a day. Topically,
you can use garlic oil to treat athletes foot. Simply crush several cloves of garlic and steep them in olive oil for one to three days. Strain out the plant material
and use a cotton ball to apply the garlic oil between your toes a few times a day.
- Ginger: Ginger contains a lot of antifungal compounds. You can prepare a strong decoction by adding one ounce of chopped ginger root to a cup of boiling water.
Simmer for 20 minutes and use a cotton ball to apply it directly to the affected areas twice a day.
- Turmeric: Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and also contains
compounds that are antifungal. Use the oil of turmeric and dilute one part of oil to two parts of water and apply it directly to the affected area, using a cotton ball.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is frequently used to boost the immune system. This herb is also antifungal and is beneficial for treating athletes foot and
You can get a tincture of this herb and simply add the recommended amount to juice three times a day to enhance the effectiveness of the other natural athletes foot
- Calendula: This herb has an antiseptic effect and possesses excellent healing power. Apply a tincture or gel of this herb to the affected
areas several times a day.
Natural Athletes Foot Remedies - Essential Oils
Several essential oils have powerful antifungal properties and can be used to treat athletes foot. They include:
Among these oils, the most effective one is tea tree oil. You can add 5 drops of tea tree oil and one cup of salt to a large bowl of water and use it as a foot bath.
Soak your feet for at least five minutes a day.
You can also dilute the oil with vegetable oil and apply it with a cotton ball directly to the affected area three times a day.
- Tea tree oil
Other Natural Athletes Foot Remedies
Here are some other natural athletes foot remedies that you may want to consider:
- Grapefruit Seed Extract: GSE is antifungal and can prevent fungal overgrowth. You can take about 200 mg twice a day.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is anti-inflammatory and enhances immune function. A dosage of 1000 mg twice a day is recommended.
- Probiotics: Probiotics provide our digestive system with "friendly bacteria" which can fight fungal growth.
Natural Home Remedies for Ringworm
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004)
Duke, J.A. The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2002)
Worwood, V.A. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (New World Library, 1991)
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