13 Athlete’s Foot Home Remedies | Tips to Avoid Athlete’s Foot and Nail Fungus
What Exactly is Athlete’s Foot Infection?
Athlete’s foot also known as tinea pedis (Scientific name), pairo ka dad (Hindi/Urdu), gajakarna / nayata (Marathi), Kal patartamarai (Tamil), Jiaoxuan (Chinese), tina del pie (Spanish), micose pe (Portuguese), Pa dada (Bengali), nogi strigushchiy lishay (Russian). Athlete’s Foot also known as ringworm of the foot, tinea pedum, and moccasin foot. It is a fungal infection of the skin results into scaling, flaking, and itching.
What Causes Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection which attacks the warm, moist areas between the toes, most commonly between the fourth and fifth toes. It causes discomfort and itching in the affected area. Additionally, it is highly infectious, spreading through close physical contact, notoriously in the changing facilities at public swimming baths. Athlete’s foot is very persistent. Sweaty feet is the main cause of athlete’s foot. However that is not the only reason, inadequate personal hygiene is another reason. Peeling of skin, dry and scaly or damp and blistered skin, and unpleasant odor common symptoms of athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s Foot Home Remedies
Athlete’s foot home remedies with easy available ingredients like – baking soda, garlic, epsom salt, vinegar, bleach, Vicks and Listerine.
- Aloe Vera + Turmeric: The main cause of athlete’s foot is sweating. Lets begin by cleaning. Clean the problem area with some tea tree oil and a cotton swab. Mix 1 teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel with ½ teaspoon turmeric, and apply some of the mixture to the affected areas. This mixture will turn your skin and socks yellow. If you use it at night, it will stain your sheets also. So wear a pair of old socks to prevent the discoloration. Continue treatment twice a day for 2 weeks.
- Garlic + Olive Oil: Mash 1 garlic clove and 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 ml) olive oil together into a paste. Apply equally to the infected area. Once applied, remove after 1 hour. Be sure to test this strong antidote on a patch of skin. Don’t use the garlic alone because this strong herb can irritate the skin. The olive oil specifically creates a protective coating. Most people can tolerate 1 hour. Remove sooner if you have sensitive skin or the application causes discomfort.
- Tea Tree Oil: Creams containing between 10 and 50 percent tea tree oil help resolve athlete’s foot. Hence sake tea tree oil lotion at home. Firstly, blend 1 tablespoon unscented body lotion and 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil in a small, clean jar or bowl. Apply to equally affected areas on the feet. Finally, wash your hands. Internal use can be toxic so keep your bottle of tea tree oil out of the reach of children. Tea tree oil can cause skin irritation, so stop using it if you experience the same.
- Coconut Oil: Turmeric and coconut oil, both has antifungal properties. Firstly, over low heat, in a pan melt ¼ cup (56 g) coconut oil. Then, whisk in 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground turmeric. Finally turn off the heat. Pour the mixture into a clean dish to cool. Spread on the affected area equally. Further allow to soak in for 15 to 20 minutes. Thereafter rinse off and dry the area thoroughly. Turmeric can leave temporary stain on skin.
- Yogurt: Yogurt’s live ingredient, acidophilus, makes lactic acid, which helps fight fungus. Hence daily application can soothe and help heal the infected area. Apply 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 g) of plain yogurt to the infected areas for 15 to 20 minutes. Then rinse off and dry feet thoroughly. Now put on socks and shoes. Make sure yogurt has live cultures of acidophilus.
- Use fungicidal essential oils, such as Myrrh, Ti-Tree and garlic, is an effective treatment.
- Vinegar: Vinegar contains acetic acid hence discourages fungal growth. Consistent application has often been met with success in clearing up fungal infection. Combine ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar, 5 drops tea tree and peppermint essential oil, 2 to 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil in a jar and shake. Finally soak cotton balls in the mixture and apply. Covering the affected area equally. Later if you have any solution left over, cap the jar tightly to prevent the evaporation of the plant essential oils. Repeat the procedure for several weeks, or further even months. Vinegar is acidic in nature and hence may irritate the skin. To dilute it, use one part vinegar to three parts water.
- Mix together ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or clove essential oil and 2½ teaspoons (13 ml) olive oil. Firstly test a little on a patch of skin, and then try full feet therapy. Surprisingly most of the spices have antifungal properties that help foil common skin infections.
- Neem: Wash your feet with neem soap. Then dry thoroughly with a hair drier or soft towel. Apply some neem oil (about ¼ teaspoon) mixed with about 10 drops of tea tree oil. Apply that mixture topically to the affected area with a cotton swab.
- Garlic Cloves: Eat garlic. To complement the garlic salve recipe for the outside of your feet, try this simple treatment to attack from the inside, too. Firstly mince one to two garlic cloves. Stir it into your food such as eggs, rice, soups, or mashed potatoes. Or pop a 500 to 600 milligram capsule of garlic each day.
- Oregano + Thyme: Oregano and thyme has a high fungicidal (fungus-killing) power. Boil the water in a saucepan. Then turn off the heat, add the herbs (2 tablespoons (5 g) dried thyme leaves and oregano leaves), cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Finally stir in ¼ cup salt. Reheat over low heat. Strain into a basin big enough for your feet. Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is still warm. Dry your feet, including between your toes, with a clean towel. Adding salt and heat to the essential oil solution amplified the fungicidal power.
- Essential Oil: A foot bath with tea tree oil, eucalyptus, patchouli, myrrh, and/or lavender is effective as all the oils are soothing and antifungal. For better result, add unscented skin lotion.
- Vicks for toenail fungus: One surprising home remedy with Vicks VapoRub. It contains essential oils from plants with antifungal activity. It contains thymol from thyme, menthol from peppermint, eucalyptol from eucalyptus, and camphor from Cinnamomum camphora. In the night wash your toes carefully with warm water and dry them thoroughly with a clean towel. Wet a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and apply to each toenail. Use a fresh cotton ball for each nail, this helps not to spread infection. Let your toes air dry. Coat each toenail with Vicks. Cover your feet with cotton socks to keep the Vicks working on your toes and off your sheets. This is the best remedy to treat long-standing toenail fungus.
How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot and Nail Fungus?
Apart from these athlete’s foot home remedies, try few tips to keep all foot infections away.
- Wear socks that absorb and wick away moisture. Many doctors recommend cotton, a good alternative is wool. You can now find it in all styles and thicknesses.
- If you have athlete’s foot or are prone to get it, avoid fermented food and sugar.
- Keep your feet dry. If your feet sweat, change your socks. Put talcum powder or cornstarch in your shoes. Or sprinkle baking soda in your shoes to absorb moisture. Your feet will stay drier longer. Like cornstarch, baking soda will absorb sweat and hinder the fungi that thrive in damp conditions.
- In hot weather, wear sandals or other shoes with good ventilation. Air out shoes after each use.
- Don’t share socks, shoes, towels, or nail clippers with someone with athlete’s foot or a fungal nail infection.
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