Natural Remedies to Prevent and Cure Athlete’s Foot

You don’t need to be an athlete to get athlete’s foot: While the ailment got its name because it thrives in the moist areas where athletes tend to congregate, like locker rooms, pool changing areas, and public showers, you can get it simply by being exposed to it. To prevent and cure athlete’s foot, check out these natural remedies!

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
3-minute read

Natural Remedies to Prevent and Cure Athlete’s Foot

Basic Athlete’s Foot Treatment

To treat athlete’s foot, prepare a solution of water and white vinegar—one part white vinegar to four parts water; soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. (Yes, vinegar can do everything.) Then sprinkle some baking soda between your toes and rinse your feet after fifteen minutes. It is as effective as an expensive antifungal powder.

Essential Oil Variation

If you’re got some essential oils around the house, give this variation on the previous treatment a try. To a gallon of warm water, add ½ cup vinegar along with a few drops of tea-tree oil and lavender oil, both of which have antifungal properties. Soak your feet for 20 minutes twice a day in this solution, and you’ll quickly have a noticeable improvement in your symptoms. 

The Salt Solution

For an easy, cheap remedy, try a salt soak (after all, who doesn’t have salt?). The fungus that causes athlete’s foot can’t thrive in saline (a.k.a. salty) solutions, so dissolve about a 1/3 cup salt in a gallon of warm water, and soak your feet in the water for 10 minutes or so at a time, then dry your feet thoroughly. Repeat daily until the problem disappears. Salt has the added benefit of eliminating the perspiration on which athlete’s foot thrives.

Beer for Athlete’s Foot

Fighting athlete’s foot? Soak your feet in the darkest beer you can find. The yeast in the beer attracts the fungus from your feet. (Unfortunately, it’s important that you don’t drink any beer during this treatment! It will raise the yeast content in your body, making the athlete’s foot more likely to stick around.)

Mouthwash Remedy

For immediate relief from itching or burning, don’t buy pricey anti-itch medication: just soak your feet in an antiseptic mouthwash like Listerine. It really works, and it costs a lot less.

Nighttime Yogurt Treatment

To get rid of athlete’s foot, rub your feet in plain yogurt each night, allow it to dry, and then rinse off. The acidophilus (good) bacteria in yogurt go to work immediately on killing the fungus!

Start with Your Shoes

If you’re prone to athlete’s foot, stop it before it starts with a household spray like Lysol. Every evening when you remove your shoes, spray some Lysol on a paper towel or rag and then wipe down the insides of your shoes. You’ll not only eliminate an area where the fungus could have grown, but you’ll reduce the chance of spreading it to others if it is there.

Stay Dry

The key to making sure you never get athlete’s foot is to keep your feet dryd. When you get out of the shower, dry your feet with a hair dryer to make sure you eliminate all traces of moisture. Next, dust them with some cornstarch to absorb moisture during the day. You’ll make an inhospitable environment for the fungus, and your feet will stay nice and dry.

Keep Athlete’s Foot from Spreading

Keep your athlete’s foot to yourself! If someone in your family has it and you share shoes, socks, a towel, or a shower with him or her, you can catch it too. To prevent it from spreading through your household, don’t share these items with others.

Foot Bath to Prevent Athlete’s Foot

If you find you’re susceptible to athlete’s foot, here’s a trick to keep that nasty fungus at bay. Once or twice a week, soak your feet in a hot bath mixed in with two cloves of crushed garlic. The garlic will kill athlete’s foot before it starts, and you won’t be afraid to walk around in sandals. To treat a case of athlete’s food that has already begun, try soaking your toes in mouthwash. It may sting a little, but the fungus will be gone in just a few days.

Tea Time

Another great idea for keeping sweaty feet dry is to soak them in some tea. Add five or six teabags to your footbath and pour in about a half-gallon of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep and cool until it’s comfortable to put your feet in. Soak for 30 minutes, then dry your feet thoroughly. Tea contains tannins, a kind of astringent that will eliminate excess moisture, leaving your ailing feet much more comfortable.

Image by Shutterstock.

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.