When using public showers, swimming pools or any space that usually remains wet and warm, you may be prone to catching athlete’s foot, a common fungal infection.
The fungus, which is known as Tinea pedis, can grow on any part of your foot and create white or scaly patches.
People who suffer from athlete’s foot experience symptoms like itching, burning and stinging among others.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Though athlete’s foot is completely curable, you should definitely know how to prevent this fungal infection.
It’s easy to catch this infection when you visit a public shower or a health club or wear wet shoes and socks.
You should be careful while using wet spaces or areas you visit often.
The best tip to prevent athlete’s foot is by cleaning or drying your feet – including the areas between your toes – every time after you have used a damp public space.
Dermatologists suggest that you wear flip-flops and sandals when walking around public spaces like gyms, pools, showers etc.
Keep your toenails well-trimmed, as the athlete’s foot fungus can grow under your long toenails while you are fully unaware.
Take extra care when you are staying with someone who has got athlete’s foot. Never share towels, linens or shoes with infected people.
Don’t walk barefoot on a floor where someone with athlete’s foot has been. Avoid putting on wet shoes and socks for too long.
5 Natural Remedies for Athlete’s Foot
You’ll find all kinds of remedies to soothe and cure athlete’s foot. A lot of people use chemicals to get rid of this fungal infection.
But the best recommendation is to use natural remedies because they are easier and keep you away from the side-effects of harmful chemicals.
Given below are five best natural remedies that can help you control and cure athlete’s foot fungus.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Abbreviated as ACV, apple cider vinegar has a long history of treating a number of infections in humans.
But it’s one of the most effective for curing athlete’s foot. This apple product is easily available in stores and you can also buy it online and get it delivered to your doorstep.
Keep in mind that apple cider vinegar has multiple versions available and you should get only that version which is top quality and unpasteurized.
You can also create it on your own at home.
Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar into two cups of water and the foot soak for athlete’s foot fungus is ready.
Pour it into a foot bath container and soak your feet for 20-30 minutes every day.
You can also apply apple cider vinegar directly to the fungus affected areas using a cotton ball. If this feels sharp, you may want to dilute it with some water.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is also called melaleuca oil, as it is extracted from the leaves of a tree named melaleuca alternifolia.
Since tea tree is native to Australia, it’s been used by Australians to treat different types of fungal infections for thousands of years.
Tea tree oil can be identified with a strong odor. Due to its excellent medicinal properties, tea tree oil has become an effective natural remedy for curing multiple infections, particularly for soothing and treating athlete’s foot fungus.
Add 30-40 drops of this essential oil to a foot bath and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes twice a day.
If you have severe athlete’s foot, you can apply a few drops of the oil directly to the infected area.
Garlic is well-known for its anti-fungal properties because it contains a compound called allicin.
If you have been suffering from athlete’s foot for a long time, garlic is one of the most effective natural remedies you can use.
Mash some garlic cloves and add them to water. Soak your feet for 20-25 minutes twice or three times a day. Continue till the infection has gone.
It is also a good idea to include garlic in your daily diet as a treatment but it may take longer before you see results.
Organic neem oil is a good natural remedy for curing athlete’s foot. Native to India and Myanmar, neem is a large semi-evergreen tree.
Due to its powerful medicinal properties, neem has been used to treat a wide range of skin infections like acne, eczema, psoriasis etc.
Apply a few drops of neem oil directly to the affected area and rub on using a cotton ball.
Soak both the affected area and the area that surrounds it for great results. Do it at least twice a day.
When you’re looking for natural remedies to treat athlete’s foot, yogurt is one of the best options to go for.
Yogurt has probiotic bacteria called acidophilus, which kills fungus and bacteria quite effectively.
Buy plain yogurt from the market and apply it to the fungus affected areas on your feet.
In fact, cover the entire affected area in yogurt and leave it to dry on its own.
Once all the applied yogurt has dried, wash it off with lukewarm water. Pat dry the area completely.
Repeat this twice a day. In addition to applying yogurt, you can also include yogurt in your everyday diet in severe cases.
Carry on with the application and eating until the infection goes away.
While athlete’s foot is not a life-threatening ailment, if it’s left uncontrolled for a longer period, you can experience a lot of pain and even find it difficult to walk.
Look out for early signs of this fungal infection – patches or fissures on your feet and between the toes.
As the infection grows, you’ll notice symptoms like itching and burning. Don’t ignore it.
If you see you have been infected, use the best natural remedies shared above.
Hopefully, your athlete’s foot will go away much before you’re needed to see a foot care specialist.