Seven Natural Home Remedies to Treat Athlete's Foot

16 December, 2019
In addition to maintaining proper hygiene and avoiding moisture in the area, to treat athlete's foot, you can take advantage of the antifungal properties of some natural ingredients such as baking soda.

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that thrives in somewhat opposing environments: either in hot or very humid places. Do you know how to recognize it? Do you know how to treat it? In this article, we talk about its main symptoms and causes. In addition, we reveal some natural treatments to help you fight it.

What are the causes of athlete’s foot?

A person with athlete's foot.

According to information collected in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, athlete’s foot is caused by dermatophyte fungal infection. These can reach the skin through small cracks or wounds in its upper layer.

Due to the fact that the feet usually have a humid and warm environment, these fungi get proliferated. In turn, you’re more likely to get an infection due to the following factors:

  • Having moist feet for long periods of time.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Not drying your feet well.
  • Minor skin lesions.
  • Immune deficiencies.
  • Wearing socks or tights that aren’t made of cotton or wearing closed shoes that don’t allow the feet to ventilate properly.

To make matters worse, athlete’s foot can be extremely contagious. It can spread from finger to finger, foot to foot, on the floors of showers, and sharing shoes. Once it has been identified, you need to effectively treat it and stop it from spreading.

Read this article too: 9 Remedies to Heal blisters

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?

The symptoms of this condition can manifest in one way or another, according to the severity of the infection. Among the most common symptoms of athlete’s foot are:

  • Bad odor.
  • Red rash.
  • Pain when extending the toes.
  • Blisters filled with fluid or pus.
  • Dry skin.
  • Burning or itching.

Natural remedies to fight athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection. Therefore, its first-line treatment is usually prescription or over-the-counter antifungal products. Information disclosed in the Cochrane Library states that antifungals should be used two times a day, for about four weeks, to fight this infection.

However, in some people, the treatment must be extended or repeated, as there’s a risk of reinfection. On the other hand, it’s convenient to keep your feet dry, wear ventilated shoes, and avoid walking barefoot in swimming pools and public places.

However, a series of home remedies are also available that can help in this regard. Although there’s limited evidence on its effectiveness, they’re usually safe to use and, according to popular culture, yield good results.

1. Vinegar

A person soaking their feet in vinegar to treat athlete's foot.

Apple cider vinegar baths are one of the popular remedies against athlete’s foot. According to a study published in Medscape General Medicine, it has anti-infective properties. However, there’s no evidence on its effectiveness against athlete’s foot.

In any case, it’s a safe and inexpensive remedy that seems to relieve symptoms such as itching. If you want to try it at home, take note of the following instructions.


  • 1 and 1/2 cup of vinegar (375 ml)
  • 3 cups of water (750 ml)


  • Add the vinegar and warm water to a large bowl or bucket.
  • Soak your feet in it for 15 minutes.
  • Afterward, dry them well. Repeat this process twice a day.

Check out this article too: Do You Have Symptoms of Foot Fungus?

2. Salt

This is another remedy that may help relieve athlete’s foot. As in the previous case, you can use it in a foot bath.


  • 6 tablespoons of salt (60 g)
  • 4 cups of water (1 liter)


  • First of all, add the salt to a bucket with water. Then, soak your feet.
  • After 15 or 20 minutes, dry them well.
  • Do this for at least 15 days.

3. Baking soda

Baking soda treatment.

Baking soda is ideal to fight fungi. Research published in the journal Mycopathologia discovered that this ingredient has antifungal effects when used on the skin. This time, we’re going to make a paste with it. You can proceed as follows:


  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda (30 g)
  • Water (as needed)


  • First of all, mix the baking soda with a little water. The idea is to make a thick paste. Depending on how much you need, you can add more water or more baking soda.
  • Rub the paste around the affected areas and let it act. Also, you can apply it at night and remove it in the morning.

4. Onion juice

Onion has antifungal properties that work in the treatment of athlete’s foot. In a study published in the journal Fitoterapia, it was determined that this ingredient, similar to garlic, has promising effects in the treatment of fungal diseases such as those caused by dermatophytes.


  • 1 or 2 onions


  • First of all, blend the onions until you get the juice.
  • Then, using a cotton ball, apply the onion juice to the infected area (after first cleaning it using an antifungal product).
  • Finally, clean and protect the area with talcum powder to prevent any residual moisture.

5. Tea

Feet getting soaked in tea.

Baths with tea bags have a calming effect against symptoms such as itching and irritation caused by athlete’s foot. If you want to try it out, follow the instructions we share below.


  • 2 cups of water (500 ml)
  • 6 teaspoons of tea (60 g) or 6 tea bags


  • First of all, heat the water to a boil. Then, add the tea and allow it to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Afterward, remove from heat and wait for the liquid to cool.
  • Finally, once cooled, strain the liquid and soak your feet in it.
  • It’s convenient to repeat this procedure for a month.

6. Plain yogurt

Yogurt has many benefits. In this case, the bacteria found in yogurt can prevent athlete’s foot fungus from spreading.


  • First of all, apply some plain yogurt to the affected areas and let it dry.
  • Afterward, carefully remove it using a clean cloth and completely dry your feet.

7. Hygiene

Clean hygienic feet.

Last but not least, having good hygiene habits can be one of the best ways to prevent and eliminate the fungi that cause athlete’s foot.

Try adding these recommendations to your daily routine:

  • First of all, always wear clean and dry socks.
  • When you shower, wash your feet with soap and water and dry them thoroughly.
  • Wear sandals when using public showers or pools.
  • Apply antifungal powder (such as talcum powder) to your feet to prevent moisture build-up.
  • Finally, wear shoes that are made of natural materials, such as leather, and don’t always wear the same pair of shoes.


Keep in mind that these remedies don’t act miraculously or similarly. They achieve their effects after several applications. In addition, they don’t replace medical treatment. If the professional authorizes you to use them, you can resort to them as a complement.

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