The Causes and Symptoms of Athlete's Foot and How to Treat it at Home

Both athlete's foot and onychomycosis are contagious and can spread easily in places such as changing rooms, gyms, beauty salons, swimming pools and community showers
The Causes and Symptoms of Athlete's Foot and How to Treat it at Home

Last update: 02 September, 2018

Athlete’s foot is a disease caused by a fungus, which usually shows up on your toes. Fungus attacks this area more because your shoes create a warm and humid environment.

In addition to your toes, it can also appear on your heels, the palms of your hands and in between your fingers. However, the infection can spread to all parts of your body.

It’s typically more common among adolescent and adult males.


Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be transmitted by direct contact, by shoes, socks, swimming pools or showers. Because infection is common among athletes who use these facilities, the term athlete’s foot has become popular.

Wearing closed-toed shoes can increase your risk because they keep your feet moist for a long period of time. If you have a cut on your nails or skin, there’s an even greater risk.

Athlete’s Foot: Prevention and Treatment


The most common symptoms of athlete’s foot are:

  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Itching
  • Inflammation
  • Blisters

Be careful if the fungus shows up on your nails. This tends to cause discoloration, swelling and could even make your nail fall off.

To prevent infections caused by fungi such as athlete’s foot, specialists advise:

  • Wash your feet daily with soap and water .
  • Keep your feet dry, especially between your toes.
  • Wear clean cotton socks. Also, change them as many times as necessary to keep your feet dry.
  • Sandals are essential in public swimming pools or showers.
  • Shoes should be well ventilated and made of a natural material, such as leather.


There are three types of athlete’s foot:

  • Interdigital: This is the most common type of athlete’s foot and usually shows up between the smallest toes. It can also cause burning, itching and spread to the soles of your foot.
  • Moccasin: This type of athlete’s foot can start out as a small irritation, dryness or itching. However, as it develops, the skin may start to crack.
  • Vesicular: This type is not very common and usually begins with blisters under the skin.


If your foot is swollen, warm to the touch, is starting to pus or spreads to your leg, you should visit a specialist. These symptoms may be caused by more serious infections.

Natural remedies to treat athlete’s foot from home

Garlic to treat athlete’s foot 

garlic to treat athlete's foot

Garlic has a compound called ajoene that acts as a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent. You can add a clove or two to your meals to speed the healing process of any fungal infection, including athlete’s foot.

Option 1: Garlic infusion

A daily garlic infusion can help fight fungi from the inside.


  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml)


  • Heat the water with three cloves of garlic.
  • When it starts to boil, turn it off, let it sit 5 to 7 minutes and drink.

Option 2: Olive oil and garlic


  • 3 finely crushed garlic cloves
  • 3 drops of olive oil.


  • Put the 3 cloves of finely crushed garlic in a small bowl, add 3 drops of olive oil and stir well.
  • Then, apply it to the foot that has athlete’s foot.


The acidic property of vinegar helps kill fungus and lower the alkalinity levels of your skin, which inhibits rapid infection. The vinegar will help to eliminate extra moisture from your feet, helping to accelerate the healing process.


  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar (30 ml)

How to use

  • Apply apple vinegar to the foot that presents the condition by massaging in a circular motion.
  • It’s important to let your foot dry and to avoid wearing shoes for at least an hour.



Yogurt contains active bacterial cultures that are very helpful when fighting bacterial infections, such as athlete’s foot. The acidophilus bacteria found in natural yogurt helps fight fungal and bacterial infections.


  • 2 tablespoons of yogurt (30 ml)

How to use

  • Like the other remedies, apply the yogurt to the area affected by the fungi, massaging it around the area.
  • Let it sit for an hour and rinse with plenty of water.
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