Home Remedies for Athlete’s Foot
It’s estimated that at least 70% of all adults will be affected by a fungal foot infection at some point throughout their life. Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis is a fungal foot infection, caused by a type of fungus known as a dermatophyte. As a form of ringworm, athlete’s foot often manifests as an itchy rash on the foot. Symptoms may include damp and blistered skin in between the toes or dry, or scaly skin on the soles of the feet.1
Athletes are among the highest risk demographics for the ailment. It can easily pass from person to person in warm, damp locker rooms or showers. Footwear that is not breathable can also foster fungus growth. Men have a statistically higher risk for contracting athlete’s foot than women do, and the condition is more often seen in adults than in prepubescents.1
Athlete’s foot is a common affliction that can affect many people. Often patients may feel embarrassed and are left wondering what to use for athlete’s foot relief. If you believe you’ve contracted the fungal infection there are several natural remedies for athlete’s foot available. For an all-natural athlete’s foot cure, more and more people are turning to essential oils.
Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot
While many people turn to commercial preparations to treat foot fungus, there are many excellent home remedies for athlete’s foot. If you are afflicted with athlete’s foot and toenail fungus, essential oils can be very effective. Many essential oils have natural antifungal and wound healing properties that can help reduce the symptoms of athlete’s foot.
Below, you will find out which essential oils are considered the best natural treatments for athlete’s foot and foot and toenail fungus. As well, ow to use essential oils to make your own athlete’s foot home remedies.
Tea Tree Oil Fungus
Tea tree essential oil is a popular remedy for treating athlete’s foot due to its natural antibacterial properties. In a 2002 study, scientists tested the efficacy of tea tree essential oil at strengths of 25% and 50% against tinea pedis. Comparing results against a placebo group, both strengths of tea tree essential oil proved to be very effective against the infection.2
If you are looking for a simple athlete’s foot home remedy, try making a tea tree oil foot spray. Mix 3 Tsp. of tea tree essential oil with ¼ cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray afflicted areas twice a day.
Not only does this make an excellent homemade antifungal spray, using tea tree oil for toe fungus is also considered to be highly effective. With tea tree essential oil, toenail fungus symptoms can be naturally treated at home.
Lavender Oil on Feet
Scientific studies have indicated that lavender essential oil has excellent potential as a treatment for athlete’s foot. A 2011 study noted lavender essential oil may be an effective, antifungal agent when treating dermatophytes, which can cause athlete’s foot and other similar afflictions of the skin, nails and hair.3,4
In the study, various strains of fungi were isolated and exposed to lavender essential oil. Its fungicidal properties were found to be very successful against dermatophytosis and candidosis.4 Given the recent rise of drug-resistant fungi, a treatment based on essential oils for toenail fungus and skin conditions like athlete’s foot, has become increasingly valuable.3
To create a natural remedy for athlete’s foot, combine 10 drops each of lavender and tea tree essential oil with 2 Tsp. of carrier oil. Apply the solution topically twice a day to affected areas.
Peppermint Oil on Feet
Peppermint essential oil is considered another effective, natural treatment for athlete’s foot. A study published in the Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology examined the fungicidal properties of several essential oils, including peppermint. Researchers combined the essential oils with thermotherapy and salt in a foot bath. Scientists specifically tested the effect of each essential oil on Trichophyton mentagrophytes, which is a common dermatophyte and cause of athlete’s foot infection.5 6
Notably, peppermint essential oil demonstrated strong antifungal activity, even more than tea tree essential oil, an accepted antifungal agent. Scientists concluded that using peppermint essential oil in tandem with heat and salt in a foot bath could be a very effective treatment for athlete’s foot.5
If you are wondering what to use for an athlete’s foot remedy, try making your own foot bath. Add 2 Tsp. of peppermint essential oil and 1 Tsp. of carrier oil 34 oz. of hot water. Soak twice a day for half an hour. This soothing method has been frequently noted as a natural, athlete’s foot cure.
Eucalyptus Oil on Feet
A study published in the journal of Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology examined the antifungal properties of eucalyptus essential oil and found it to be an excellent antifungal agent against Trichophyton mentagrophytes, a common cause of athlete’s foot.7
Eucalyptus essential oil was included in a topical ointment and applied to the affected areas in each subject. After two weeks of treatment, 60% of patients were reported to have completely recovered, while others showed marked improvement.7
Further, the subjects did not relapse into more fungal infections when they were re-examined two months later. Scientists noted that no adverse reactions to the eucalyptus essential oil were shown in any of the subjects.7
If you are wondering how to get rid of athlete’s foot, essential oils may be a natural and inexpensive option. To use essential oils for foot fungus relief, mix ¼ Tsp. of eucalyptus essential oil with 2 Tsp. of a carrier oil, such as almond or olive. Apply to the afflicted areas twice a day.
Moringa Oil on Feet
In a 2007 study, scientists measured the antifungal activity of Moringa oleifera oil, popularly sold as moringa essential oil. Trichophyton mentagrophytes and other dermatophytes were incubated along with moringa essential oil or a common antifungal drug, ketoconazole. Scientists concluded that moringa essential oil demonstrated significant antifungal activity, and has potential to be a natural, anti-dermatophyte treatment, although more research is required.8
While there may be several benefits to using moringa essential oil, nail fungus and athlete’s foot treatments are among the most prominent. To create your own sweet-smelling foot treatment, in a bowl combine 4 Tbsp. of a carrier oil and 2 Tbsp. of aloe vera gel with 2 Tsp. of moringa essential oil and lavender essential oil each. Gently massage the mixture into the affected area and let sit for several minutes. Use up to twice a day.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Weibel, J. S. (2009). Athlete’s foot. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 18, 2017 from https://www.britannica.com/science/athletes-foot – View reference
- Satchell, A.C., Saurajen, A., Bell, C., & Barnetson, R. S. (2002). Treatment of interdigital tinea pedis with 25% and 50% tea tree oil solution: A randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 43(3) 175-8. Retrieved April 18, 2017 from DOI: 1046/j.1440-0960.2002.00590.x
- Society for General Microbiology. (2011, February 16). Lavender oil has potent antifungal effect. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2017 from sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214201842.htm
- Zuzarte, M., et al. (2011). Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oils of Lavandula viridis L’Hér. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 60, 612-8. DOI: 1099/jmm.0.027748-0
- Inouye, S., Uchida, K., Nishiyama, Y., Hasumi, Y., Yamaguchi, H., & Abe, S. (2007). Combined effect of heat, essential oils and salt on fungicidal activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes in a foot bath. Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology, 48(1), 27-36. Retrieved April 18, 2017 from http://www.jsmm.org/common/jjmm48-1_027.pdf
- Noble, S. L., Forbes, R. C., & Stamm, P.L. (1998). Diagnosis and management of common Tinea American Family Physician, 58(1), 163-74. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0701/p163.html
- Shahi, S. K., et al. (2000). Broad spectrum herbal therapy against superficial fungal infections. Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, 13(1), 60-4. Retrieved April 18, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10657767
- Chuang, P. H., Lee, C-W., Chou, J.-Y., Murugan, M., Shieh, B-J., & Chen, H-M. (2007). Anti-fungal activity of crude extracts and essential oil of Moringa oleifera Lam. Bioresource Technology, 98, 232-6. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2005.11.003