Because fungal infections of the feet are rarely a serious medical condition, there are a number of home remedies for foot fungus you can try before running to the doctor or shelling out a significant amount of cash for over-the-counter remedies. These are also overly strong to kill fungus quickly, and not only can they cause a number of unpleasant side effects, but the brevity of the treatment can also leave you susceptible to quickly becoming reinfected. Here are our 10 home remedies for foot fungus that are sure to help you.
Get rid of the infection with our home remedies for foot fungus.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is probably one of the most tested, true and popular home remedies for foot fungus. It is a natural antiseptic that comes from the leaves of the Australian Melaleuca Alternifolia tree, which is commonly referred to as a tea tree. Conversely, the oil is also sometimes referred to or branded as Melaleuca oil. Make sure you purchase a product that is 100% tea tree oil and not a blend of some other kind of oil and tea tree oil.
- Mix an equal amount of tea tree oil and olive oil or 1 part tea tree oil to 3 parts aloe vera gel.
- Apply the mixture to the affected area twice a day.
- Continue treatment for 10-15 days for athlete’s foot and 6-8 weeks for nail fungus.
Cornstarch has long been known for its moisture absorbing properties and has long been used as a treatment for foot odors. Lightly browned cornstarch works even better because the browning process removes any moisture contained in the cornstarch, making it even more absorbent.
- Sprinkle cornstarch on a pie plate and bake at 325 degrees for just a few minutes, until it turns a dark tan color.
- Dab browned cornstarch directly onto your feet and toes.
3. Onion Juice
Onions, like garlic, have long been used in a wide variety of medical treatments that modern science sometimes scoffed at – until they started studying them. Many of the “old wive’s tale” treatments that have been traditionally used by women and moms for centuries turns out to have some real merit and value in medicine. Onions also have some powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties that make them one of the great home remedies for foot fungus.
- Slice a medium onion and place it on a clean piece of muslin cloth.
- Squeeze the muslin unit you extract all the juice, collecting the juice in a glass bowl.
- Dip a cotton ball in the freshly extracted juice and apply to the affected area.
- Allow the skin to absorb the juice for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove any excess juice with a damp cloth.
A study published in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that after treating athlete’s foot with either a mild garlic solution or the drug Lamisil, the garlic users experienced a higher cure rate than the Lamisil users. In addition to external applications, eating garlic will raise the effectiveness of garlic treatments. You cannot cure a fungal infection just by eating garlic, but it will help the topical treatment work more effectively.
- Crush a few cloves of garlic into a fine pulp and mix with warm water.
- Soak feet for 30 minutes in the solution.
- Mix it with a few teaspoons of olive oil then apply to the affected area with a cotton ball as an alternative.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar contains malic acid, which is very helpful in not just fighting all types of foot fungus, but preventing it as well. Make sure and get a vinegar that is dark brown and cloudy. If you can see through it, it’s not going to be as effective. Apple cider vinegar that is brown and cloudy will also have a number of beneficial nutrients that will help speed the healing process.
- Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 or 3 parts warm water.
- Pour the liquid mixture into a shallow basin or bowl that ls large enough to fit one or both feet into.
- Add more water to dilute the vinegar if the mixture stings dry, cracked skin.
- Soak for 30 minutes then pat dry with a towel.
6. Black Tea
Black tea contains tannic acid that has many of the same antifungal properties as the malic acid found in apple cider vinegar. Like with yogurt, however, many commercial brands of tea dry the tea leaves to the point where they no longer contain the same medicinal properties. Buying fresh, loose leaf tea is most likely to give you the best results, but buying a good quality brand of tea bags is the next best thing.
- Boil 4-6 cups of water.
- Remove the boiling water and add 1 teaspoon of loose tea or 1 tea bag for each cup of boiling water.
- Cover and let steep until cool.
- Soak feet for 30 minutes.
- Dry thoroughly and follow up with a tea tree oil, yogurt, olive oil or aloe gel treatment to any dry, cracked or itchy areas.
Much of what you find in a grocery store as yogurt should really be more accurately described as fruit flavored pudding. What differentiates genuine yogurt from most commercial brands of yogurt are live active cultures. Active cultures are often referred to as probiotics because they are the healthy form of bacteria. Check the ingredient label on your yogurt to ensure it has at least one or more of the following: Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. reuteri, L. casei or Bifidobacterium bifidum sometimes listed as Bifidus. The best and most effective types of yogurt are going to contain multiple strains of live active cultures and it is those active cultures that make yogurt one of the best home remedies for foot fungus.
- Apply the yogurt on the affected area and allow it to dry on its own.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water and thoroughly pat dry the area.
- Repeat twice daily for several weeks.
- Eat one cup of yogurt in the morning and one in the evening.
8. Epsom Salt
Among relieving a wide variety of aches and pains, Epsom salts contain many of the important anti-fungal and anti-microbial qualities that both help treat and prevent fungal infections. Epsom salt is one more treatment that won’t just cure a current fungal problem but also help prevent future reoccurrences.
- Dissolve Epsom salts in warm water using 1 teaspoon of salt for each cup of warm water.
- Soak your foot (or feet) thoroughly for 10 minutes.
- Dry thoroughly.
- Sprinkle some baking soda between your toes for additional moisture absorption.
9. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice may sting a bit on dry, cracked skin, but lemons have long been a basic staple in treating viruses like the common cold and natural cleansers thanks to their antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. The astringent properties of lemon juice can also dry out the skin, which helps control the spread of a fungal infection.
- Squeeze the juice of a lemon and apply it straight or dilute it with up to 2 ounces of water if needed.
- Apply the lemon juice directly to the affected area. If you diluted it with water, you can use a small spray bottle to spray it onto the affected area.
- Allow 15 minutes for the lemon juice to absorb.
Like all of the other remedies, cinnamon is also known for it’s antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. In the middle ages, food spoilage was much more common thanks to a lack of refrigeration. Therefore, cinnamon was often used in a wide number of recipes, probably due to how long it helped food to keep from spoiling.
- Boil 8 to 10 broken cinnamon sticks in 4 cups water.
- Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the burner and let it steep for another 45 minutes.
- Soak feet for 15-30 minutes per day.
11. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel that comes directly from the leaves of the aloe vera plant contains two powerful hormones called gibberellin and auxin, which help aid the healing process in skin. Long used as a means of treating sunburn, aloe vera gel also contains strong antimicrobial properties that act as a powerful disinfectant and anti-fungal.
- Cut off a leaf directly from an aloe vera plant or purchase a fresh leaf from a health food store.
- Squeeze a small amount of fresh gel directly from the leaf.
- Smear a thick coating of gel directly over the affected area.
- Let gel sit for 30-45 minutes before wiping off excess with a damp towel.
12. Raw Honey
Raw honey contains a compound called propolis, which is sometimes called bee glue, it is a powerful antioxidant with strong healing properties. Make sure you purchase raw, unprocessed, unfiltered honey. Most honey available in grocery stores actually contains just as much, if not more, corn syrup than it does actual honey. The honey that it does contain is most probably processed, which involves heating it to the point that it kills off all the natural healing and antioxidant compounds present in raw honey.
- Apply raw honey directly to affected areas before going to bed at night.
- Cover feet in clean white socks of a natural fiber.
- Rinse of any residue in the morning with lukewarm water.
Finally, there are a great number of home remedies for foot fungus that have been well documented as being just as effective as many over-the-counter remedies. Not only can many home remedies for foot fungus kill a current fungal infection, they can be highly beneficial in preventing future outbreaks. Do let us know which remedy worked best for you!