Everyday items in your kitchen can help prevent athlete's foot and ease uncomfortable symptoms. Keep reading for home remedies that fight the fungus.
Baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda directly into your shoes to absorb moisture.
Cornstarch. Rub cornstarch, which absorbs moisture, on your feet. Very lightly browned cornstarch is even better because any moisture content already contained in the cornstarch is removed, allowing for better absorption. To brown, sprinkle cornstarch on a pie plate and bake at 325 degrees for just a few minutes, until it looks brownish. Then dab some on your feet and toes.Crush 1 clove garlic and mix with a few drops of olive oil to make a paste. Apply to the nail and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes, then clean off in warm, soapy water. Dry feet thoroughly. Repeat daily. Because the fungus can return, you may wish to continue this treatment for several weeks after the fungus has disappeared, just to ward off another fungal visit.
Garlic. Eat some garlic! It has antifungal properties. You can also swab the affected area with garlic juice twice a day. If your toenail appears to have the fungus, use this recipe:
Crush 1 clove garlic and mix with a few drops of olive oil to make a paste. Apply to the nail and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes, then clean off in warm, soapy water. Dry feet thoroughly. Repeat daily. Because the fungus can return, you may wish to continue this treatment for several weeks after the fungus has disappeared, just to ward off another fungal visit.
Immune-boosting foods. Low immunity can make you more susceptible to a fungal infection, so include some of these immune-boosting foods in your diet: broccoli, red meats, and scallions. (See also "Home Remedies From the Cupboard" for more immune-boosting foods.)
Cinnamon. A good soak in a cinnamon tea foot bath will help slow down the fungus. Boil 8 to 10 broken cinnamon sticks in 4 cups water, then simmer for five minutes. Let steep for another 45 minutes. Soak your feet for 15 to 30 minutes. Repeat daily, as needed.
Yogurt. One of the greatest of all fungus-fighting foods in your fridge is yogurt that contains live acidophilus. The flavor isn't important as long as the yogurt contains the active bacteria. (Commercial yogurts with live culture now carry a seal indicating this; a live culture is crucial!) Acidophilus helps control vaginal and oral yeast, but it may give other fungi a pretty good fight, too. And if nothing else, it tastes good and is good for you.
Lemon. This remedy will help you in the sweaty foot-odor department. Squeeze the juice from a lemon and mix it with 2 ounces water. Rinse your feet with the lemon water.
Vinegar. Soak your feet in 1 cup vinegar to 2 quarts water for 15 to 30 minutes every night. Or make a solution of 1 cup vinegar to 1 cup water, and apply it directly to the affected areas with a cotton ball. If the infection is severe and the skin is raw, the solution will sting. Make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on your socks or slippers. Cider vinegar can also be used as a remedy. Mix equal parts apple cider (or regular) vinegar and ethyl alcohol. Dab on the affected areas. Again, be aware this will sting if the skin is raw.
Tea. The tannic acid in tea is soothing, helps to dry the foot, and helps kill the fungus. Make a foot soak by putting 6 black tea bags in 1 quart warm water.
Salt. Soak your infected foot in warm salt water, using 1 teaspoon salt for each cup of water, for 10 minutes. Dry your foot thoroughly, then dab some baking soda between your toes.
Athlete's foot can be an irritating and even painful problem, but a little vigilance and the simple remedies in this article can keep your feet dry and healthy. See the next page for when to see a doctor for athlete's foot.