5 natural home remedies for athlete’s foot, according to podiatrists

  • To deal with athlete’s foot at dwelling, you may apply tea tree oil or soak your ft in a tea tub. 
  • To forestall the recurrence or spreading of athlete’s foot, it is best to attempt sprinkling your ft with cornstarch and disinfecting your sneakers. 
  • In case your athlete’s foot signs don’t enhance inside a couple of days of utilizing pure dwelling cures, attain out to a podiatrist or main care supplier. 
  • This text was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a household medication doctor and medical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Athlete’s foot is a sort of fungal an infection that may trigger painful signs like itching, redness, peeling of the pores and skin, and even blistering. It usually impacts the pores and skin between the toes, however it will probably happen on different areas of the foot as nicely, like the only.

Athlete’s foot is most successfully handled with a prescription topical cream or with over-the-counter therapies. Nonetheless, you can even attempt clearing the an infection at dwelling if it is gentle. 

Listed here are 5 pure dwelling cures that may deal with athlete’s foot.

1. Apply tea tree oil

As a result of tea tree oil has antifungal properties, it might assist deal with athlete’s foot. 

Tea tree oil is an important oil that comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree. A 2002 study in contrast two totally different concentrations of tea tree oil and a placebo in treating sufferers with athlete’s foot. They utilized the options for 4 weeks, and the research discovered that about 70% of the folks in each tea tree oil teams noticed an enchancment in signs, in comparison with 39% within the placebo group. 

In line with Jason Galante, DPM, a double-board licensed foot and ankle surgeon in New Jersey, you should use tea tree oil to deal with athlete’s foot by following these steps: 

  1. Bathe and completely dry your ft. 
  2. Apply the oil straight in your pores and skin and nails.
  3. Repeat this course of a few times a day till the an infection has cleared.

Merchandise that comprise tea tree oil, like foot soaks and cleaning soap, may assist clear the an infection. These could be bought at a drugstore or pure meals retailer.  

2. Think about a tea foot tub

Soaking your ft in tea may ease signs of athlete’s foot. 

 A small 2013 clinical trial discovered that 12 weeks of foot baths containing inexperienced tea polyphenols — micronutrients present in plant-based meals — improved signs of athlete’s foot in aged sufferers in comparison with a placebo.

Black tea may alleviate signs of athlete’s foot, notably the odor, as a result of presence of a selected sort of polyphenol referred to as tannins. 

“The tannins which can be in black tea assist with that foot odor,” says Galante. 

3. Sprinkle cornstarch in your toes

Cornstarch, a standard kitchen ingredient comprised of corn, can even deal with athlete’s foot by absorbing extra moisture from ft, says Galante. That is as a result of holding your ft dry prevents the unfold of this fungal an infection. 

If you do not have cornstarch, you may attempt drugstore foot powders like Dr. Scholl’s, which could be useful as nicely, says Jon Sherman, DPM, a board-certified foot surgeon and fellow on the American School of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. 

4. Disinfect your sneakers

As a result of athlete’s foot is so contagious, it is vital to disinfect gadgets that could be harboring fungi, Sherman says. To forestall reinfection, it is all the time a good suggestion to disinfect your sneakers. 

One solution to disinfect your footwear is with an ultraviolet-C (UVC) light, a few of which might kill viruses, germs, and fungi in 15 minutes, says Sherman. These could be bought at dwelling shops or podiatrists’ workplaces.

Another choice is spraying your sneakers with a disinfectant spray, like Lysol. This may be performed as soon as every week for a month after which as soon as a month after that, Galante says. “You wish to cut back any sort of pathogens or fungal spores that might reside inside your shoe.”

5. Step up your foot hygiene

“Correct hygiene is vital as a result of fungi will thrive in a heat, damp atmosphere,” Galante says. Tricks to prevent the spread or recurrence of athlete’s foot embody: 

  • Put on sandals when potential to maintain your ft dry
  • Alternate sneakers each two to 3 days
  • Keep away from socks comprised of materials that do not dry simply, like nylon
  • Select moisture-wicking materials in your socks, like wool
  • Wash and dry in between your toes if you bathe  
  • Preserve your socks clear and dry and alter them when you’ve got sweaty ft

When to see a health care provider

When you’ve tried the above dwelling cures for a couple of days and your signs proceed to worsen, it is time to see a health care provider, Galante says. That is as a result of the an infection may turn out to be persistent or unfold to different areas of the foot. 

“As soon as [athlete’s foot] turns into a persistent challenge within the pores and skin, not solely is it tougher to deal with, however that is how most of our toenail fungal infections occur,” Galante says. Toenail infections are harder to deal with, he says. 

The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends visiting a podiatrist or main care supplier if the an infection does not enhance after two weeks of correct foot hygiene.

Moreover, when you’ve got itching, redness, blistering, oozing, or odor, see a health care provider, Sherman says. “Odor is a reasonably good indicator of ‘Hey, one thing’s not proper.'” These signs point out the an infection is just too severe to be handled at dwelling. 

Insider’s takeaway

To deal with athlete’s foot at dwelling, you may attempt tea tree oil, tea soaks, or cornstarch. It is also vital to maintain your ft, socks, and sneakers dry to stop athlete’s foot from recurring. See a health care provider in case your signs do not enhance inside a couple of weeks to make sure the an infection doesn’t turn out to be persistent or unfold to the toenails.

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