Caused by the tinea fungus, athlete’s foot is a skin infection that affects the feet. In extreme cases, it may spread to the hands too, and the groins as well leading to jock itch. Direct contact with a person who already has the infection can cause athlete’s foot. Public swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower rooms are the places where this fungus thrives. Not wearing proper footwear or wearing damp and sweaty footwear or socks can also lead to this fungal infection.
The symptoms of athlete’s foot are not very severe but cause a lot of discomforts. Hence, it is better to treat it as quickly as possible. Here are a few home remedies that can help in the speedy recovery of this fungal infection.
- Tea tree oil: Extracted from a specific type of tea tree found in Australia, this essential oil is known to have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. It has been widely used as a topical remedy for a number of skin problems. It gives relief from the infection as well as inflammation. It can give relief from itching and burning. It can also reduce the swelling and scaling. Depending on the severity of the infection, the symptoms may go away in a week or a month. It must be noted that tea tree oil in diluted form must not be used. Use a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil and add two-three drops of tea tree oil to it. Rub this solution on the affected areas. Topical creams and ointments that contain tea tree oil can be also used. Ensure to consult a doctor before using tea tree oil for athlete’s foot as the oil has been known to lead to rashes and allergies in some people.
- Garlic: Garlic has antifungal and anti-microbial properties that can instantly and naturally kill the fungus causing athlete’s foot. Garlic has ajoene, a natural chemical that eases the symptoms of athlete’s foot. It can be taken orally in the form of capsules or topically in gel form. Garlic soaks are also useful in alleviating the symptoms of the infection. Take a few garlic cloves and crush them or mince them. Add them to lukewarm water. Soak the affected foot in the garlic solution for about 30 minutes. Dab the foot dry thoroughly with a soft towel. Take care to get rid of water even from between the toes. Mix a little bit of the minced garlic with a few drops of olive oil. Apply this to the affected area. This can be done two-three times every day until the infection goes away.
- Green tea: Green tea can alleviate symptoms that cause discomforts such as redness and peeling. It also heals infections and gives relief from inflammation. The polyphenols in green tea have antifungal properties. Take five to six bags of green tea and place them in boiling water. Let the tea bags steep for a while until the water cools down to room temperature or is comfortable enough. Soak the affected foot in this solution for about 10-15 minutes. Dry off with a soft towel. Don’t rinse the solution off.
- Yogurt: Plain yogurt is enriched with probiotics which can quickly cure infections. Apply pain yogurt the affected areas. Leave it on for a while till it becomes dry. Rinse it off and dry with a soft towel.
- Vinegar soak: The acetic acid in vinegar has antifungal properties that will kill off the tinea fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with two cups of water. Use lukewarm water. Soak the affected foot in the vinegar soak for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse it and pat it dry.