Natural Remedies for Your Athlete’s Foot

Anyone can get athlete’s foot; help fight the effects of this fungal infection with supplies from your own home.

| August 2016

  • Baking soda, a common cure-all, helps kill fungus and the moisture in which bacteria grows.
    Photo by Fotolia/Sunny Forest
  • “Home Remedies: An A-Z Guide of Quick and Easy Natural Cures” by Meredith Hale.
    Photo courtesy of Wellfleet Press

Throughout history, civilizations have compiled natural remedies for health and healing. But where should you begin sifting through this flood of possible solutions to solve the problem plaguing you? From supplements to herbs and plants to “kitchen cures” straight from your fridge and pantry, Meredith Hale’s book Home Remedies (Wellfleet Press, 2015) is a collection of the best cures for common ailments. Whether you’re plagued by fever, toothaches, insomnia, or anything in between, this book contains a comprehensive and unique list of natural fixes for your illness.

Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal skin infection causing an itchy, irritating rash, typically between the toes. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to catch athlete’s foot. All you need is contact with a contaminated surface — such as a locker-room floor or the area around a pool, where people typically walk around barefoot. Combine this exposure with tight, sweaty footwear, and you have a recipe for infection. Treating athlete’s foot can take time, and often involves over-the-counter antifungal creams or a prescription oral antifungal. When it comes to athlete’s foot, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; however, if you do find yourself in this uncomfortable situation, there are some natural treatments you can turn to for relief.

Baking Soda

Baking soda kills bacteria and can act as an antifungal. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with water to form a paste, and rub on the affected area. Once the paste dries, rinse it off and dry your feet completely with a towel. Sprinkling a little baking soda in your shoes can prevent the moisture in which fungus breeds.


Cornstarch absorbs moisture, and keeping feet dry is critical to keeping fungus at bay. Brown 1/2 cup cornstarch in the oven or on the stovetop, making sure it doesn’t burn. Rub the cornstarch on your feet and leave it on for five to ten minutes before removing with a towel.

Tea Tree Oil

Considered a natural antiseptic, tea tree oil is active against many bacteria and fungi. Create a mixture of 50 percent tea tree oil and 50 percent olive oil, and rub the combination on the affected area twice a day.


While mouthwash may not help if you already have athlete’s foot, it can help to prevent the infection. Mouthwash containing alcohol has antimicrobial properties, reducing bacteria and warding off fungal infections. After each shower, rub a mouthwash-soaked cotton ball on the soles of your feet and between your toes, and allow to dry.

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