Athletes Foot Remedies (Evidence-Based)

What is Athlete’s Foot?

  • It is a fungal Infection that affects the skin of the feet, but can spread to the nails and even the hands
  • It is also known as Tinea Pedis
  • It usually starts between the toes and can become a recurring problem for many people
  • It tends to occur due to increased sweating of the feet while confined to very tight shoes
  • Generally, it is not considered to be a serious condition
  • It can sometimes take a long time to resolve

Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

  • Itching between the toes
  • Stinging of the affected area
  • Burning of the affected area
  • Scaly rash or blistered lesions
  • Moistness between toes
  • Peeling of skin

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

  • It is caused by the Tinea fungus which can easily spread by contact with other people or even contaminated surfaces.
  • Certain risk factors increase your chances of getting it
    • Wearing tight shoes
    • Always wearing socks
    • Having sweaty feet in general
    • Sharing shoes, socks or other items that come into contact with your feet
    • Walking barefoot in areas where many other people are also walking barefoot.


Before using any remedies, there are certain measures that one should take:

  1. Keep the affected area as dry as possible at all times (obviously the remedies may make the area moist, that it fine)
  2. Avoid tight fitting shoes
  3. Avoid areas that spread the condition such as places where a lot of people walk barefoot
  4. Avoid wearing socks for long periods
  5. Avoid areas with too much moisture

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is a powerful antifungal that has become very popular for its use in treating various dermatological conditions. In a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the application of Tea Tree Oil to Athletes Foot rashes resulted in significant improvement with only a few cases of mild side-effects that resolved once treatment was stopped (see study).

How To Use: Dilute a 5-6 drops in a about 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil such as coconut oil, apply twice a day after washing area with soap.

Oil of Bitter Orange

Bitter Orange is a type of fruit that has gained much attention for its various health benefits and uses. It contains a alkaloid known as “Synephrine” which functions a lot like the stimulant Ephedrine. The Oil the extracted from the peel and flowers is known as Bitter Orange Oil. It appears to be useful in obesity, athletic performance and a few other conditions including Athlete’s Foot.

In a clinical trial, Bitter Orange Oil (25% emulsion) resulted in 80% of patients getting cured in 1-2 weeks and the remaining 20% were cured in 2-3 weeks (see study).

How To Use: Dilute in a carrier oil such as coconut oil, apply twice a day after washing area with soap

Anti-Fungal Herbs (Internal)

It may also be of great use to consume certain antifungal herbs to assist with fighting off the infection internally as well. Although this is not always needed, it can certainly assist by supporting the body’s defense mechanisms.

A few excellent anti-fungal herbs are:

  • Garlic
  • Oregano Oil
  • Pau d’arco


There are certain foods that one should avoid when trying to clear fungal infections, those are:

  • White sugar
  • White flour
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Fermented foods
  • Dairy
  • Processed foods
  • Junk food in general
  • Excessive candy, chocolates, cookies, ice cream, etc.

Its good to consume foods that have immune-boosting, anti-bacterial and antifungal properties such as:

  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Salmon (wild caught)
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Oregano
  • Green leafy veggies
  • Sardine (wild caught)
  • Nuts & Seeds

(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)

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by Dr. Nishal R.
Copyright © 2021

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