Athlete's foot can cause quite a bit of itching and discomfort. While there are topical medications that do a good job of curing it, they can cause side effects like hives, abnormal hair texture, and a rash. If you've experienced side effects to athlete's foot medications in the past, then you probably want to try another method of treating the infection. Perhaps one of these natural remedies will work for you.
If your athlete's foot is not overly severe and you don't mind being patient, the baking soda method is a simple, safe choice. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in your shoes before you put them on. Make sure it gets in between all of your toes and into all of the creases in your skin. The baking soda will absorb any moisture around your feet, making them less hospitable to your fungus and giving your body a better chance of fighting off the infection on its own. You may have to stick to this treatment for a few weeks in order to be rid of the fungus completely, but it is just about the cheapest, simplest natural treatment out there.
Several essential oils have natural antifungal properties and will help fight athlete's foot, but the most effective one seems to be tea tree oil. Add two to three drops of this essential oil to a teaspoon of coconut oil, and rub the prepared mixture all over the infected area at least once per day. You can also try making a tea tree oil foot bath by combining five drops of tea tree oil, one drop lemon essential oil, one tablespoon baking soda, two tablespoons Epsom salts and two tablespoons cider vinegar in a pan of warm water. Soak your feet for about five minutes each day.
If you don't mind smelling like an Italian restaurant, consider using garlic to treat your athlete's foot. It contains a compound called ajoene, which is a powerful antifungal. Several scientific studies have supported the claim that this compound is effective against common pathogens that cause athlete's foot. The easiest way to harness garlic's healing power is to crush up a few cloves, add then to a pan of warm water, and then soak your feet for about thirty minutes per day.
Remember that you will need to give these remedies some time to work – they will not cure your infection instantly. If you do not see an improvement within a week, speak with a podiatrist, such as Foot & Ankle Center Of Philadelphia, about other treatments you can safely use.