Athlete’s Foot: Yuck. However, if you are an athlete or the mother to one, this nasty little foot fungus might very well be all to familiar. One look at those over the counter anti-fungul creams and their BIG warnings: DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT OR NURSING and I, at least, thought: “There must be a better way.”
There are home-remedies that can work. Here are some I found that are much safer for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children, and probably safer for stinky hockey-playing husbands as well.
Preventative Measures & Must Dos if you are infected
- Always dry your feet after they get wet (this is a lot in the Pacific Northwest).
- Wear socks made of wool, cotton, or other natural materials to keep you feet sweat-free
- Wear slippers or flip-flops where others go barefoot if you are particularly susceptible (although many people live with others who have foot fungus and never get it—so it isn’t necessarily so contagious if you are taking care of your feet and your overall health).
- Try to go barefoot or wear open-toes shoes as much as possible. Good old air and sunlight is an amazing cure and constant damp will bring it back fast.
- DIY Remedies
- Baking soda mixed with a little water to make a paste spread on the infected area will help relieve itching. Rub it in and then dry your feet.
- Plain yogurt containing live acidophilus bacteria has friendly microorganisms that can keep the fungus in check. Dab the yogurt on the infected areas, let dry, and rinse off. Yogurt works better and more immediately than almost anything else.
- Tea tree oil is a potent antiseptic that will change the environment of the skin, making it harder for fungus to survive. Try mixing tea-tree oil with the same amount of olive oil (to help with absorption and moisturizing of toughened skin) and rub the combination into the affected area twice a day. I found this helped significantly but didn’t entirely rid me of the athlete’s foot.
- Along with tea tree oil, lavendar essential oil can also help. Calendula salve can also be used, especially between toes, and is said to have both antifungal and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Grapefruit seed extract or oregano oil or both powerful anti-fungal natural options. Rub them on your feet straight or mixed into coconut, olive, or calendula oil. Keep using at least twice a day for a week or until symptoms disappear. I discovered both by accident, but they were very helpful.
- I discovered black walnut when I got giardia. It kills parasites and is supposed to work wonders on athlete’s foot. It seemed quite effective when I used it, but mine was pretty much gone when I tried. It dyes your skin and toe nails black.
- Cod liver oil! I love cod liver oil. Apparently it also will get rid of your foot fungus. I didn’t need to try this one, but I wish I would have.
- Apple cider vinegar is considered the easiest and cheapest remedy. Dab it on and let it dry. Repeat.
- Raw garlic is also supposed to help but don’t leave it on too long or it will burn.
- Soak your feet in two teaspoons of salt to two cups of warm water for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat as often as possible.
- Soak in a black tea foot bath if you have sweaty feet: steep five tea bags in a litre of boiling water for five minutes. Let cool to lukewarm, then soak your feet in this “tea bath” for 30 minutes. The tannic acid is a natural astringent.
- Add a few drops of mustard oil or a bit of mustard powder, both rumored to kill the fungus, to a footbath. Soak your feet in the bath for up to half an hour.
The D.I.Y. Green Recipe Box includes recipes that women might have shared dozens of years ago and that green mamas of today are still sharing, creating, or trying out. So grab a few things from your kitchen and start brewing. As with any advice, don’t just take our word for it: go seek medical help if you have a serious condition, do your own research as well, and please ignore any advice that seems ridiculous or wrong for you.