We’ve all been there: you’re on vacation, at the beach, or lounging by your pool in the summer sun and you take off your shoes. And then… you catch a glimpse of your feet and it’s immediately clear that something is wrong. Your toes are red and swollen, and some of them even have white spots. The skin between your toes is flaky, dry, and cracked. You’ve got athlete’s foot—a fungal infection caused by tinea pedis.
It’s not the prettiest problem, but foot fungus is a real problem. We don’t judge you if you’ve got it, and we’re not afraid to say that at least one of us has had it before.
We’ve rounded up 20 of the most effective ways to protect and cure your feet from fungus naturally. With these tips, you’ll be able to treat this pesky problem without relying on expensive and invasive options—and maybe save a little money in the process!
1. Clipping and taking care of your toenails Weekly
Keeping your toenails clipped, clean, and dry will help prevent fungal infections. If you have foot fungus, trim your nails as short as you can without causing pain. Your podiatrist may do this for you if it’s too painful.
File the edges of your nails after they’ve been trimmed. This will help prevent ingrown toenails, which can be a source of infection that leads to athlete’s foot or other foot fungus conditions.
Also avoid nail polish and artificial nails because they encourage the growth of fungi on and under your nails. Don’t share nail clippers with others who have been infected with fungal infections. These tips about how to cure foot fungus are also helpful for preventing this condition in the future.
Wash your feet daily with soap and water, especially between the toes, then dry them thoroughly afterward—especially between your toes! Fungi thrive in moist environments so keeping your feet dry is very important when it comes to how to treat foot fungus naturally at home!
Avoid walking barefoot in public areas such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and communal showers. Wearing shower shoes or flip-flops can help protect against fungal infections by allowing moisture from wet floors or contaminated surfaces to evaporate instead of staying on damp skin where fungi can grow easily.
2. Make sure your socks and shoes are kept clean
It’s possible to transmit fungus from one area of your body to another, which means that it’s also possible to get a fungal infection on your feet if you don’t wash your socks and shoes regularly.
- Clean and disinfect every pair of shoes before storing them away.
- Use an antifungal spray when cleaning your shoes.
- Wear socks that allow the feet to breathe.
- Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row – by switching out pairs, you reduce the chances of bacterial or fungal buildup, as well as odor.
3. Oregano Oil
For topical application, add oregano oil to a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil and apply to the affected area. To check for skin sensitivity, rub a small amount of the mixture on a small patch of skin before using. Do this twice daily until symptoms have improved.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an effective treatment for fungal infections. Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree plant, which is native to Australia. It is an excellent antiseptic and antimicrobial agent. The active ingredient in this essential oil, terpinen-4-ol, has shown antimicrobial activity against certain strains of fungi and bacteria. This natural extract can be applied topically to the skin or nails for treating fungal infections.
5. Hydrogen peroxide
Of course, they’re not everyone’s favorite treatment. Some people say they don’t work or that they’re too messy to deal with. But I have a secret to share with you: hydrogen peroxide is one of the best natural treatments for foot fungus out there!
- Hydrogen peroxide offers some serious anti-fungal kick, and you can use it in two easy ways: soak or spray.
- All you need is 3% hydrogen peroxide and water (a 50/50 blend).
- The only thing to keep in mind is that hydrogen peroxide does dry out skin, so don’t apply it directly to your skin. Always dilute first! For a foot soak, just mix your hydrogen peroxide mixture in a small bucket and let them sit for 15 to 30 minutes. You can make a foot spray by mixing it together in an empty spray bottle, which can then be sprayed liberally throughout the day!
The great thing about using hydrogen peroxide is that it keeps working even after you’ve removed the socks or shoes! This will help heal any cracks on your heels and toes where tiny fungi love to hide out.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains anti-fungal properties that can help treat nail fungus. Coconut oil is a well-known treatment for many health issues, but did you know it may also work for nail fungus? To treat nail fungus with coconut oil, apply the oil to the affected area three to four times a day and continue applying it for several weeks after the infection appears to have cleared up. You can also mix equal parts melted coconut oil and apple cider vinegar and soak your feet in this mixture for 15 minutes twice daily. To avoid recurrences of foot fungus, try using coconut oil as a preventative measure by rubbing it on your feet every morning or before bed.
7. Black tea
Black tea is another popular remedy for toenail fungus, especially as a soak. It has antifungal properties that help fight the infection. The black tea tannins kill and prevent the growth of fungi on your nails while giving them a healthier look.
To prepare a solution of black tea, simply boil some water in a bowl or pot and add a bag of black tea to it. Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes, then remove the black tea bag from the water and let it cool down until it reaches room temperature. Soak your feet in it for at least 20 minutes before drying them with a clean towel when you’re done. Do this once daily until you get rid of the infection completely.
8. Baking soda
Baking soda is a fungicide, capable of destroying fungus. This raises the question: can baking soda be used for treating foot fungus? The answer is yes! Here’s how to use baking soda as a foot fungus treatment:
- Dissolve 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda in 2 cups of warm water.
- Soak your feet in the solution for 20 minutes, twice daily (especially before bedtime). You’ll notice how it deodorizes your feet and gets rid of any itching caused by the fungal infection.
- Dry your feet completely with a clean towel before putting on socks or shoes to prevent reinfection or re-contamination (bacteria love moist environments).
The benefits of using baking soda as a foot fungus treatment include:
- It’s an all-natural remedy that won’t negatively affect your health if used in moderation (you can use it for up to 10 days at most, although you should see results after just 7 days)
- It helps get rid of bad odor from infected areas
- Using this home remedy will also help relieve any itching you might be experiencing
9. Epsom salt
Epsom salt is one of the best natural antiseptics and antibacterial agents you can use to fight athlete’s foot. You can use Epsom salt for foot fungus treatment in various ways.
Epsom Salt Foot Soak: Epsom salt can be used as a foot soak to cure fungal infections of the feet. Mix 1 cup of Epsom salt in a bucket containing warm water, and soak your feet in it for 15—20 minutes. Repeat this several times a day, until you get relief from itching and redness caused due to athlete’s foot.
Epsom Salt Scrub: You can also prepare an exfoliating scrub by mixing 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Scrub your feet thoroughly with this scrub before taking a bath, every day, until athlete’s foot disappears completely.
Epsom Salt Mask: Prepare a mask by mixing together 2 parts Epsom salt with 1 part bentonite clay or Fuller’s earth (multani mitti). Apply the paste on your feet, leave it on for 20 minutes, and then wash it off with water. Follow this remedy once daily until all the symptoms subside completely.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful natural antifungal. Since fungus thrives in an acidic, moist environment, ACV might just be the perfect treatment. Apple Cider Vinegar is a mild acid that can help kill off the fungus that causes your odoriferous foot condition.
ACV can be used both topically and ingested to help treat foot fungus. To use it topically, soak your feet in a mixture of half water/half apple cider vinegar for about 20 minutes. To take it internally, mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water and drink three times daily to help cleanse your system.
11. Ozonated oils
Keep your tootsies germ-free with ozonated oils! These naturally-occurring oils have been infused with medical ozone gas, which has proven antibacterial and antifungal properties. They’re also an anti-inflammatory, so they help relieve the pain of a fungal infection. Apply them topically to clean feet once per day. Over time, this will keep your feet healthy, happy and fungus-free for years to come!
12. Borax Powder
You know what’s great about borax? Just about everything. This natural mineral deserves all the hype it gets. Borax is not only a fungicide, but it also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In other words, by using borax to clean your feet, you’re killing two birds with one stone—controlling fungus and preventing infection at the same time.
It’s also a must-have in any green household due to its naturally occurring qualities and minimal environmental impact (not to mention its uses beyond foot fungus—it can be used as a laundry detergent booster!). If you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate borax into your daily routine, simply sprinkle some on your feet before putting on socks. You’ll reap all the benefits of this powerful powder without even trying!
13. Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is a natural antiseptic and antifungal agent that has been used since centuries to treat all kinds of fungal infections. It is a natural remedy for fungal infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch. Topical application of olive leaf extract proves effective in treating your foot fungus. Just apply it directly on the affected area and leave it overnight. Wash off with lukewarm water the next morning. Do this every day until you notice improvement in your condition.
14. Snakeroot extract
Snakeroot extract is an antifungal made from plants in the sunflower family. A 2008 study showed that the remedy is as effective as the prescription antifungal medicine ciclopirox when applied twice daily for 48 weeks. It’s not clear how it works, but receptors in hair follicles may collect the antifungal properties in skin oil and release them into infected skin over time.
To treat ringworm with snakeroot extract, apply a few drops to the affected area twice a day using clean cotton swabs. To prevent recurrence, continue treatment for one week after signs and symptoms of infection disappear.
Zinc is an essential mineral that has powerful antifungal properties. It can be applied topically or taken orally in the form of a supplement. However, it’s always best to try and get all of your nutrients from food first before taking supplemental forms of them. In addition to assisting with healing foot fungus, zinc also helps the body with many other functions like improving immune system health and balancing hormones.
Zinc can be found in foods such as oysters, beef liver, lamb chops, cashews, chickpeas, fortified cereals and grains like oatmeal and whole-grain breads and rolls. Many foods are fortified with zinc so it’s a good idea to check your labels when you’re at the supermarket.
Zinc is also found naturally in dark chocolate! So if you’re ever having a hankering for something sweet, reach for a bar of dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate to get your daily dose of zinc (and an endorphin boost).
Garlic is a powerful anti-fungal. You can use it in your diet and also apply it directly to your feet. You should peel a raw garlic clove and cut it in half, then rub the cut side of the clove on the affected area. Doing this can help relieve pain and itching caused by athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. The garlic odor may linger for some time after you are done using it.
Cornmeal is another ingredient that can be used as a topical treatment for fungal infections. It has drying properties which help to fight the fungus and prevent it from spreading. In addition, cornmeal contains fungicidal properties which help in treating skin ailments caused by fungus and bacteria. You can use cornmeal in any of the following ways:
Foot Soak: Take 1-2 cups of warm water in a basin and add half a cup of cornmeal to it. Soak your feet in this solution for 15 minutes or until the water cools down completely. Rinse your feet with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel. Do this twice daily at least until you get relief from the symptoms of foot fungus.
Scrub: Take half a cup of cornmeal and add enough amount of olive oil or coconut oil to prepare a thick paste like consistency. Apply it on your feet and rub gently for one minute before taking a foot bath using cold water. Repeat twice daily for at least two weeks to get rid of foot fungus completely. Foot Powder: Take equal amounts of cornstarch, baking soda, apple cider vinegar powder, neem powder, turmeric powder, coriander seed powder, eucalyptus essential oil and lavender essential oil; mix them well together to prepare foot powder. Use this powder on your feet after having bath and before wearing socks.
18. Diet changes
Fungi thrive on sugar. Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent and get rid of fungal infections in the feet. If you have one, you should make sure your diet does not contribute to it spreading.
You should try to avoid foods with high sugar content, such as soda and candy. You should also limit your intake of refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta made from white flour.
In addition to avoiding sugary foods, there are several types of food you can include in your diet that may help you get rid of foot fungus faster or prevent it from developing at all:
Foods rich in antioxidants: These include berries and green tea. Foods rich in antioxidants can help repair cell damage caused by free radicals—unstable molecules that can lead to inflammation and infection when they accumulate in the body.
Foods rich in vitamin C: These include citrus fruits (such as oranges), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers and tomatoes. Vitamin C helps the immune system produce antibodies that kill harmful microbes.
19. Lemongrass Essential Oil(Topical Application)
Lemongrass essential oil contains anti-fungal properties that can be used to treat foot fungus. To use this, mix lemongrass essential oil with a carrier oil and apply the mixture on the affected areas. Massage gently for a few minutes and then leave it on for fifteen minutes before washing off with water.
Lemongrass oil has antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and astringent properties that help cure fungal infections.
We are big fans of exercise here at Foot Fungus Treatment! Not only will it help you to prevent and cure foot fungus, but it also benefits your overall health and well-being. If you don’t already have an exercise routine, start one today! Here’s how:
- Exercise has so many benefits. It increases blood circulation (which is very important in preventing and curing foot fungus), lowers your risk of diabetes, strengthens your heart and lungs, lowers blood pressure (especially if the exercise involves water like swimming), helps you maintain a healthy weight, keeps you flexible and mobile, improves sleep quality and can help you manage or reduce stress. Remember that when it comes to exercise, any little bit helps. Even five minutes per day will make a difference in your health over time.
- Find activities that you love to do. Why? Well just think about it: When we find something we love to do, we’re more likely to continue doing it for years to come! Why not sign up for a dance class? Get outside for some fresh air with a walk in nature? Join a basketball team? Enroll in an adult education class where you learn something new while getting some physical activity at the same time (like pottery or basket weaving)? What makes YOU happy? Why not make that next activity on your schedule?
Treat foot fungus as soon as you’ve identified it to prevent further complications and spread of infection.
As much as you may be in denial about the condition of your feet, there’s no escaping it: You’ve got foot fungus.
But just because you have a fungal infection doesn’t mean that you need to live with it. Treating the problem is essential for not only getting rid of current infections, but also preventing future outbreaks. Fungal infections can spread from one person to another if proper hygiene isn’t maintained by everyone in the household. It is especially important for very young children, who are more prone to fungal infections on their feet, and who haven’t yet learned proper hygiene practices.
You can prevent foot fungus and many foot problems by taking good care of your feet. Good foot health starts with good foot hygiene. Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water and soap to remove dirt, bacteria, and sweat from your skin. Pay special attention to cleaning between your toes as this is where fungi like to grow. Then dry your feet thoroughly, paying particular attention to drying between the toes. Wear clean socks every day, preferably made of an absorbent material (like cotton or wool) that wicks moisture away from the skin. Always wear shoes or sandals that do not crowd the toes or make them rub against each other or against the shoe or sandal itself. Keep your feet dry by wearing breathable shoes that allow air circulation around the foot area and by wearing absorbent socks (and changing them when they’re damp).
Keep any areas of skin breakdown on your heels covered with a bandage or other protective dressing until they are healed because open wounds are susceptible to infection from germs such as bacteria and fungus (as well as germs from other sources such as soil).