When Athlete’s Foot Strikes: Fighting The Irritating Fungus

Did you know athlete’s foot is caused by the ringworm fungus? It’s typically quite itchy with some burning and yes, it’s contagious.

If involved with swimming, team sports or work out at the gym, it’s a good idea to wear sandals/shoes when using public showers and locker rooms. This helps protect yourself from picking it up or if one already has it, prevents spreading it to others.

Below you’ll find a helpful list of simple remedies to get rid of it but first, here are a few tips to help avoid a prolonged infection or recurrence:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soapy water after each treatment.
  • Perform chosen treatment daily until irritation has fully cleared.
  • Make sure to treat the whole foot (sole, toes and in between toes).
  • Spray down the shower and tub after each use with a disinfectant until irritation has cleared.
  • After bathing or showering, pat skin dry very well and focus on those areas between the toes.
  • Use towels only once after each bath or shower (do not re-use or share them) and wash them in hot water with regular detergent.
  • When wearing socks, use cotton ones and wash them after each use in hot water.
  • When at home, go barefoot but wear sandals or thongs so the skin isn’t in contact with the floor. Long periods of “naked” feet are helpful in clearing things up.
  • Spray the inside of shoes with vodka, Lysol or other disinfectant cleaner at the end of each day.
  • Change bedding frequently.
  • If feet regularly sweat when wearing shoes, try sprinkling the inside of shoes with baking soda to help absorb the moisture.

Home Remedies & Treatments

Part 1:

  • 4 TBS Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Warm Water

Part 2:

  • 1 TBS tea tree oil
  • 4 TBS olive oil


  • Soak two to three times a day in the vinegar and water solution (15 to 20 minutes each time). Pat skin dry with a fresh towel.
  • Next mix the tea tree oil with the olive oil. Dab and massage the oil into the affected areas.
  • Another option for Part 1 is a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water.

Oil Rub:

1 tsp vegetable oil
5 drops tea tree
1 drop lemon EO

  • Mix together then massage into skin daily.


Bring 6 cups of water to a boil then add 8 bags of black tea to the pot. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat source then pour into a small tub or basin. When the brewed tea has cooled down enough to not burn, soak in this mixture for 15 minutes.

Salt Water:

Mix 1/8 cup table salt with 6 cups of very warm water, soak in this mixture for about 15 minutes. You can add the juice from a whole lemon to the water for extra strength.

Grapefruit Seed Extract:

Add 1 teaspoon of the extract to a gallon of warm water, soak in this mixture for 15 minutes each day.

Garlic Vodka Mix:

25 garlic cloves (minced)
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp powdered cloves
1 cup vodka (100-proof)

  • Mix ingredients together in a glass jar, seal then shake to mix.
  • Store in a cool, dark place for two weeks, shaking the jar every other day.
  • Once ready, apply with cotton balls twice a day. Allow to air dry then apply a light dusting of cornstarch.

Easy Garlic Soak:

Smash and crush about 6 cloves of garlic, scrape all the bits into a jar of hot water for about 30 minutes. Next add all the contents of the jar to a small plastic tub and fill with more hot water until the level is high enough to completely cover your irritated feet. Soak in this water for at least 30 minutes.

To Soothe The Itching During Treatment Period: You can buy moisturizing creams that will relieve the itch, but try rubbing plain yogurt into the skin and then cover with socks. The yogurt is soothing and healing. If you have tea tree oil or peppermint essential oil on hand, mix a few drops with olive oil or an unscented hand/body moisturizing cream and apply.

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What Readers Are Saying: 5 Comments
  1. geraldine says:

    Do you have any homemade remedies for toe nail fungus.

  2. Janice Kessler says:

    Vicks VapoRub works to keep athlete’s foot under control or for a light case.

    Toe nail fungus…Dr. Oz treatment is equal parts Listerine (original “flavor”) and
    white vinegar. Can be sprayed or brushed on nails morning and night. It works!

    • Kathy Johnson says:

      Hello, I am interested in knowing how much of each should I use. I have been looking for a natural remedy for toe nail fungus, and I am glad I came across your post. Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Bernie Mayeux says:

    I am so glad I found this site. There are so many wonderful tips I can not wait to try.!!

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