Portrait of a young fitness man suffering from a ankle ache while sitting on the windowsill at the gym

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that appears on the skin between the toes. The skin then gets itchy and scaly, and sometimes it can even hurt.

Luckily, there’s no need to immediately see the doctor. Natural home remedies can be very effective at relieving the symptoms of athlete’s foot.

Still, it’s necessary to say that if you don’t see any improvement after a week or two or if the burning pain becomes more intensive, you should see a doctor. To ensure an issue like that doesn’t repeat and that you can play a sport you like freely, inform yourself on sport focus podiatry and give your feet the best possible treatment.

In the meantime, here’s what home remedies you can try and see which one works best for you:

Tea Tree Oil

This is an oil made from a specific Australian tree, specifically, its leaves. It’s been used as a home remedy because it’s effective at dealing with bacteria and fungus.

If you rub it into your infected skin, it could help with the itch and scaling, as well as with the pain.

However, it could take up to a month to see improvement while it doesn’t help some people at all. Moreover, it could cause some allergies, so be careful.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is very effective at killing fungus and surface bacteria.

Try pouring it directly onto the infected area on your feet. Be prepared for a bit of stinging – if you created an open wound by scratching the skin, it may sting even more. Repeat the process twice a day until you feel symptoms are slowly disappearing.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is known to be a great natural remedy due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. It could also prevent further growth of the fungus.

You can make a truly natural home remedy by making a paste out of sea salt and vinegar that you can apply to the infected skin. Another option is to simply pour a cup of sea salt into your feet bath and let it dissolve. Soak your feet in this water for at least 20 minutes and then dry your feet carefully.

Sunflower Oil

This type of oil is made of pressed sunflower seeds and is well-known for its antibacterial and antifungus properties.

In the case of athlete’s foot, you’re not supposed to drink the oil but apply it to the infected skin. You may notice that not every brand of sunflower oil works as effectively as another one but you can always compare and see.


Garlic could be the ultimate anti-germ home remedy that people have been turning to for centuries. Sure, it doesn’t have a pleasant smell but it sure is effective at fighting many health issues.

To ease the athlete’s foot symptoms, crush 4-5 garlic cloves and then simply rub them onto the infected skin. Repeat the process twice a day and see if it works.

Green Tea

Green tea is one of the favorite beverages in any household where the focus is on a healthy lifestyle and natural approach. Polyphenols present in green tea are known to have antifungal properties.

You may experience less pain and itchiness if you soak your feet into lukewarm green tea. However, to get rid of the fungus completely, you may have to do this for the next 3 months, which is why you could combine it with another home remedy for a faster effect.

Rubbing Alcohol

Similarly to hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol is a home remedy present in many households because it can effectively kill bacteria and fungus.

There are two ways to use it for athlete’s feet: make a bath for your feet with 30% of water and 70% of rubbing alcohol. Soak your feet in it for 30 minutes. Another way is to apply the alcohol directly onto the affected skin.

Bitter Orange

A very special orange tree produces this type of fruit, which has been popular in China and the Amazon forest territory. This fruit fights fungus very effectively, so may as well try it.

You can water it down to avoid burning your skin with pure form. Apply it onto the affected area three times a day – if it works for you, you will see the symptoms are subsiding after a week or two.

Practical tips

Along with the home remedies, here’s what practical things you can do to ease the symptoms and to avoid reoccurrence of athlete’s feet:

change socks when you feel your feet are wet

whenever possible, go barefoot to keep the feet dry

dry your feet after a bath or a shower

avoid shoes made of synthetic materials – opt for well-ventilated ones

when at the public pool or showers, wear waterproof sandals

change your pair of shoes every day to give the first pair a chance to dry

Bottom Line

Natural home remedies can be very effective at fighting many health issues. You don’t have anything to lose by trying them out – and so much to win.

About the author

Stella Ryne

Stella is an art historian,entrepreneur, conscious consumer and a proud mother.She can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement/DIY projects. She’s also deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on.

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