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Natural Cures for Athlete's Foot

Last Modified on Nov 08, 2015

Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide
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Posted by Chuck (Lexington, KY) on 06/05/2009

[YEA]  I contracted a severe case of moccasin athlete's foot, which is especially hard to treat. It will spread to all parts of the feet and hands. The only recommended conventional treatment is with a pill that also runs serious risk of liver damage. needless to say not a great set of choices. I'd tried all the creams, etc. to no avail.

So I found this site and tried the remedy. I used a combination of approx. 60% "raw" apple cider vinegar, organic unfiltered with the mother, and probably about 40% hydrogen Peroxide. I soaked my affected areas for 30-40 minutes in the solution and let it air dry.

Seriously, after 2 days almost all the affected areas were visibly far better, and while it's too soon to declare it 100% cured, there is no doubt in my mind that this works. I plan on continuing treatment every couple of days at least for a week or so just to improve the odds of beating this thing, but I couldn't be happier if this cure came with a sack of money. Which, given the cost of medication, it effectively did come with a sack of money.

Replied by Heather
Vancouver, BC
Chuck from Lexington, KY wrote in his post - "I used a combination of approx. 60% "raw" apple cider vinegar, organic unfiltered with the mother, and probably about 40% hydrogen Peroxide. I soaked my affected areas for 30-40 minutes in the solution and let it air dry."

Do you re-use the ACV/HP? If the full treatment took weeks or months, it could become quite costly to have to refill the bottom couple of inches of a basin every day. Is it possible for the ACV/HP to become polluted/infected/dirtied by contact with the fungus on the foot? Where I live, Br**g organic ACV and HP are not cheap.

Hopefully someone can shed some light on this. I am a poor student, and have put off undertaking this treatment because of the cost factor. If it's OK to re-use the ACV/HP, I will begin at once.



Replied by Rhonda
Do not re-use. Cheap brands of Apple Cider Vinegar works great. Also, just use Apple Cider Vinegar & skip the earlier post said don't mix Apple Cider Vinegar with peroxide.. Damaging.

Posted by Margaret (Tallahassee, Florida) on 07/10/2008

[YEA]  Every summer I frequently get Athletes Foot and have spent numerous dollars on different medicines. They work for a while and then it returns. I decided to try a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and ACV dabbed on all areas of my feet.Within 1 day all areas started to clear up and have healed completely!!!!!!! Now as a precaution I dab on a little each day, especially going out and walking through wet grass to water my plants. No more athletes foot problems! This really works!!!!

Posted by Laura (Orlando, FL) on 08/24/2006

[YEA]  I am 3 months pregnant and had athlete's foot near the beginning of my pregnancy. I wanted to avoid over-the-counter chemicals to treat it if possible, so I tried using ACV, and it seemed to work miraculously. However, as soon as I stopped soaking in ACV, the fungus came back with a vengeance! Next, I tried soaking my feet in a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. I soaked them once for about 30 minutes. Then I just applied straight hydrogen peroxide to the affected area every night and every time after I showered. Within a few days the fungus cleared up. I used a pumus stone to exfoliate the dead skin. It has been about three weeks since it cleared up, and my feet look better than ever!!! Note: The hydrogen peroxide did fade the suntan on the top of my feet when I soaked them, and it dried out the skin on the bottom of my feet. I applied some unrefined organic coconut oil to my feet and the dry skin went away! Pretty amazing!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil
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Posted by Melynda (Seattle, Wa) on 05/09/2012

[YEA]  Soaking my feet at least once a day in ACV, full strength, for at least 10-15 minutes, followed by rubbing a little coconut oil on the affected areas has cured my athlete's foot. Also, it is helpful to know - pantyhose, are not so great for the health of your feet - they trap the moisture and create problems. Wear foot wear that allows your feet to breathe as much as possible. Trader Joe's has a great ACV that is unfiltered 'with the Mother', that is not terribly expensive. Since other posts have asked - I will note that I have re-used my ACV with no problems. I store it in a tupperware container, so that it is air tight when not being used, and replenish as needed.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic
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Posted by Hiker (Vista, Ca, Usa) on 09/05/2011

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I have a nasty case of Moccasin type Athlete's Foot. The entire front portion of the soles of both feet (from the top of the arches forward) exhibited a thick fungal scaling. I have had it for many months, probably over a year by now. I don't like using the OTC creams and since the itching initially was only in the evenings and only when I walked in tennis shoes for a long period I had been (to my regret) ignoring it. The arrival of summer's heat led to intense daily itching anytime my feet perspired.

I researched alternative treatments and decided to give vinegar and garlic a try. Distilled White Vinegar (4%) (DWV) was initially used because my local grocery store didn't carry any Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).

Both feet were soaked (undiluted) for 5-15 minutes (10 minute average) twice a day and 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic were eaten twice a day. Having read that Moccasin cases are much more resistant to treatment, I thought garlic with its potent anti-fungal properties would promote faster recovery. I also started walking around in thongs only.

The DWV soaks alleviated the itching immediately. No significant improvement in appearance was seen until the morning of the 8th day. I switched to ACV (5%) soaks (undiluted) that evening to see how it would work. The ACV was less harsh than the DWV and left my skin feeling very soft. A little improvement was seen nearly every day thereafter.

The garlic seemed to help. While continuing soaking I discontinued the garlic for two days and my feet didn't show any improvement. I resumed the garlic and the next day my feet looked much better. It may not be necessary for everyone but in my resistant Moccasin case it seemed a benefit.

A little tip: Garlic is very harsh -- don't take it on an empty stomach! On two occasions I did and immediately threw it up. When taken with a good sized meal it wasn't a problem. To make it easier on my stomach in the second week I reduced my garlic to 1-2 cloves per day, which seemed adequate. Luckily I wasn't one of those people that develop an odor problem while consuming garlic.

Another tip: -- make sure during your soaks that you don't rest your feet on the bottom of the container. Doing so can press the toes together and keep the vinegar from contacting the recesses between the toes and the soles of the feet. The same vinegar was used for several soaks in a row, which didn't seem to hamper its effectiveness.

I think long soaks are unnecessary. Beyond 10-15 minutes they often just irritated the skin and didn't seem to hasten recovery. Shorter multiple daily soaks seemed more effective than longer less frequent ones. Yesterday I soaked my feet about 5 times and upped my garlic to 2 cloves twice a day. Today my feet appeared much better. It has been 15 days and my feet are about 90% improved. Most of the scaling on the soles and under the toes is gone.

I have a fungal infection in the toenail of one toe. Unfortunately, I have to report that there has been little improvement in appearance. I don't know if the nail has to grow out before the toenail looks better or if it is not working. Will have to wait and see.

If you elect to treat your Athlete's Foot with ACV and garlic be patient. Long standing and/or Moccasin cases may take weeks to completely heal. I will post again later to update my progress.

Replied by Debbie
Melbourne, Australia
Hiker, I had a fungal condition on my toe. I didn't use anything topically, only ingested ACV with honey and baking soda once or twice daily. It took three months for the toenail to fully grow out the fungus. I kept cutting the nail as it grew and the new nail had no fungus. It has been over a year and a half and my nails are still clear. It is a slow but worthwhile process.
Replied by Hiker
Vista, Ca/usa
Thanks for the tip Debbie. I thought that might be the case that the nail needed to grow out before improvement would be seen.

Posted by Tina (Louisville, Ky) on 06/24/2010

[YEA]  Hello, I just wanted to praise the healing effects of Apple Cider Vinegar and Garlic for my recent bout with Athlete's foot. I have never had a case before in my life, but I picked it up from my recent trip to New Orleans. It was awful. I knew it was bad to scratch but I couldn't help myself at first because it itched so bad. It was present on the top of my foot only, and the more I scratched the farther it spread. When it was approaching my toes and I saw that I was beginning to bleed I knew I had to do something. I used this site for a previous ailment that I had and it worked so I trusted the the apple cider vinegar and garlic remedy as suggested would work as well. It was also great because they were already two ingredients I had in my pantry. So at first I soaked my feet in a basin with non-diluted store brand ACV.I must say IT BURNED. I also got nervous after I saw my pickled feet and the the rashes raise up on my feet. I did this 1x/day for a couple of days and then I started to come to the last of my ACV. So I diluted about 3 cups vinegar and filled the rest of the basin with water. I reused this for about a week and then replaced the vinegar-water solution the next week. Each night prior to going to bed I sliced two cloves of fresh garlic and placed them on my feet directly on the rash areas and then put ankle socks over it so they would stay in place.WARNING-I advise not to do this during the day especially if you in public around people. I did it one time and the smell was so strong people were literally looking at me in disgust. just wear sandles during the day if you can or if you have to wear socks then I suggest sprinkling a little cayenne pepper in them (that's what I did). The combination of ACV and garlic everyday for two weeks has resulted in a DRAMATIC improvement in my feet. The skin is now smooth. I still have a couple of scabs that are still healing. I will continue this treatment until all signs of this are gone. I read how this condition can be persistent. Your feet will smell like vinegar and garlic a lot after its done but that does not compare to fungus-infected, bleeding feet! I just thought I would provide my testimony and really hope in some way this will help someone else. I know it has worked WONDERS for me. Good luck!

Replied by Hiker
Vista, Ca, USA
I wanted to post an update to my original post. The Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) soaks completely cured my feet. They had rough spots and I thought they may have been residual fungus but I was wrong. My feet stayed the same for months. After about a year when it started getting warm again the fungus returned. I hadn't used the ACV soaks since my initial treatment and I ignored it until it started itching on the archs of both feet. It has been two treatments and my feet look and feel better already. This time I didn't take any garlic internally. I used full strength soaks for 30 minutes and have had no adverse reactions to them at all. ACV rocks!!!!!!!!

Baker's Yeast
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Posted by Francis (Montreal, Canada) on 07/25/2008

[YEA]  As a kid I use to have such a severe Athlete's Foot problem that I could not walk and my mother needed to drive me to school near by. Large bleeding wounds between toes puzzled the doctor who prescribe foot bath with baking soda but it just did not do anything. An old neighbor told my mother to find bakers yeast and mix it with water and apply a thick coat on my feet covered wit a plastic bag for the night.

After 1 week it was all gone, that was 40 years ago and never came back. I am not talking about the little dry yeast. This stuff is only available from bakeries and it comes in pound brick packed just like butter. Mix with water to have a tick goo, magic.

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Posted by Steve (Hernando, MS.) on 11/19/2008

[YEA]  I researched the Internet found that bleach CO. in the early days listed that it cured foot fungus the big Government & Doctors did not like this it takes Big Money from their Big Pockets, the FDA forced the Company's to remove it. Foot Fungus is treatable I have done this with Great results there are some side effects, the fungus tries to survive I got rashes up my legs & back I almost gave up but I refused I found this site and others I do this as often as I can and have great results my toenails use to be yellow and thick now they are pink and feel GREAT!

Good Luck!

Replied by Steve
Roanoke, Va, Us
[YEA]   Bleach works! Long story short, I suffered with this condition for nearly a year thinking that I simply had a really bad case of dry winter skin that started on my finger tips and toes. To my horror skin moisturizers exacerbated this to the point where the soles of both of my feet, my legs, hands and unmentionables were covered by this "plague" (athletes foot, ringworm, jock itch are all the same thing). Once diagnosed I tried most remedies mentioned here some suggestions here helped to some degree but nothing cured it, it simply kept coming back stronger than ever.

This is the method I used. Start by filling a spray bottle with a 1/10* (bleach/water) ratio.

*IMPORTANT: If you have cracked/peeling/inflamed skin you may need to start with a lower bleach to water ratio and work your way up otherwise you can chemically burn your skin! Once my skin fissures healed up I was able to use a higher ratio all the way to full strength. But this was me, everyones different - use common sense please.

Once a day (twice is even better) while in the shower and after having thoroughly saturated yourself with water (I felt that saturating my skin with water kept any absorption of the harsh chemicals marginalized). Once soaked, just spray the infected areas and gently rub it in, let it sit just a minute or so and then rinse VERY well with warm water. If you have peeling flaking skin, use a round (egg shaped) pumice stone and gently rub the dead skin off being careful not to hurt any live skin. Dry THOROUGHLY and then apply some virgin coconut oil to moisturize.

Note, I felt that the pumice stone was crucial, especially if you have thick calloused skin like I did. My hands were especially stubborn to clear up, the fungi sends tendrils or roots into the deeper layers of skin, these in turn usually allow the fungi to make a comeback if you let your guard down even for a day. Keep this up until your skin returns to its normal soft and supple state. If your skin toughenshardensthickensreddens whatsoever its not gone and you will need to spray and rub some more- persistence pays!

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Posted by David (Springfield, Missouri) on 11/08/2015

[YEA]  Borax powder for Athlete's Foot cure

I have not read this one on the site, so thought I would share.

I sprinkle a liberal amount of borax powder, like the 20 Mule Team brand, over inside-out socks, then flip again to get them right side out. I wear them during the workday and after 2-3 days, all crusty feet are gone and I am left with, by comparison, baby-smooth skin on my feet. Amazing cure and much simpler than soaking your feet in ACV, etc.

Typically, I follow up with this every 3-4 months, or when I start noticing any rough skin between my toes, and a few days of this will stop it.

Be advised, if you have severe athlete's foot, you may lose a significant amount of dead/diseased skin on your feet the first day, which can be alarming. I recommended this treatment to a family member who had a very bad case and he was a bit disturbed by the amount of skin coming off his feet the first day. He decided to do borax soaks in a foot bath instead, so the reaction would be slower and less alarming, which it was. It was a complete cure for him in about a week, and he does the 3-4 month powder in the socks follow up as needed.

Other thoughts: Something about the heat, pressure, and moisture on your feet of a normal day's work seems to make this work better, as I have tried follow-up treatments on the weekend with just socks and does not seem as effective.

Also, more powder seems to work better than less, which can feel a bit odd as it seems you are walking with fine sand in your socks, but the sensation is unnoticeable to me in a few hours. I would estimate the quantity per sock at about 1-2 tablespoons. I have tried follow-ups with just a small sprinkling and that does not seem to work as quickly as the 1-2 tablespoon amounts.

Posted by Victor (Wisconsin, US) on 04/18/2015

[YEA]  I had athlete's foot for many years, feet & shoes smelled terrible. One day I was reading the side of a box of borax, & there it stated that it removed odors. So I began to sprinkle borax into my shoes, and also into my socks. It made my feet hot, but in a few weeks it cured my athlete's foot, & has never returned. Now use it occasionally as insurance to prevent return infection.

Posted by Dianna (Austin, Tx) on 02/04/2010

[YEA]  borax for athletes foot

after trying everything else you could buy at the store for his pretty much life long athletes foot problem - and not having results my boyfriend finally decided to try the remedy i kept telling him to try... borax - which he thought was poison him instantly but he 'trusted' the OTC stuff at the store!!! LOL

he wet his feet and then took a handful and rubbed it all over his feet.

he said they stopped itching immediately! he was stunned.

a few weeks later i asked him how his athletes foot was and he said: oh wow! it hasn't come back! that stuff totally cured it!!!

now he tells all his friends about borax ;)

Boric Acid
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Posted by Dallas (Hayesville, NC) on 04/05/2008

[YEA]  I had athletes foot for several years that I could not get rid of from any of the high priced medications. I had heard from someone tha Boric Acid powder in your socks and in your shoes would cure it. Sure enough, after about a week the fungus was completely gone.

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Posted by Jess (Victoria, British Columbia) on 02/09/2007

[NAY]  I had athletes foot, I never had it before so I used different creams from the drug store. THEN I got an itch on my hand and the skin started getting very red and pealing off there! I went to the drug store and they gave me a different athlete's foot cream to apply to both the foot and the hand. I did this and it got rid of athletes foot from my toes but only helped a little bit with my hand. It didn't go away on my hand, it stayed the same size on one part of my hand and grew BIGGER on another part and was spreading up my thumb. I had tried a few home remedies from your site, none worked too well: Cider Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, Borax etc. Over four week later it was still the same, itching and very red and getting bigger and spreading to other parts of my hand! I was about to go to the doctor when 'that little voice inside' said take Coral Calcium. I did and after taking a double and sometimes TRIPLE dose within 3 days the itchy circle began to subside. The skin one week later is still a little pink from healing and the center is normal skin color but there's NO itch or flaking skin left anymore. Will continue with the Coral Calcium for another two weeks and ingest cider vinegar on a regular daily basis for the rest of my life.

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Posted by Larry (Dumageute, Philippines) on 10/08/2008

[YEA]  I had chronic athletes foot, i could never get rid of it. Over the counter creams such as lamisil controlled the problem but did not get rid of it. I then tried not using the creams and only apple cider vinegar instead. The result was disaster, rampant athletes foot. I was almost about to give up but did a final search and found postings on both Salt and Cayanne, so I decided to try an experiment. I made up a mixture of half salt and half cayenne pepper. I then Put a little bit of Lamasil cream on the infected area. Then while my finger still was sticky from the cream i dipped my finger in the salt/cayenne mixture and worked the powder into the infected area. The result was incredible. Noticible improvement after 24 hours. After two weeks, once a day, for the first time in years i am athletes foot free. I have no idea if it was the salt, the cayenne or the combination. I don't know if the Lamisil did anything more than provide a sticky base. But my feeling is don't change success. This combination worked fantastic for me.

Replied by Bill
Los Angeles, California
Hi, this was so long ago. Have you had athlete's foot again and if so, did you use the same method of salt and cayenne? I have it chronic myself and trying so many things. Now, doing a garlic paste every day and night. Thank you.

Posted by Melvin (Garner, North Carolina) on 07/19/2007

[YEA]  This website has been a major blessing to me and my family!

From 1989 to about 1994 I suffered from athlete's foot on both of my feet. I tried several OTC (over the counter) drugs that eased the pain and itching somewhat, but never cured it, in spite of what the avertisements claimed.

A friend of mine told me about the benifits of applying cayenne pepper to cuts and acratches to stop the bleeding. Out of desperation one night, I applied cayene pepper to the affected areas between my toes. I was amazed at the almost immediate sense of relief I experienced. I applied it every morning after showering and at night after washing my feet. Within a day or two the pain & itching was gone. Within a week the fungus had dried up and skin had hardened. Within two weeks I could peel the dead skin away and by the third week the AF was gone and the cracked skin began to heal. By the fourth or fifth week there was no evidence of the AF- AFTER FIVE, LONG YEARS. I had forgotten what it felt like not to have AF.

The key for me was to wash and dry my feet daily before putting a dash of cayenne between my toes. No more over-the-counter treatments for me. I keep an ample supply of cayenne available, just in case.