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.