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Natural Cures for Athlete's Foot

Last Modified on Nov 08, 2015

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Posted by AC (West Midlands, England) on 07/21/2008

[YEA]  I read a post on EC that said:
[YEA] Anonymous writes: "I had athletes foot badly between two of my toes. I taped a cut piece of garlic onto the wound in the morning and looked at it the afternoon, and the skin was totally healed and looked like new. I couldn't believe it!"

It took me a long time to follow this advice, but when I did, I took it a few steps further.

1. I took garlic cloves and cut them into smaller pieces lengthwise.
2. I stuck each of the smaller pieces between my toes: the ones that had fungus and even the ones that didn't.
3. I put plastic/non-PVC wrap over the top part of my feet.
4. Put on a pair of thin socks and then another pair of thick socks.
5. Went to sleep.
6. Woke up, took garlic out and washed feet.
7. Fungus between feet was reduced dramatically.

In addition to the fungus problem between my toes, I apparently had some sort of fungus problem with my small toe. My small toenail was hard and black. The blackness reduced significantly, maybe by 40 or 50% overnight.

I smelled the garlic very strongly as I was sleeping but my husband (who hates garlic and won't even touch me if I eat it) says he didn't smell it at all.

I hope this helps someone! Coconut oil has also helped.

Replied by Gnosos
Austin, Texas
[YEA]   Taking a tip from the "Green Pharmacy" book I own.

I soak my feet in a garlic blend I make with my home blender, and add 1/2 cup ice (to lower sting), and 1 cup of strong licorice root tea (I brew it very dark). In Austin I can get the broken up licorice root from my health food co-op. Works very well 'cos the licorice root is an anti-fungal and soothing to the skin, and the allicin in the garlic is a strong anti-fungal also. I do it about every 3 weeks---soak my toes in this natural "slurry" for about 30 minutes at night, let it dry on the skin, and then wear socks all night. At the same time I eat 2 cloves raw and chase 'em with cold whole milk to get the fungus systemically. Strangely, I don't smell much like garlic and it works very well!

But be careful, blending in more than about 4 cloves with the licorice and ice could burn your skin. I used a whole bulb once and overnight lost the itching and burning--but I had mild garlic burns on all my toes. But it was still worth it to have my pink skin back!

Posted by Anonymous

[YEA]  I had athletes foot badly between two of my toes. I taped a cut piece of garlic onto the wound in the morning and looked at it the afternoon, and the skin was totally healed and looked like new. I couldn't believe it!

General Feedback
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Posted by Li (Florida, US) on 07/14/2014

Keep salt and very dry dirt in your sock. Sand might ruin your washing machine. Even foot powder is ok. The idea is to allow absolutely no moisture for the fungus to survive.

Greek Yogurt
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Posted by Misszmsz (Las Vegas, Nevada) on 06/13/2015

[YEA]  After 6 months of fighting athlete's foot over the soles of both my feet, I tried plain Greek Yogurt. Rubbed a couple tablespoons on affected area and covered with plastic bags. Immediately feet stopped itching. Now just have to deal with dry skin and cracked fissures.

Green Tea Leaves
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Posted by Astre (Sweden) on 08/08/2013

[YEA]  Green tea leaves for athlete's foot (vesicular tinea pedis)

I have the vesicular infection, with small blisters that itch and burn. The blister fluid is infectious so one must not scratch the infection. Skin becomes red, itchy and scaly when blisters become engorged and burst. I have tried mutiple tubes of anti fungal cortisol creams in childhood and it treated but never completely cure it. Then I discovered green tea leaves as a remedy!

This is what I do: Chew up a few leaves (dried and not brewed) with front teeth, with minimal saliva so it becomes a thick leafy paste. Spit out carefully on index finger and apply as a layer on the infected skin. I apply thick enough to cover and often slightly larger area than the infected skin, just to make sure I got it covered! I tape over with 3M Micropore tape, it is impt for the infected skin to breathe!

The itch and burn is soothed immediately. Change paste (which dries up to little leaf bits) and tape at least everyday, or more often )when it starts to itch-burn again).

If this treatment is done promptly on day 1, it takes a few days to eradicate. For chronic infection, it took me a week or so in childhood (can't really remember, but I know I used cortisol creams for months! ) to heal completely. I applied the leaf paste for another day or two even after symptoms have completely disappeared, just to be sure... Chronic infections take a long time to treat and can bite back with a vengeance if not eradicated completely!

Not sure if tea leaf freshness and quality matter, but I always some good whole-leaf green tea in my kitchen, kept fresh in an air-tight jar. In childhood I used whole green tea leaves that had been around for over 10 years (in air tight container neverthless) and it worked. I say, try this with any whole green tea leaves, will probably work!

If you try some from a tea bag, let me know! Also, if you try other types of tea leaves, leave a msg!

Hair Dryer
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Posted by Vi (Saskatoon, Sk) on 01/15/2010


I just thought I would share what finally worked to get rid of this stubborn infection - a hair dryer! I thought as one person suggested, something might be in my shoes, so I "blow-dried" the insides of my shoes on high for two periods of 30 seconds each. Push the hair dryer right in there so the inside gets good and hot. The first time I did this I melted the rim of the hair dryer so be sure to let it cool down in between! I was amazed when the infection on my toes went away without any further treatment of the skin itself. I now do this every month or so for all my shoes and slippers - sometimes I feel a tingling sensation that implies the infection is still around but with this approach it doesn't seem to ever develop. AND this also gets rid of odor in the shoes as it kills the bacteria that cause that too!

EC: Thanks, Vi. Sounds like a great idea for those treating toenail fungus too!

Herbal Parasite Cleanse
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Posted by Em. (Sydney, Nsw, Australia) on 06/16/2013

[YEA]  After trying many things to banish this persistent complaint I found quiet by accident when completing a parasite program that my Athletes Foot complaint disappeared in 24 hours when taking this Australian product. The ingredients include fresh green hulls of Australian grown black walnut (not imported black hulls), Australian grown wormwood leaf, and Clove buds.

When I treated the complaint with various other remedies, such as diluted pool chlorine, Iodine, MMS, ACV etc, it did seem to control it, but it later appeared under the skin and this was what alerted me to the fact that this is in the blood.

I have waited for this complaint to reappear before posting this message as I wanted to verify that it was the antiparasite herbs that disposed of the complaint. I have made a direct correlation to this complaint appearing with a rise in stress levels. It has happened 3 times now and in each case the complaint disappeared after 3 doses, one before each meal. Each time the complaint had disappeared in the following 24 hours

Good luck to those seeking a cure for Athlete's Foot.


Hydrogen Peroxide
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Posted by Melissa (Orlando, Fl) on 09/17/2009

[YEA]  Hydrogen Peroxide to Combat Athlete's Foot

I have seen countless doctors and dermatologists for my dry, red, peeling, cracked heels that I have had on and off since probably the age of 10. I have been (incorrectly) diagnosed with eczema, allergic skin, and even psoriasis. I have taken oral medications and have been prescribed compounded skin lotions in hopes of "maintaining" my condition at a tolerable level.

This year, I took matters into my own hands. Living in Florida, people walk around in sandals and flip-flops more than half of the year. My feet were so embarrassing. I researched and researched and found that it was highly probable that I had the moccassin-type of athlete's foot. All the symptoms fit - even my mother and grandmother have struggled with similar feet issues. I went for a final opinion from my primary doctor and she agreed - perhaps it was misdiagnosed after all.

I finally decided to try soaking my feet in 50% water and 50% unfiltered, raw, organic apple cider vinegar every night. It produced almost immediate results with my feet feeling soft and peeling less. Nonetheless, after almost two weeks of soaking my feet, I just could not stand the odor anymore - neither could my husband. I stopped and of course the athlete's foot came back with a vengeance.

I finally decided to try 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide foot soaks for 20 minutes every night or every other night. I follow through with an "as seen on tv" foot file to take off the dead skin. Finally, I moisturize with organic coconut-based lotion. After almost three weeks, my feet feel and look amazing. I make sure to sterilize the basin I use to soak my feet, the towels, the foot file, and any other instruments with alcohol to ensure that the fungus is killed. Also, I have been more careful to spray my feet with anti-fugal sprays and foot powder before working out or if I wear partially or closed toed shoes.

As a precaution, I will keep maintaining these soaks as long as I can - considering I've had this athlete's foot condition for more than 15 years. I hope some of you have success with this inexpensive and definitely less smelly solution!

Replied by John
Winnipeg, Manitoba
hello, you say you mix 50% water with 50% hydrogen peroxide but what grade of hydrogen peroxide? there is 35% food grade, there is 3% over the counter grade?


Posted by Doris (Santa Ana, CA USA) on 04/28/2008

[YEA]  Equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in foot-bath bowl. Set feet in, and gently scrub with sponge. Good time to do it is after shower or bath and before bed. For worst cases, cotton swab damply all over affected foot skin. Immediately cleaned, no more co$$$tly stores remedies in very tiny tubes and bottles. Then, keep clean your barefoot walking or standing areas (shower, tub, etc). The immediate clean look and clean feel will be dramatic.

Replied by Doris
Santa Ana, CA, USA
[YEA]   Adding to my 04/28/08 entry. Pedicuring 82 yr old mom's Athl Feet, red chapped cracked heels she had thru my childhood years. Now her poorly cleaned large toenail had accumulated dead skin under nail with yucky dark fungus. I bought kitchen dishgloves dishpan scrubber-sponge hydrogen peroxide (HP). She couldn't reach to clean anymore. Athl Foot etc was up calves to her knees. In dishpan I mixed 4 cups comfy-hot water, 1 cup HP. Feet in pan, I scrub-sponged one leg. It didn't sting, Strongly tingled refreshingly like when your hand falls asleep. She didn't realize how numb Ath Ft made her feet sense of no feeling. Cleaned feet nerves felt like taking off thick socks for the first time. Dishwash gloves protected my hands while scrubbing. We both couldn't believe visual immediate result of no redness, and of powdery white dusty skin sloughing easily into water mixture. To do other leg, washed out dishpan, used new gloves, new sponge, fresh water-HP mix. Dust-size flakes came off her feet. Now with vigorous gentle sponge scrub, I could feel the difference between cleaned slick skin and slippery athl foot. Scrubbed 3 minutes foot-calf-knee per leg. CLEAN. Dumped water was thick with scaly powdery dead skin slough. Big point was Athl Ft numb feeling wasn't noticed till after cleaning. Last, I put aloe vera gel on each leg using 3rd pair kitchen latex gloves. Then used spray bottle of water-HP mix with paper towels to wipe dry, on her whole apartment especially shower stall, sink, commode, all chromework, doorknobs and sliding glass door-windows handles. Got her new shower flip flop sandals, sprayed them too. NOTE: Her bldg staff smelled vinegar-water wash I'd once used, which worked good enough, but staff said NO in case of doctor's meds conflict by skin absorption - go figure! HP has no smell. She does her own laundry, but now puts some HP in rinse cycle now. Thanks for this site. Years of Athl Ft - gone. It needs done 3X/year now.

EC: Doris, thank you so much for these detailed instructions!

Replied by Suetee
Union City, Georgia, United States
[YEA]   A definite YAY here. I have had moccasin type athlete's foot for than a decade. My feet were extremely thick and darkly callused and my toenails were thick, dull and cracking. Nothing I tried worked: bleach, vinegar, OTC drugs but the hydrogen peroxide has been a miracle! I soak my feet in a 3% HP twice a day (undiluted) for the last 2 weeks and used my dremel and pumice stone to remove any dead skin. The dark moccasin pattern is 80% gone, my nails are a healthy white and the nail beds look healthy and my feet feel softer than I can remember. I will continue the twice daily soaks until they are completely clear. I might be able to wear sandals this summer. I hope this helps others out there with the same problem.

Posted by Joe (Somerville, NJ) on 02/04/2007

[YEA]  I've used hydrogen peroxide, 3% pharmacy grade cut 50% with water, to rinse my mouth before brushing, which has been a great help with eliminating bad breath and plaque. But here's a remedy that no one may have thought - a treatment for "tinea cruris" commonly known as jock itch. I had an issue with this for several months and during this period, several times a week, I used Curex and other over-the-counter options to eliminate it, spending $20.00 to $30.00 to no avail. I knew hydrogen peroxide was effective in killing bacteria, so, as a last resort, I cut the pharmacy 3% grade 50%, just like the mouth wash, and used it-in 2 days!!! the itch and soreness was gone! No joke. Total cost 20 cents!

Replied by Jazzenjohn
Franklin, Mi.
YEA I've been using Hyd peroxide for a mouth rinse after flossing. I've pretty much always had some bleeding after flossing, but just 1 week of using a tablespoon or two of peroxide, swishing after flossing, it has completely stopped.

Posted by John (Long Beach, CA)

[NAY]  I first washed my feet with soap and water to clean them. I then dipped my feet in hydrogen peroxide with water, and rubbed peroxide on my feet a little after, but it had no large effect. OTC antifungal cream doesn't work either. Does peeing on your feet really help Athlete's foot?

Hypoallergenic Baby Wipes, Aloe
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Posted by Doris (Santa Ana, CA, USA) on 09/12/2008

[YEA]  During years typing often had painful raw red skin, not peeled but just seemed eaten away - from using SHARED typewriters and pc keyboards. Would go to work with perfect skin, by day-end skin at base of inside palm and pinky sides of hand all raw red stinging peeled looking, sometimes very chapped or even cracking to bleed. Nice clean offices and people, just all shared copiers, phones, ofc eqpmt. Also some keyboards or machine casings had lead-base paint.

To clean surfaces Lysol spray stank, hydrogen peroxide bottles spooked bosses, but OK'd non-soapy-frothy kind of unscented hypoallergenic baby wipes. I baby wiped my own eqpmt, and my palms before work, after lunch, before leaving the ofc. I bought a small aloe vera plant for home. After work, I took a 1-inch aloe leaf piece, split open and put the gooey piece right on any raw skin for a minute. By morning any raw areas would have new skin. In a couple weeks, no more shared Athletes Hand and some other staff was using aloe vera hand lotion too. Big difference at work. My hands are all better.

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Posted by Chuckbrt (Alden, Mn) on 07/13/2011

[YEA]  Athlete's foot is a fungus, surface applications give temporary relief. To kill the fungus from within a person needs to take an anti-fungal. I had cracked and stinky feet, started taking Iodine and two days later the stink was gone. A week after I started Iodine, the cracks were healing.

Posted by Superslide (Las Vegas, Nv, Usa ) on 05/07/2010

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  My friend had a minor case of athletes foot and small blisters on his feet almost every day. We have been taking an iodine supplement that has greatly improved our over all health and got rid of his athetes foot. But the blisters still kept popping up. Mind you, he has had them forever. Every day after work, he would be popping them. So since the iodine has helped his athletes foot, maybe the body needs a little more help with the blisters. It has been amazing!!!

Take a bath to soften the skin.
Cotton ball with regular iodine disinfectant from pharmacy.
Coat foot with iodine.
Let dry or put on a nylon sock.

soft feet for first time ever.
In 3 days, only one blister appeared.
Much more comfort when walking around.

Ketoderm, Black Walnut Oil
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Posted by Catherine (Tahiti)

[YEA]  I tried doctors prescription of ketoderm, ciclopiroxolamine, econazole and numerous other things. I also tried the ACV and garlic oil rubbed on the skin. Lime rubbed on skin and left for 20 minutes. Also vera gel, colloidal silver, black walnut oil and iodine. I believe that the ketoderm works but my problem is that from all the drying products my skin would look worse so the aloe vera gel counteracted that and I've used the black walnut oil three times and it is working rapidly. I used the paragone liquid that I use to kill internal parasites on my skin topically. It has red clover and some other stuff in it but works great. I've been to three doctors and have had this for 3 months. It does go away with convectional medicine but will return the minute you stop treatment. I looked for every type of holistic cure and I think the problem with some like ACV is that they would make little wounds on my skin that would burn when I applied it. the doctors prescribed medicine did the same. I also eat raw garlic and drink a little bit of ACV each day. I also take noni which is a tahitian drink they sell at Costco. I stopped eating cheese and cut down on starch. I was using coconut oil last week but it didn't seem to do anything.