Natural Cures for Athlete's Foot

Apple Cider Vinegar

54 User Reviews
5 star (42) 
4 star (7) 
1 star (4) 

Posted by Yvonne (Apex, NC) on 07/19/2009

My son got athelete's foot. I took him to the doctor and was given a prescription - did not get rid of it. Back to the doc. This time is kind of went away, but came back. This went on for about a year. I threw away his shoes, sox, etc. Finally I heard of apple cider vinegar. I had him soak his feet in a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar for about 15-30 every night for a week. This time is went away and did not return.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Patrick (Pine Brook, New Jersey) on 06/21/2009

I currently have 'mocassin-type' athlete's feet. It comes around every year as the season changes and the weather gets warmer. This year it is worst than last year, so back to the Podiatrist I went. Following prescription Loprox gel, and OTC lotions, cremes and powders, I'm finding nothing is working, not even the Loprox gel. So a friend recommended Oil of Oregano capsules and Olive Leaf capsules since both have high Antifungal properties, but I read about Apple Cider Vinegar soaks. Is it best to buy the Organic, unfiltered "health food shop" type of ACV??

Replied by Janice
(Wilmington, NC)
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Patrick. No, you definitely don't need the expensive brand of apple cider vinegar for athlete's foot. I got my AF cured (killed?) in 2 days by soaking my toes for half an hour in the generic brand of acv from the grocery store.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Beverley (Leeds, Yorkshire, UK) on 04/03/2009

I've been reading the posts about apple cider vinegar and I have to say that I think whether or not it works may depnd on what type of athlete's foot you've got. For example, I've seen it work really well for people with toe-web athlete's foot, (the kind that infects the area around the toes), but I have Moccasin-type athlete's foot (which infects the soles of your feet and sometimes spreads to your hands), and ACV has no impact on it at all. I have also tried tea tree oil, and that doesn't appear to cure moccasin athlete's foor either. I've had it for about 4 years now and unfortunately, my overall experience has been that moccasin athlete's foot is much harder to cure and often dosn't respond to the home remedies you read about online. Also, while over the counter medicines can controll it - they don't seem able to cure it - I've tried all the brands I can find of creams, sprays and talcs. None helped.

My conclusion about Moccasin-type athlete's foot is that once it is severe, (i.e. when it has spread over most of the sole of one or both feet), you need prescription medication to cure it. Apparently, this is beacuse of the thickness of the skin on the soles of the feet (creams, oils etc won't penetrate it). I wish I was wrong, as I do prefer home remedies - but for moccasin athlete's foot my experience has been that a trip to the doctor really is necessary.

Replied by Shaun
(York, UK)

Try soaking your feet in a household ammonia solution (50/50 ammonia and water) for a while. Works a treat for me.

Replied by Beverley
(Leeds, Yorkshire)
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for the reply, Shaun, but I won't be needing to try the ammonia after all - because I have changed my mind about apple cider vinegar - it really does work and I'm so happy! I'm guessing, but I the reason it didn't cure the moccasin athlete's foot I suffer with sooner, is because I wasn't soaking my feet in a strong enough solution. In the past, I had mixed a foot soak of about half ACV and half water, and although it dried my skin out, it didn't have much effect on the fungus. Recently, I thought I'd have one last try and I started soaking my feet once a day in neat apple cider viniger - no water at all. It stung a lot, probably because the athlete's foot had really damaged my skin in places, but I stuck with it, and wow - the skin has started to repair itself and the athlete's foot has nearly disappeared. I am amazed! And so so so pleased! I've stuggled for years with this and I can't believe I'll be able to wear sandals this summer without feeling embarrassed about my feet.

EC: Hi, Beverley. Thanks for the update! We're removing the NAY rating from your first post and adding YEA here.

Replied by J-Rod
(Houston, TX)

Hi, I just read some of these feedbacks and was wondering what could help my husbands stinky shoes? My husband has athletes foot really bad. I mean I hated washing his nasty yellow crusty hard socks. I want to try this beacuse I've tried everything over the counter and his parents have bought him some package they saw on t.v. It worked but it had too many steps and of course he has to go to work. So if we try this do you think the smell in his shoes will go away as well?

Replied by Linda
(St. Paul, MN)

Just put some baking soda in the shoes & leave it in. I started doing this when my kids were young and it works!

Replied by Missymichigan
(Temperance, Michigan)

Here's how to penetrate the thick skin of the soles of your feet - I use a foot calus remover - it looks like a cheese grater, only made for feet. Once you are out of the shower and your skin and callouses are soft, just use the devise (found in most retail stores) to remove all calous areas of your foot, then try the home remedies. For fast removal of calouses, I use an electric Dremel tool found in most hardware stores with the round sand paper disc on it - it will clear up all of your callouses in 10 minutes or less but be careful to to put the speed too high. I got this idea from my podietrist who removed all of my calouses with one in her office! Good luck! Your feet will thank you!

Replied by Alyssa
(Austin, Texas)

One way to prevent stinky feet... Wear socks with a higher content of natural materials. Dress socks generally have high levels of nylon and run-of-the-mill white cotton socks are usually only about 75% cotton. Aim for at least 80% cotton, and when doing the laundry, add about a half cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle. Your socks should come out squeaky-clean, smelling great, and ready to absorb any sweat. Additionally, rotating your shoes works wonders... Try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days consecutively, giving each a day to air out.

Replied by Ethna
(Dundalk, Co Louth. Ireland)

Massage a small amount of Frankinsense essential oil on your feet. There will be no foot odour for approximately 6 months.

Replied by Chas
(Denver, Co)

Warning: About using a dremel or other kind of power grinder or sander, such as a pet nail trimmer -- only do this when wearing a surgical mask and eye protection. Otherwise, the airborne pathogens can spread the problem to places where you truly do not want the issue, and where your physician may have a very difficult time helping you!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Char (Los Alamitos, CA, USA) on 03/12/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Organic apple cider vinegar cure worked wonders in 3 days, redness decreased on bottom of foot, skin appears to have returned to normal in area where it had peeled off, blisters decreasing in size and almost dried up. I also used the coconut oil to keep the skin soft. Can't thank you enough!!!!!!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Bethany (Westminster, CA) on 02/20/2009
5 out of 5 stars

My husband had a severe case of athletes foot, and his skin would crack from how think and hard it was. We tried every cream, spray and powder out there, it helped with the smell but that was it. My sister told me about raw organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar and that it would kill the fungus. I figured we would give it a shot, and after the first night there was an improvement, and when he came home from work the smell was gone! So we kept on it soaking his feet in it for 15 mins a night after he got home from work and took a shower. after 2 weeks of this no more athletes foot, he now has soft normal skin on the bottom of his feet and they dont stink!!! give it a shot it is an amazing cure for athletes foot!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lesley (Hervey Bay, Australia) on 01/21/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have used ACV to successfully treat Athlete's Foot. Just soak cotton balls in the vinegar and apply often to the affected toes. Do this twice a day for 2 to 3 days and the problem will vanish. Try to keep your toes dry as reinfection is common with this ailment. I have also used ACV for itchiness in my ears. Just pour it in as best as you can and massage to let the vinegar get right down into the ear. This fully healed my ear itchiness that I had suffered for years.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Keith Warren (Totnes, England) on 01/06/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered from the above off and on for many years and get really bad attacks of athletes foot. I have tried many remedies, non of which have proved very satisfactory until I tried Cider Vinegar and Vapour Rub. What can I say? Within a week its like having a new pair of feet, I simply cannot thank the people who posted these remedies enough, they have been the proverbial life saver as I am in the building trade and have to wear safety boots and my feet were so very painful. Thank you one and all for your suggestions.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kira (Saratoga, NY) on 12/23/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I don't even need to soak my feet in Apple Cider vinegar (ACV), just wet a cotton ball with ACV and run over feet.

Be careful, it can really burn raw spots!

After the ACV dries, it feels so good to massage a little coconut oil on my feet (anti-fungal and moisturizing).

I find my biggest problem is I wear socks all the time and when they get moist, the intense itching begins.

My b/f did find when he wears cheap socks (like I do) his athlete's foot is worse.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Katrina (NYC) on 12/21/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Athletes Foot: I rented ice skates for 1-hr and next morning got an AF. I read all the solutions here and doing following:

ACV -- i soak my foot for 15 min
ACV+ wet clay -- I put it as a mask on my foot overnight-- improvements right away!!!
Oil of Oregano -- overnight-- great improvements!!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Larry (Dumaguete, Philippines) on 10/08/2008
1 out of 5 stars

I had chronic athletes foot for years, 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, so this is a definite NAY, but amazingly I did find something that finally worked after many years! And it involves Cayenne pepper and salt, see my additional comment below under Cayenne.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Teresa (Minnesota, USA) on 05/01/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Yes, ACV does cure dundruff but do you know it can cure athlete foot too... Just put acv on your affected foot 2x a day, do not rinse- let it dry.. yes it will sting but it will cure the athlete will see improvement on the first try by 2nd to 3rd day it will all be gone.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Vicky (Victoria, BC, Canada) on 01/18/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had read about all of the ailments that could be treated by Apple Cider Vinegar and decided to try it for a bad case of Athlete's Foot. I used it for about 6 weeks and the problem cleared up completely. A couple of months later, I chipped a piece of a filling from my tooth. Within a couple of days, the tooth started to ache. I remembered how the Apple Cider Vinegar had killed the bacteria from my feet so I decided to start taking it internally to kill bacteria from the inside out. It immediately started to reduce the pain in my tooth. Within 3 weeks, my toothache was completed gone. I still haven't gone to a dentist to get it fixed. I just keep taking my ACV!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Mike (Houston, TX) on 11/05/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) really works! I was skeptical at first because I have tried just about everything for a stubborn case of athlete's foot that I've had recurring for about the last 4 years. The antifungal creams and lotions I bought from the drugstore were a huge waste of time and money. If I had only known about ACV sooner. After reading some of the testimonials on here I went to my local health food store and purchased a bottle of unfiltered, organic, apple cider vinegar. I wet a q-tip with the full-strength ACV and dabbed it on the affected areas on my foot, I reapeated this for a minute or so, as to saturate the skin. Then I let it air dry. I reapeated this once a day for 3 days. The ACV kind of stings and burns a bit, but I guess that lets you know it's working. It's been about 10 days now and the stubborn athlete's foot fungus is gone! The skin where I had the worst of the fungus is still healing, but each day that passes, the skin looks clearer and smoother. ACV has made a believer out of me. I'm so glad I found this site. By the way I am also a believer in organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil. It is a great anti-fungal remedy. It just couldn't do the trick with the stubborn athlete's foot I had. I still apply some coconut oil as a preventative measure and it keeps the skin soft and supple also. THANK YOU!

Replied by Bluebell
(Acton, MA)

cool to hear you mention the coconut oil. I have used the oregano oil, after trying the tea tree oil and the ACV. They all made a difference and finally I put coconut oil all over my feet and that made a difference, too. I have lots of foot pain, too, such as plantar fascitis/spurs and I thought the coconut oil at night made them feel a bit better in the morning. Also, a cream with calendula in it made the inflammation feel better by morning when it was applied at night.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Otto (Lakeland, FL) on 09/27/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I'm sitting here reading about your ACV cure for my sinus pressure and possible infection which I'm about to try but I thought I'd add another AMAZING use for ACV. While in the Army I used to get all kinds of funky foot problems from wet boots and smelly group showers. Once, I got a athletes foot fungus that was so bad not a single OTC remedy would work and I spent $$$ on those "cures"! Out of desperation I read about ACV and thought "Why not" I placed it on a cotton ball, rubbed it all over the fungus (which burned really bad) and just let it sit there for about 15 minutes. Within 2 days the fungus started peeling off and new skin was taking it's place. Can you say MIRACLE? And a bottle of ACV is a bunch cheaper than a $7.00 tube of Lotramin

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Linda (MANHATTAN, KS) on 08/30/2007
1 out of 5 stars

I tried on a pair of shoes that my sister gave. While wearing them I noticed my left foot was starting itch. After I soaked my feet in sea salt, h2o2 and ACV and diluted with water and when I poured out that mixture and soaked them in plain I noticed that I had a rash on both feet. The right foot it is more blotchy and smaller in size. The rash covers most of the left foot. I put coritizone cream on both feet. Should I try that sea salt, h2o2 again? I never had a rash on both feet before.

Replied by Stephanie
(Tampa, Florida)

You're probably very sensitive to the acid in the vinager. Try aveeno oatmeal bath soak, it will help with the irritation on your skin. Or plain oatmeal you can make a paste out of it but dont mix anything else with it besides water. The salt will dry out your skin, its no good for rash's. But like any skin allergy it will probably take a week or two to clear up. Also check to see if your sister wears perfume on her feet? alot of girls do maybe its not just the shoes, Hope this helps.

Replied by Rick
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and acetic acid (in all vinegars) react to form peracetic acid, which is very powerful and should never be used on the skin. However, you may use it on your nails. Since peracetic acid is relatively unstable (it breaks down and loses its power after a few hours), it is preferable to apply the reactants one after the other, rather than mixing them beforehand. For example, first apply the vinegar to the nail, then apply the H2O2 on top of the vinegar. It does not matter which one you apply first.

By the way, peracetic acid is a good alternative to chlorine bleach for sterilizing nonporous (hard) household surfaces. For this application, just use plain white vinegar, not ACV. Peractic acid is actually a more powerful oxidizing agent than chlorine, yet it is not nearly as toxic as chlorine. (In fact, the breakdown products of peractic acid are completely nontoxic.) For large surfaces, such as bathtubs and kitchen counters, you may find it easiest to apply by putting the white vinegar in one spray bottle, and the H2O2 in another spray bottle; spray one and then the other. Again, it does not matter which one you spray first.

Replied by Claudia
(Fremont, Ca)

Very interesting combination. Can this be used in the washing machine to boost cleaning?