Foot fungus comes in several forms, including athlete's foot and fungal infections that invade the toenails. Though over-the-counter and prescription medications are available for these conditions, home remedies can be just as effective when fighting foot fungus. These remedies are used to treat mild to moderate cases of foot fungus. Severe instances may require a doctor's attention.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic properties that you can use to fight fungal infections. There are a couple of ways to apply the oil. If you have toenail fungus, simply dab a bit of the oil directly onto the discolored spots on your nails several times a day. If you're fighting a skin-based fungus, such as athlete's foot, mix 3 parts tea tree oil to 1 part aloe vera gel, and rub the mixture into the infected areas twice daily. Tea tree oil takes about six to eight weeks to eliminate fungal infections, so be patient if you choose this method.
Baking soda neutralizes the stinging, burning and itching that is a signature symptom of most types of foot fungus. This allows the fungus to heal without being further irritated by you scratching the area. Dump 1 tbsp. of baking soda into a small dish, then add enough water to make a thick paste. Smear the paste onto the infected areas (particularly between your toes), let it dry for five to 10 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water. Pat your feet dry with a clean towel and apply a light dusting of cornstarch to soak up sweat and other moisture that can irritate the fungus. Repeat the treatment two to three times daily until the fungus disappears.
A salt soak can soothe and heal sores related to athlete's foot. Dissolve 2 tsp. of salt in 1 quart of warm water and pour the mixture in a shallow basin. Soak your feet in the salt water for five to 10 minutes, repeating the treatment several times a day until your infection fades.
Plain, unsweetened yogurt that contains a live culture can curtail foot fungus. The acidophilus bacteria in the yogurt halts the spread of fungus and kills the existing fungus that's causing the infection. Use a cotton swab to apply the yogurt to the affected areas of your feet, then let the yogurt dry completely. Rinse the crusted yogurt patches from your feet with warm water. Repeat the treatment up to three times a day, if desired.
Mustard powder contains powerful acid that will kill fungus. Add about a teaspoon of mustard powder to a shallow basin filled with warm water, then soak your feet in it for about 30 minutes. Repeat the treatment in the morning and at night until the fungus disappears. If you don't have mustard powder, a few drops of mustard oil will also do the trick.
- "1,801 Home Remedies"; Editors of Reader's Digest; 2004
- Mother Nature: Athlete's Foot