Natural Treatment of Athletes Foot

Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in General Health

Athletes Foot is defined as "a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging and burning. People with athlete's foot can have moist, raw skin between their toes". It is said to commonly occur in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tight-fitting shoes.

Symptoms include "a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging and burning. People with athlete's foot can have moist, raw skin between their toes."

Over the past couple of winters I've found that when I wear two pairs of socks and spend a lot of time in my gumboots I can have a mild case.

Living in a cold climate, I found that winter made it hard to have the same opportunity for me to go barefoot inside so as to ensure that basic sunlight and air stopped my feet from being in a warm enclosed environment 24hrs a day.

I recently found a variety of ways to completely overcome this issue and do it 1. Naturally and 2. by using the items / products that I already had in my home.


  1. After my evening shower I applied some apple cider vinegar to the affected area and the areas immediately around it. I used a cotton tip but NEVER put it back into the bottle once I'd applied it to the skin.
  2. Another option was to use Colloidal Silver. Again apply after a shower when feet are clean and dry. Use a cotton tip and don't put it back in the bottle once it's been used against the skin.
  3. The last treatment I found that worked well was Tea Tree Oil. As tea tree oil can be very drying I mixed a few drops into a small amount of basic moisturizer that I had decanted into a separate container.

I found the Apple Cider Vinegar worked the best and was the cheapest and easiest. My situation was very mild and I found it worked rapidly. I continued to apply it for a few days after there had already been no sign of infection.

Irrespective of the product I used I left it on. I didn't wash it off. I didn't put on any socks afterward and if my feet were cold before going to bed I waited til they were completely dry and then put on washable knitted/ crochet style slippers.


As Athletes foot is caused by being enclosed in a warm [humid] situation I stopped wearing socks to bed. Instead I put a hot water bottle in my bed near my feet. This way my feet stay warm and they are not fully enclosed 24hrs a day during the colder months.

I also bought a pair of 'winter' gumboots. They are a few sizes larger than I'd normally wear. It allows for my winter socks or two pairs when I need them, but my feet aren't as tight in them. Of course you need to ensure the boots aren't too big.

I hope and trust that others will find these tips useful. They have been easy, cheap and extremely effective.

Happy Gardening and Homesteading 🌲


  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭

    That's great you have found an effective treatment. ACV can be used on many things. :)

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,513 admin

    I make a tincture of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium or in my case Artemisia campestris) in isopropyl alcohol. It is very effective for Althlete's foot fungus or toe nail fungus. I occasionally will get AF and one treatment will usually take care of the problem. Some one else I know has very bad AF and TNF. If she uses the wormwood tincture regularly (3x daily) it goes away. However, she is in work boots all the time and has very sweaty feet so it does come back but she is an extreme case.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,371 admin

    @torey How do you use this type of tincture?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,513 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning I apply it topically. Just a few drops between each toe. Or in the case of toe nail fungus, I apply it along the top edge and sides of the nail so that it can seep under the nail a bit. I have also heard of using wormwood fresh or dried, added to a foot bath. I'd use a handful or more for that purpose. Haven't tried it myself yet. Pasture sage (Artemisia frigida) is also great for athlete's foot and has studies showing it to be effective against several strains of tinea. Some First Nations would put leaves in their moccasins to relieve sore tired feet or made a decoction to soak feet. I use the wormwood instead of the pasture sage just because it is the more prolific of the two in my area.

    Several of the Artemisia species show anti-fungal properties.

    Caution to everyone. Don't use Artemisia species internally unless you are a very experienced herbalist, regardless of what you might read. Artemisia species are great healers but best used externally.

  • Karin
    Karin Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    I have always used tea tree oil, but sometimes in resistant fungus cases, have found manuka oil and horopito is effective. I hadn't thought of ACV but will suggest it. It's good to change around remedies, I find.

    Resistant fungus infections can be maintained by the amount of sugar in your diet i.e. if you have high sugar or carbs, it seems to feed the fungus. Cut out sugar, lower carbs, along using with the herbal, essential oils or ACV, and you will beat the fungus :)

  • Grounded
    Grounded Posts: 153 ✭✭✭

    I have had dry scaly skin on my feet and around my big toes for years. I have tried tea tree oil with little effect. Would it ever be advisable to combine say ACV with tea tree oil, or wormwood, to use topically at the same time?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,513 admin

    @attydennis1 You could make a wormwood vinegar if you wanted instead of using a rubbing alcohol tincture.

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    I have been taking epsom salts foot baths for magnesium deficiency and I add a few drops of tea tree oil. Lo and behold, my toenail fungus (I didn't even know that was what it was until recently) completely cleared up. I also moisturize with coconut oil after the foot bath, so I don't know if that deserves some of the credit.

    Our home is cold in the winter, but I wear only a thin pair of socks inside very loose-fitting crocks so my feet can breathe.

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    @Annie Kate I like that suggestion for the magnesium deficiency and the added bonus!

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    My husband is a whitewater boater so being wet often for long periods is definitely an issue for him. He actually wound up with a patch of athletes foot on his leg from his wetsuit. I was surprised when the doctor diagnosed it as that as I had no idea you could get it elsewhere. He put him on a cream but it don't think it helped. So I had him add a tiny amount of Oregano oil for it's antibacterial properties, to coconut oil as the carrier which has antifungal properties. He rubs it on his leg. doing that combined with internal use of oregano really helps clear it up, as long as he remembers to do it.

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