The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

DIY: Home Remedies For Athlete’s Foot

Posted by on Thursday, February 16th, 2012


Athlete’s foot. Yuck. It’s a fungus that grows on your feet and makes them hot, itchy, and miserable. The fungus thrives in warm, moist places–that’s how it gets its name, from locker rooms where the atmosphere is warm, sweaty, and wet, with damp shoes, damp feet, and damp towels everywhere you turn. It’s an eager little fungus, too. Step in a spot where someone with athlete’s foot just stepped and it will glom onto your feet, too. So let’s give this topic another yuck. No, make that a double.

You can prevent athlete’s foot by keeping your feet dry and by wearing shower shoes in places like locker rooms. Always dry your feet thoroughly after you take a bath or shower. Pay special attention to the area between your toes–that’s the favorite hangout for athlete’s foot. Make sure your shoes and socks are clean and dry.

If you do get athlete’s foot, though (and don’t feel bad, it is very common), there are plenty of over the counter remedies you can buy. However, if you are the type who feels embarrassed about checking out anti-fungal cream (“Price check for Your Feet Are Disgusting Ointment! Can I get a price check on this large tube of Your Feet Are Disgusting Ointment for this young man? Yeah, this one right here!”) or if you just prefer doing it yourself, here are some home remedies for athlete’s foot:

[Note: Whenever you are doing any kind of treatment on your feet during this trying time, don’t touch anything else after you’ve touched your feet until you’ve washed your hands. This stuff will spread everywhere it can. Be clean and careful.]

Now onto the remedies:



  • Apple cider vinegar – Soak your feet in apple cider vinegar 15-20 minutes a day, treat your socks and shoes with apple cider vinegar and keep a spray bottle of ACV on hand to spray on your feet when they start itching. In other words, buy the biggest bottle of apple cider vinegar you can find and make it your friend.
  • Tea tree oil – Make a foot bath out of a mixture of tea tree oil and water. You can find tea tree oil in any health food store. It’s also a lovely moisturizer for your face (warning: don’t touch your face after you’ve been touching your athlete’s foot-y feet).
  • Tea – Soak six tea bags in about a quart of water. Put your feet in there to soak awhile. Relax with a nice cup of tea–no, not THAT tea! Make a fresh cup.
  • Garlic – How is athlete’s foot like a vampire? It’s scared of garlic, too! Put slices of fresh garlic cloves in your shoes and walk around on those all day. This is supposed to be a great remedy, but you might not want to go out on a first date at this time. You can also eat garlic, or rub garlic oil on your feet. You can have a veritable garlic fest.
  • Cinnamon – This is a much yummier smell. Place about eight to ten cinnamon sticks in a pot and add four cups of water. Bring that to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for five minutes. Let it sit for about forty-five minutes, then soak your feet in the mix for about fifteen minutes to a half hour. Your house will smell great from all the boiling cinnamon and anyone who comes near you will say, “I feel like I’m back in Grandma’s kitchen…”
  • Antiperspirant– I love this one. Think about it–athlete’s foot fungus thrives on moisture. What does antiperspirant do? Stop moisture! And it will make your feet smell better than garlic.
  • Aspirin and alcohol – Wait, I know what you’re thinking–you’re not supposed to mix drugs and alcohol! It’s safe here, though. Dissolve six aspirin in a half cup of rubbing alcohol and mix thoroughly. Apply to feet three times a day–make sure your feet are clean and dry before applying.
  • Yogurt – The thing that makes yogurt yogurt and not milk is a bacteria called acidophilus. That’s the bacteria all the yogurt manufacturers say will kill bad things in your stomach and guess what? It will kill bad things on your feet, too! Look for a yogurt that includes live cultures of acidophilus and slather it on your feet for a while. Any flavor will do. No, don’t ask someone to lick it off.

Give any–or all of these methods a try and your athlete’s foot should clear up. Once it’s gone, keep it away by remembering to always wear some kind of shoes in locker rooms, at pools, and spas–even the swankiest, most exotic pool can be harboring athlete’s foot fungus. Don’t ruin your visit to, say, a lovely geothermal pool, by bringing back athlete’s foot as a souvenir. Do your best to keep your feet, shoes, and socks dry.

If, however, your problem doesn’t go away or you suspect something else is wrong, contact us at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, and Dr. Ryan Minara have helped thousands of people get back on their feet.



If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.