School shoes, sweaty socks and summer heat are the perfect recipe for Athlete’s foot. As we are currently treating a bout of this with my youngest daughter, I thought I’d share the best natural remedy for Athlete’s foot that we use.
I want to start out by saying that there will be no flaky feet pictures here! So you don’t need to brace yourself for any icky images of Athlete’s foot. If you need to diagnose whether you have Athlete’s foot or not, check it out on Google and then come back here for a simple, quick, cheap and (most importantly) natural treatment.
What Athlete’s foot looks like
Before last year I had no experience with Athlete’s foot, until one hot day my daughter came to me and said her feet were weird. They were indeed weird, very weird. I’m not going to lie, I was horrified at first. We hadn’t noticed it, so the infection must have grown and grown and when she showed me her feet, they literally looked like they were falling apart and the skin was peeling off. Let’s just say that it was grim.
The ‘old me’ would’ve been straight off down to the pharmacist to panic-buy the strongest cream available. But the new ‘natural me’ instead researched what it is and tried out a natural treatment – which worked, hurrah!
What is it
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that thrives on hot, sweaty feet confined in non-breathable shoes – hence the name and link to athletes.
It generally starts between the toes and looks like skin peeling off and an itchy rash – you’ll find loads of pictures on Google so it’s fairly easy to self-diagnose. If it’s not treated properly it can lead to cracked skin, bleeding and blisters – so it’s best to keep an eye on your feet and act when it starts.
It is said to be very contagious and ‘can spread easily throughout the household’. You can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that. However, we didn’t find it to be contagious and we all share the same bathroom – maybe we were lucky.
Conventional treatments are either antifungal creams, powders or prescription-strength creams with steroids and in severe cases even antifungal pills. These treatments will be chock-full of chemicals, alcohol and strong toxic stuff, which undoubtedly works, but that’s not the path I’m on anymore.
So I researched various natural remedies for Athlete’s foot and decided to try the old faithful combination of coconut oil and tea tree oil. These are two natural wonder oils that are readily available in our household – we use them for so many things!
Here’s what worked for us:
1) Wash feet regularly and let them air – this is important as the fungus spreads in damp, humid conditions. As soon as my daughter got in from school she took her shoes and socks off and we washed her feet, then kept her socks off.
2) Dry and air shoes – I put her shoes outside in the sun to dry off and to let the natural sunlight kill off any lurking microscopic fungi.
3) Apply coconut oil and tea tree oil twice a day – I simply put a blob of coconut oil in the palm of my hand (about the size of a small grape) along with 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil. Let them melt and mix together in between your hands and then rub the oil all over the feet, paying special attention to between the toes.
We applied the oil to clean, freshly washed and dried feet and I was careful to wash my hands well. Always use coconut oil (or another carrier oil such as almond or jojoba) to blend with the tea tree, as it is a potent oil. I like coconut oil as it is both antibacterial and antimicrobial – in fact, it would probably work on its own. But adding in tea tree oil, which is antifungal and antibacterial, is the killer combination that we prefer.
I buy an organic, cold-pressed coconut oil – you can get this from any supermarket for a few pounds. It can generally be found in with the olive oils and cooking oils. If you want to go for the King of Coconut Oils try Tiana (check it out in my directory). I also choose an organic tea tree oil – you can easily find these online or in a health food store.
4) Wash towels every day and dry in the sun – to avoid spreading the fungal infection.
And that was it for us. Her Athlete’s foot went after about 10 days and then didn’t come back until this summer. Thankfully, she spotted it early. So we’ve treated it the same way and it has cleared up after a few days.
I just love it when a simple natural remedy helps your body heal itself naturally. This protocol is so easy, quick and cheap, it’s a no-brainer for us. And we didn’t use any chemicals on her delicate little feet.
When to seek professional help
If this protocol doesn’t start working for you after 10 days or if you have a severe case then you should seek professional advice. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. Keeping an eye on your body, noticing little changes and acting on them should prevent any overgrowth or imbalance.
Let me know if you’ve tried this natural remedy or if you have your own that works just as well.