Natural Remedies for Athlete’s Foot

To anyone who watches television regularly, he or she can recognize and recall all of the commercials for athlete’s foot medication. Seriously, they’re on all the time.

If you’re one of the lucky few people who’ve never experienced athlete’s foot, I’ll explain what it actually is. It’s basically a burning and itching sensation that occurs between the toes. Athlete’s foot is caused by fungus, which is, in this case, a microscopic organism that can live off of other organisms. A Fungus can also be non-microscopic, like a mushroom, but we’ll only worry about the microscopic fungi.

How does one get athlete’s foot? Well, if you’re walking around barefoot on surfaces infected with the fungus, you’ll quickly pick it up. These surfaces can be dirt and mud, where fungus grows, or be regular indoor floors, where other people have spread their athlete’s foot fungus to the surface. Once you catch the fungus, and throw on your 9-to-5 socks and shoes, it will only grow and grow. Maybe that’s another reason to go barefoot all day, everyday?

Athlete’s foot isn’t the only fungal infections that humans can get. There’s is ringworm, which is a ring-like patch on the skin, as well as nail fungus, which is extremely difficult to get rid of.

Fungus loves dark, humid environments. This is the same condition that’s inside your socks and shoes – no light, and lots of sweat. Since most people are required to wear socks and shoes everyday, that problem only gets worse, and the fungus continues to grow.

That’s where topical medications come in. You buy them over-the-counter, apply them to your toes before you put socks on, and let them do their magic and kill fungus. Only thing is that antifungal medications have a good number of side-effects. Liver damage, being the most serious of the side effects, is supposedly only seen with oral antifungal meds, but I’m sure osme of the topical stuff can still get into your bloodstream and cause damage.

Thus, we look for natural alternatives for a remedy. I’ve found there to be two possible natural remedies for athlete’s foot and funagl infections.

#1 – Apple cider vinegar. I’ve read this time and time again on forums, and my guess is that it’s the acidity of ACV that kills off the fungus. Apparently apple cider vinegar is natural remedy for lots of ailments. The claims could be true, but I can’t support them.

Apple cider vinegar.

My thoughts are that the acidity of the vinegar is what kills the fungus. If our blood pH levels dropped (as if someone was I.V.-ing apple cider vinegar into our veins), I’m pretty sure that we would get extremely sick. So, just imagine what it would do to a microscopic organism.

#2. Coconut oil. Apparently it contains lauric acid, which has antifungal properties. Lauric acid itself is NOT an antifungal medication, but just so happens to have those properties.

Coconut oil.

I think that the fact the coconut oil is, well, an oil, that it will stay on our skin and be absorbed more likely than a water-based product would. That means the lauric acid is actually penetrating the layers of our skin, getting to the fungus. This may give coconut oil some credibility as an anti-fungal.

Although both products are natural and non-toxic, neither has been tested by the FDA or in other human trials, so approach with caution. This information is from anecdotes and personal accounts. Good luck!

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3 Comments

  1. Photo Credits
    Fungus. Author: Stu Phillips. commons.wikimedia.com
    Vinegar. Author: Andy Roberts. flickr.com
    Coconut Oil. Author: Phu Thinh Co. flickr.com

  2. I’d been a nurse for 30 plus years when an intergrative medical Dr. said to me, it’s not Athlete’s foot in 99.9% of cases it’s candida. Systemic candida. I thought he was crazy, until I observed his practice for 5 years. Athlete’s foot is contagious, whereas candida isn’t. His question was, ‘Why then hasn’t the whole family, or their partner got athlete’s foot?’ Remove wheat, grains, etc. from diet & it disappears if candida.

    • This is true. Candida thrives on carbohydrate-rich diets that include grains.

      The one thing is, though, if one has nail fungus, in particular, the fungus can only live off of the nail’s keratin. In that case, cutting grains, as well as reducing carbs, would not help, as this fungus thrives off of a different fuel than most other fungi, such as candida.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

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