Today’s guest post about cost-effective home remedies for foot fungus comes from Sarah Jones (bio below). Thanks for sharing this information, Sarah! FN
Symptoms and causes of foot fungus
Foot fungus (athlete’s foot or toenail fungus) is relatively common and many will experience it at least once in their lifetime. Common symptoms include:
- Burning sensation
- Blisters or sores
- Cracked skin on your foot, particularly between the toes
- Yellow or white spots under your toenail(s)
- Yellow, brittle or extra-thick toenails
Foot fungus grows when your foot is wet or moist and warm. This means sweaty socks, showers, and pools. Locker rooms and dormitories are especially high-risk areas for contracting a foot fungus.
Remedies in your pantry
Chances are you have some inexpensive items in your pantry that could help treat that itchy foot fungus. Take a peek in your cupboards before rushing out to the store for an expensive cream, or waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
- Lemon juice
- Coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Baking soda
- Sodium borate
- Tea tree oil
Home remedies for foot fungus are easy to make and use. Repeat these treatments daily or weekly. If one treatment doesn’t work, try another. Toenail fungus can be especially stubborn to treat, so be patient.
Apply lemon juice directly to the infected skin or toenail. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then rinse it off.
Coconut oil can also be applied directed to the affected area. It’s beneficial to your skin, too, so use it over your whole foot. Put on a pair of socks to prevent slipping and allow the oil to penetrate.
For a foot soak, mix one part apple cider vinegar with six parts hot water and one part Epsom salts. Let it cool a bit, then soak your affected foot (or both feet) for about 30 minutes.
Cornmeal is an unexpected remedy for treating fungus on your toenails or feet. Mix two quarts of water with one cup of cornmeal; let it sit for about an hour. Submerge your foot or feet for 30 minutes or longer.
Tea tree oil is a proven effective antimicrobial agent. Apply undiluted oil directly to the infected area and rub it in. Let it sit for approximately 10 minutes and then rinse it off.
In addition to the above home remedies, there are a number of cost-effective, over-the-counter options you can try before scheduling an expensive doctor’s visit.
Products such as Vicks VapoRub topical ointment or Listerine (the original amber formula), as well as many different antifungal creams marketed for athlete’s foot, can all be used to help fight toenail and foot fungus.
Related post by Frugal Nurse: Choosing an antifungal cream
Vicks VapoRub and Listerine both contain menthol and eucalyptus oil. Apply the Vicks ointment directly to the affected toenail twice a day.
To use Listerine, soak the affected foot in undiluted Listerine for 15 minutes once a day.
OTC creams and ointments are are relatively inexpensive (buy generic!), and don’t require a prescription. Use as directed.
If you don’t see improvement after a few weeks, or the fungus is getting worse, then it may be time to consult with your doctor.
Prevention of foot fungus
Prevention is key to avoid the irritation and itchiness associated with foot fungus. Keeping your feet dry is the best thing you can do to help. Dry your feet thoroughly after a shower or bath. If you’ve been running, hiking or working out and your feet are sweaty, take time to change your socks and dry your feet. They will thank you!
Breathable shoes can help, too. Or try going barefoot around the house.
Foot fungus is contagious. In locker rooms, public swimming pools or dormitories, wear a pair of inexpensive flip-flops when taking a shower. Flip-flops will not only protect your feet from picking up a fungus, but will prevent spreading your foot fungus to others.
If you notice any itchiness or flakiness on your feet or spots on your toenails, take immediate action with your home remedies or over-the-counter items to treat the fungus and prevent it from spreading or getting worse.
Foot fungus is a common and uncomfortable problem, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to treat. I hope these suggestions for home remedies, over-the-counter products, and ways to prevent foot fungus will help you!
Bio: Sarah writes for Kicks Choice. She enjoys running and has since discovered that taking care of your legs and feet is an important aspect of that. Learn more about how she maintains foot health on her blog.