Athlete's Foot (Holistic) - Adventist HealthCare

Athlete's Foot (Holistic)

About This Condition

Athlete's foot? The toes will tell you. A persistent, burning itch between the toes can send you running for relief. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Keep it dry

    To discourage fungal growth, dry feet thoroughly after showering or bathing, use foot powders, and change socks frequently

  • Let your feet see the light

    Wear sandals or other open footwear to expose skin to sunlight's antifungal effects

  • Try tea tree oil

    Apply a 10% herbal concentration in a cream base as a natural alternative to antifungal medications

About

About This Condition

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the foot that can be caused by a number of different skin fungi.

Generally, athlete's foot does not cause serious problems; however, the disruption of the skin barrier can be a source of significant infections in people with impaired blood flow to the feet (such as people with diabetes) or in those with impaired immune systems. Infections of the nails are more difficult to treat than those affecting only the skin.

Symptoms

Symptoms of athlete's foot include a persistent, burning itch that often starts between the toes. The skin on the feet may be damp, soft, red, cracked, or peeling; the feet may also show patches of dead skin. The feet often have a strong or unusual smell, and sometimes small blisters occur on the feet.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Keeping the feet dry is very important for preventing and fighting athlete's foot. After showering or bathing, thorough drying or careful use of a hair dryer is recommended. Light is also an enemy of fungi. People with athlete's foot should change socks daily to decrease contact with the fungus and should wear sandals occasionally to get sunlight exposure.

Supplements

What Are Star Ratings?
Supplement Why
2 Stars
Tea Tree
Apply a 10% cream twice per day
Tea tree oil has been traditionally used to treat athlete's foot and has been shown to reduce athlete's foot symptoms just as effectively as drugs and better than placebo.

Tea tree oil has been traditionally used to treat athlete's foot. One trial reported that application of a 10% tea tree oil cream reduced symptoms of athlete's foot just as effectively as drugs and better than placebo, although it did not eliminate the fungus.

1 Star
Garlic
Refer to label instructions
The compound ajoene, found in garlic, is an antifungal agent that has been shown to be effective against athlete's foot. Crushed, raw garlic applied topically may also be effective.

The compound known as ajoene, found in garlic, is an antifungal agent. In a group of 34 people using a 0.4% ajoene cream applied once per day, 79% of them saw complete clearing of athlete's foot after one week; the rest saw complete clearing within two weeks. All participants remained cured three months later. One trial found a 1% ajoene cream to be more effective than the standard topical drug terbinafine for treating athlete's foot. Ajoene cream is not yet available commercially, but topical application of crushed, raw garlic may be a potential alternative application.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.