Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the feet and toes, so named because of the fact that runners and athletes get it so often. However, it has nothing to do with their vocation and is instead a side effect of the fact that they wear shoes and work out for so long. Athlete’s foot occurs if your feet sweat a lot and have no scope to dry out, which is ideal for fungal growth.1 Vinegar is a natural cure for athlete’s foot and exhibits good anti-fungal properties in general. Here are some ways to use vinegar to cure yourself of this itchy condition.
1. Vinegar Foot Wash
Rinse your feet many times a day with apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has a host of health benefits and warding off fungal infections is one of them. After rinsing, let the feet be exposed to air.2
2. Vinegar Patch
Again, since it is being applied to the skin directly, apple cider vinegar is recommended for this patch. Dip a sterile cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place it on your foot where the infection is present. Apply this patch using a band aid or a medical-grade sticker.3
3. Vinegar Foot Soak
Each day, make a warm soak of 50% each of water and vinegar and soak your feet in it for 10 minutes. After the soak, be sure to dry your feet thoroughly.4
4. Tea And Vinegar Foot Soak
Tea contains tannic acid, which is a known antifungal agent. Coupled with vinegar, it can be very potent against athlete’s foot. Soak some teabags in warm water. Then, add a cupful of vinegar to it. Soak your feet as in the earlier remedy.5
5. Vinegar And Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is often used in natural medicine as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent. Combined with apple cider vinegar, it makes for a good application on athlete’s foot.6
6. Oregano And Vinegar Paste
While speculation is still rife about this one, some common household herbs are good for fungal infections. One such example is oregano. When mixed with vinegar and applied as a paste, it can give good results.7
7. Baking Soda And Vinegar Mix
Brace yourself because this one is going to hurt. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar is twice as potent, and some people recommend using the mixture to cure athlete’s foot. We recommend not using it unless you are absolutely sure you want to.
8. Vinegar And Garlic Paste
Garlic is a potent antifungal herb and has been used to treat everything from ringworm to yeast infections for a long time. However, garlic can burn your skin. Mix crushed garlic with vinegar and apply it on the infected area. Keep it for no longer than 30 minutes. Wash thoroughly and pat dry.
9. Vinegar And Epsom Salts Soak
You can make a water soak with vinegar and epsom salts. Add 2 tablespoons of salts to a tub of warm water and add vinegar just before you put your feet in. The combined action of salt and vinegar create an inhospitable environment for the fungus to live in.8
Do keep in mind that natural remedies cannot cure all infections. If the infection spreads, becomes red, or if you develop a fever, approach a doctor immediately. Use vinegar with caution as it is known to cause chemical burns. Do a spot test first.
|↑1, ↑2, ↑3||Orey, Cal. The Healing Powers of Vinegar. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2009.|
|↑4||Orey, Cal. The Healing Powers of Vinegar. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2009.|
|↑5||Bragg, Paul. Build Strong Healthy Feet. Health Science Publications, Inc., 2004.|
|↑6||Wilson, Roberta. Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty. Penguin, 2002.|
|↑7||McBride, Kami. The Herbal Kitchen: 50 Easy-to-Find Herbs and Over 250 Recipes to Bring Lasting Health to You and Your Family. Conari Press, 2010.|
|↑8||Michael, Tierra. The Natural Remedy Bible. Simon and Schuster, 2003.|