Being a superficial skin infection, athlete’s foot can usually be treated or prevented. Natural oils and recipes can help you with this condition. They can soothe itchy, irritated and scaly skin and kill the responsible fungi. The best essential oils for athlete’s foot are also the most concentrated. Thus, they must be handled with care.
In this article, you’ll be reading about the following:
- Three of the best aromatic oils and a carrier oil to use for feet fungus. With pros and cons to help you decide which one you prefer. They do come with certain specifications and each skin may react differently to them. Safe practices are in order when dealing with essential oils for itchy feet.
- The best way(s) to use these oils when you’re dealing with a contagious skin infection such as athlete’s foot.
- Recipes and blends with essential oils to get fast relief from all the symptoms of a foot fungus.
- Symptoms, causes and tips to help you recognize an athlete’s foot infection from a plain eczema. Plus a few safety words to know in advance when using essential oil natural remedies.
Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot or Itchy Feet (with Pros and Cons)
Athlete’s foot is a contagious, superficial skin infection. It’s easier to prevent than to actually treat, but the latter is not impossible. Mold-like fungi like tinea pedis are responsible for this condition. They can and have developed resistance to antibiotics.
Antibiotics still remain one of the most popular treatments for athlete’s foot though. They are used for all the other tinea infections (like ringworm, for instance).
In the last part of this post, you will find more details about athlete’s foot. Details like causes and differences from other skin affections, so you can find the right treatment.
I know you want to find out more about the remedies than the disease itself. Therefore, I will get straight to the benefits of using essential oils.
Just remember that it is very important to know more about the condition to be able to prevent it in the future. Athlete’s foot is a skin disease that often comes back. It happens so especially when the immune system is very weak.
Here are the benefits of using essential oils for athlete’s foot:
- They are natural and complex. This is a good thing because it prevents the bacteria from developing resistance.
- If you are not allergic to any of their chemical compounds, essential oils don’t really have side effects. They’re not harmful if used correctly and in moderate amounts.
- Most of them don’t cost much and can also be found easily. The best part is that only a drop or two will do a lot of good. That is helpful, as an essential oil can last a very long time.
- Instead of further drying the skin, essential oils can nourish and hydrate it.
- Their volatile scent is extremely beneficial to the mind and body. It can improve the mood, relieve tension and anxiety, and strengthen the immune system.
- On top of all these benefits, the use of essential oils for athlete’s foot can change the bad odor into a fresh and clean one.
Aromatherapy in general, is a very pleasant type of relaxing therapy. The same active molecules that give them their fragrance, act as antibacterials and antifungals.
I will start now with one of the most popular and effective essential oils. It is especially useful when it comes to treating bacteria and fungus infections.
1) Tea Tree Essential Oil for Itchy Feet, Toe and Nail Fungus
Melaleuca alternifolia is the botanical name of Tea Tree. It is one of the most popular, if not the most popular antibacterial essential oils. There is enough scientific data to prove different effects that this oil has.
Tea tree can kill a wide range of bacteria and fungi. It is especially useful in external (topical) use. Internal use should only be done with the advice of a doctor.
- The oil of Tea Tree can penetrate the protective film of the fungus. That makes it easier for all the active components of the oil to hit the core of the fungi and destroy them.
- Tea tree essential oil is great for athlete’s foot as it can inhibit further fungal growth.
- The use of Tea Tree oil for feet fungus is also good for foot pain. The latter symptom is often found in this type of skin infection.
- The oil can also help generate scar tissue faster and speed up the healing of fungus infected wounds.
- The use of Tea Tree oil is not recommended to pregnant or nursing women.
- It should also be diluted first before being applied to the affected areas.
- The oil may sometimes be mixed with other types of Melaleuca extracts. Because of that, a bit of research and a trusted source can help you buy good quality oils.
Why I like it:
Using Tea Tree essential oil is very simple and usually very safe too. Not only does it protect from fungi infections, but it can also stop their reproduction. The latter can be done effectively with the help of an essential oil diffuser.
2) Clove Bud Essential Oil for Athlete’s Foot and Foot Pain
This aromatic oil is another great oil to have around. Its powerful effects have been proven in various scientific experiments.
Eugenia caryophyllata or Syzygium Aromaticum is widely used in cosmetics. But it is also used in the food industry and medical cabinets. It is especially used by dentists all over the world.
- The oil of Clove bud has significant antifungal effects. It can penetrate the protective membrane of the fungus and kill it. The oil can destroy all sorts of viruses, yeast strains and bacteria too.
- Thanks to its main component – eugenol – Clove bud oil has pain relieving effects too. Using this essential oil for foot pain is one of your best natural choices.
- It is also anti-allergic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant. Clove also has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects. In other words, the application of Clove essential oil for athlete’s foot will not only treat, but also prevent the infection.
- Using Clove bud essential oil to get relief from athlete’s foot requires a bit of care. If you’re taking anticoagulant medication, you should avoid this oil or seek medical advice first.
- Clove oil can also raise blood pressure!
- Try to avoid using this oil for really long periods of time. It may sensitize and cause allergic reactions because of the presence of eugenol. It is always best to test the oil before any widespread use. Simply mix a drop with some carrier and massage it into a sensitive skin area. Wait for a few good hours to make sure no bad reaction happens.
Why I like it:
Clove bud essential oil is a very versatile oil. It is also powerful, which means just a drop can be quite overpowering in regards to its scent. The same goes for its beneficial effects.
It takes only a drop, mixed with a bit of carrier and applied to the affected area. That can greatly soothe and calm down any itching sensations, pain or infection. It can successfully be used for dental problems too.
3) Peppermint Essential Oil for Relief from Athlete’s Foot
Peppermint is one very popular scent and oil. From tooth pastes to candies, the scent of peppermint is widely known and beloved. Mentha piperita is the botanical (Latin) name of this oil.
Peppermint oil can be used for personal hygiene, beauty and as mood enhancer. Its reputation is also backed up by scientific data.
- Its invigorating fragrance has a cooling effect on the skin. Once applied topically, it can calm down itchy feet sensations. It can also lower the temperature of any inflammation. Thus, the oil acts like a good pain reliever and antiseptic.
- Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for feet. Besides protecting against toe fungus infections, it can also improve the circulation. That will help with heavy legs sensations, especially after working long hours or walking too much.
- The oil is great at fighting fungi like Candida albicans and dermatophytes. The latter are the cause of athlete’s foot.
- Peppermint essential oil is not recommended to people suffering from seizures.
- If a person is deficient in an enzyme called G6PD, the oil should not be used. This deficiency is a sort of anemia.
- People with cardiovascular, hepatic and kidney problems should seek medical guidance first. Always do so before using Peppermint essential oil for athlete’s foot.
Why I like it:
Who wouldn’t love the fresh aroma of peppermint! Luckily, the essential oil has the same intense and pleasant fragrance. The oil is great for everything, from repelling insects to nausea and infectious skin conditions. It can be uses it for almost anything; it is versatile like that.
Other great essential oils to use for athlete’s foot relief and treatment are:
- Rose Geranium
- Bay leaf
- Litsea Cubeba
You can therefore, choose among the three I gave you pros and cons for, or go with those from the above list. And since we’re talking about Aromatherapy, I should also mention some good carriers.
Essential oils need to be diluted in a fatty oil for local applications. One of the best carrier oils that can be used in athlete’s foot relief is Coconut.
Coconut Oil for Feet Fungus
This carrier oil has so many benefits! It’s great for hair and skin care, and it is so for a very good reason. The oil contains high amounts of Lauric acid, which when processed by the body, it acts as an:
- Antiparasitic or antiprotozoal. This effect can fight protozoa parasites that may cause malaria among others.
Just like the essential oils, Coconut oil can also penetrate and disrupt the protective membranes of fungi. Thus, using Coconut oil for athlete’s foot blends is a great method to speed up healing.
How to Use Essential Oils for Itchy Feet (Athlete’s Foot)
Skin applications are the best and the easiest when it comes to getting rid of skin infections. Like I said, essential oils need to be diluted. The best dilution environments are carrier oils.
But besides blends and topical applications, essential oils for feet, toes and nail fungus can also be used in soaking baths.
Simply add a few drops of essential oil into a basin with warm – hot water and soak your feet in for at least 10 minutes. That’ll allow the oil to seep deep into the skin and nails and soothe the rash. Dry the feet really well with a paper towel that you can dispose of afterwards.
Very important! Always use plastic gloves when washing your feet or applying a natural remedy on the infection. The fungus can spread to other healthy body parts and cause infections there too.
To improve your chances of preventing athlete’s foot and speeding up its healing, you should:
- Strengthen your immune system with essential vitamins and minerals. This also means not using antibiotics. They can seriously weaken the immune system.
- Improve your eating habits. Consume less sugar, which is known to encourage inflammation and bacteria reproduction.
- Avoid taking too many showers or keeping your feet enclosed for too long.
- Make sure you always dry your feet really well. You can also spray them with a mixture of essential oils for athlete’s foot.
- You could also add a few drops of antibacterial and antifungal oils into your shoes and socks. That usually works as a preventive measure.
- Wear cotton socks. They absorb sweat, keeping the toes drier.
Essential Oil Recipes and Remedies for Athlete’s Foot Relief
Now you know which essential oils to use for itchy feet. You’ve probably also decided which one you’re going to use or buy. If that’s so, all the more reason to read the following recipes. These next recipes act as natural remedies that can be applied very simply.
Soothing Foot Spray for Toe and Nail Fungus
- Mineral water: 1 Oz (30 ml)
- Peppermint floral water: 1 Oz (30 ml)
- Peppermint essential oil: 10 drops
- Clove bud essential oil: 3 drops
The mineral water is full of minerals and vitamins which nourish the skin and help it rebuild its protective barrier. This blend is very soothing and cooling, making a great remedy for foot pain as well.
Dry Feet Protective Powder
- Dry Calendula flowers: 2 tbsp.
- Arrowroot powder: 2 tbsp.
- Tea Tree essential oil: 15 drops
Add the flowers to a blender and mix until they’re turned into a powder. Mix this powder with the arrowroot and add the essential oil. Stir really well and keep the recipient with the lid on while doing so. Keep it closed for a day or until the oil dries and then crunch the lumps.
Give them an energetic shake and then apply between your toes to keep them dry and protected. You can do it especially before putting socks on.
Athlete’s Foot Rub Recipe
- Clove essential oil: 8 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 5 drops
- Coconut oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Give this blend a good shake before using it. If the Coconut oil is solid, keep it in some hot water (lid on!) for a few minutes and it’ll become fluid enough to be mixed. If it solidifies back, which it does at room temperature (77F), it also melts instantly when you scoop it up.
Wear rubber gloves and apply a moderate quantity, two times a day on the affected area. Make sure you dry it really well before applying this blend. Keep at it even after the skin has improved.
Other natural remedies to use for athlete’s foot:
Raw garlic – It has better effects when consumed rather than applied to the skin. It can irritate the skin if rubbed directly.
Apple cider vinegar – It contains acetic acid, which acts as an antiseptic (protects against infections). It also has astringent and cooling effects. Apply it on clean, dry skin with a cotton pad or add it to your foot soak bath. It can help heal blisters among others.
How to Recognize an Athlete’s Foot Infection from Eczema and Safety Words
Athlete’s foot is a superficial skin infection. It is highly infectious and it affects certain body parts. Though, the fungus is always different in each case. This mold-like fungus is part of the Tinea group. Tinea pedis affects the feet, toes and nails, while Tinea corporis for instance, affects the body.
There are several causes for this condition. You should know a bit about them to be able to prevent further infections. It is also the type that may strike again and again if the conditions allow it.
First of all, athlete’s foot or itchy feet can have genetic causes. One can be predisposed to this type of infection. Eczema and dermatitis or allergies may also open the way for the fungi.
Walking bare feet in a locker room, showers or pools can also be a cause for getting infected. Other contributing factors are diseases like diabetes, a poor blood circulation, or a weak immune system and sweaty feet.
It’s a very common skin problem, but luckily, it is also treatable and preventable. All it takes is some good and healthy habits like the ones presented in this article.
When using essential oils for athlete’s foot, the most affected area, which needs treatment, is between the little toe and the one next to it.
The affected skin looks flaky and scaly, and it can also become itchy. The same area may become a bit swollen and/or painful. During the healing process, the skin may become very thick and white.
This infection may spread outward to the soles. When that happens, the condition is known as moccasin athlete’s foot.
Any other infection of the feet that is not connected to the toes can be related to eczema.
Safety Words for the Use of Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot
The only way to make sure an oil is going to be good for you is to test it for allergic reactions first. Apply a diluted drop on the soft inside of your forearm and leave it on for a few hours.
If nothing happens, you’re good to use it on your toes and nails fungus.
The same principle will apply to any other person that suffers from athlete’s foot. If you’re on medication, you should also check for their interactions.
Pregnant and nursing women must always seek medical guidance before using natural remedies with essential oils. It is valid for children and elderly too.
If you want to diffuse antifungal essences, you must do so in well-ventilated rooms. They have beneficial effects in diffusions that last up to 30 minutes, every 2 hours.
Too much diffusion can cause nausea. It can also make you feel nervous and agitated instead of relaxed. Plus, studies show that 30 minutes are enough to kill most germs and bacteria strains in the air and on the skin.
Treating and preventing itchy feet is not so difficult, though it requires a lot of time for healing. This process may well last for months, and it’s important to apply your blends regularly, twice a day.
As you can see, essential oils for athlete’s foot can be very useful. Scientific data backs up their antiviral and antifungal effects. The fact that they’re also relatively safe, especially in moderate doses, makes them the perfect natural remedies.
Have you tried treating athlete’s foot this way? Were you successful?