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Can You Cure Athlete’s Foot With Listerine & Vinegar Soaks?

Have you ever suffered with athlete's foot? Who hasn't? Lots of folks say home remedies cure athlete's foot inexpensively. What's your experience?

Doctors like to use fancy Latin names for common ailments. That’s why they call athlete’s foot tinea pedis. Tinea is loosely translated as ringworm, a fungal infection. Pedis is Latin for foot. According to the National Library of Medicine, as many as 15% of Americans are affected. That means there truly is a fungus among us. It remains somewhat mysterious why some people are so susceptible to this infection while others are resistant. People who have sweaty feet and a genetic predisposition may be especially vulnerable.

Amber Listerine and White Vinegar for Nail Fungus:

Q. Ten years ago, I had toenail fungus. I soaked my feet in a Listerine and vinegar 50/50 solution for an hour every day for a week. That sounds like a lot of time, but I was stubborn and really wanted to get rid of it. I live in Hawaii where everyone wears flip flops.

This really worked for me. I’m hoping to use the same solution now to get rid of my athlete’s foot. My doctor was amazed, especially since he wanted to give me a pricey prescription I would have had to take for a long time.

A. We’re amazed this remedy worked so quickly. It normally takes several months for infected nails to be replaced with healthy tissue. The thymol in Listerine has well-established anti-fungal properties (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Aug. 30, 2016).

Can Antifungal Drugs Cure Athlete’s Foot?

Health professionals generally prefer FDA-approved medicines to home remedies. That’s why there are brisk sales of antifungal creams, gels and sprays such as:

Clotrimazole (Desenex Cream, Lotrimin AF, Mycelex Cream)

Luliconazole (Lulicon Cream, Luzu)

Miconazole (Cruex Topical Spray Powder, Lotrimin AF Powder, Micatin, Monistat)

Terbinafine (Desenex Max Topical Cream, Lamisil AT)

Tolnaftate (Aftate, Desenex Spray, Dr. Scholl’s Athlete’s Foot, Tinactin, Zeasorb-AF Powder)

We would love to be able to recommend one of these antifungal products over another. Sadly, we have not seen any head-to-head comparisons that would allow us to say a spray is better than a powder or a cream is superior to a solution. Ditto for one antifungal chemical vs. another.

Add to that biological variation between individuals. It all boils down to trial and error. The only way to determine which antifungal works best to cure athlete’s foot for any given individual is to test one product against another. Some readers have done that for inexpensive home remedies.

Other Readers Cure Athlete’s Foot:

Pure Vinegar

Gail had success for her daughter with vinegar:

“I haven’t had athlete’s foot since I was a child, but I wonder if your readers have had any success with soaking in a vinegar solution.

“When our daughter had trouble with some kind of foot infections that didn’t respond to the the pediatrician’s prescribed medications, he sent her to a dermatologist. The dermatologist recommended soaking in a vinegar solution, which cleared it up. (She also recommended changing socks in the middle of the day to keep the feet dry.)”

Pam in Modesto, California, has a vinegar variant:

“The only thing that gets rid of athlete’s foot in our household is by making a spray or foot soak out of equal parts of organic apple cider vinegar and filtered water. We add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt to 8 oz. of spray – shake it or mix it up and instant relief!

“After drying the feet with a blow dryer, we apply Melaleuca or Tea Tree oil (antifungal). Repeat at least in the morning and at night before bed – several times a day, too, if possible.”

Vicks VapoRub:

Jim in Raleigh, NC, was able to cure athlete’s foot with Vicks VapoRub:

“I rub a little Vicks VapoRub between my toes while I’m trying to control my toenail fungus and my athlete’s foot has been cured for several years. I wish I could say the same for the toenail fungus…”

Coconut Oil:

W.P. used coconut oil:

“I had a bout of athlete’s foot a few months ago. I rubbed coconut oil (which is anti-microbial) over my toes a couple times a day and then put on socks. The problem ended and no recurrence.”

Amber Listerine:

Elaine in Marshall, North Carolina, likes amber Listerine:

“Try the amber Listerine. I sponge it on twice a day to start, then get down to a maintenance dose of once a day.”

L. in Georgia also like Listerine:

“Amber Listerine works best for me too. Just put onto a cotton ball and dab between toes.”

Head and Shoulders Shampoo:

J.W.H. says Head and Shoulders Shampoo was able to cure athlete’s foot:

“Since the 1960’s, I have cured/prevented athlete’s foot by washing my feet in the shower with Head and Shoulders hair shampoo. If you use Head and Shoulders on feet that already have athlete’s foot, it will burn a little for the first 2 days. It will be gone in less than a week. To prevent it, wash your feet with it once or twice a week.”

How Do You Cure Athlete’s Foot?

Share your secret in the comment section below. If there is a medication that works best for you, we would love to learn about it. If a home remedy can cure athlete’s foot, please let others know about your recipe.

5/20/19 redirected to: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/cure-your-athletes-foot-with-time-honored-remedies/

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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