Athlete’s foot typically starts between the toes. From there, especially without care and treatment, it can move on to the soles and sides of the feet. Scratching the fungal infection can cause more issues. The fungi can move on to infect hands, nails, and the groin area. Wherever or whomever is touched can get infected.
It’s important to know where you might be exposed to this fungus. After all, athlete’s foot can be transmitted indirectly on surfaces. Perhaps at the pool you visit for water aerobics, or the gym where you lift weights. It may even lurk at the salon that pampers you with a pedicure.
All those potential sources of tinea pedis turn it into a nagging tag along, giving you plenty of reason to turn to essential oils. They are ready and able to protect your feet and come to your aid if you get an itch between your toes.
Essential Oils For Athlete’s Foot
Essential oils can save the day and nerves because of their versatility when it comes to dealing with microbes, including fungi.
There are essential oils that are cooling, cleansing, toning, and uplifting. Then there are those that stimulate circulation, support the immune system, and lift a cloudy mood.
As you read on you’ll note that there is a wealth of research about essential oils and their compounds.Ancient wisdom and ways meet modern lab techniques. All to help us have choices for vanquishing the microbes we walk among.
Best Essential Oils For Athlete’s Foot
When it comes to a fungus that’s as catching as athlete’s foot is, you want versatile, uplifting essential oils to be there for you. Ready to go. You want protection so it doesn’t spread.
1. Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Tea tree is infused with the powerful component terpinene that is known for the protection it offers your skin. This is because of its ability to thwart all sorts of potential fungal infections. This is happy news when thinking about how contagious athlete’s foot can be on your trips to the local pool.
A randomized, controlled study of human subjects published in 2002 concluded that a 50% tea tree oil solution was effective in treating those with athlete’s foot. This was based on before and after tissue samples examination. Subjects applied the solution twice daily between their toes for four weeks.
An added plus is that this lovely oil is an immune system booster. This stimulation aids you with overall skin health, a welcome advantage for your body’s largest organ.
Use tea tree to keep those socks fungi free! Mix 10 drops tea tree oil in 1 oz. Epsom salts; add to the final rinse in your washing machine.
2. Juniper Essential Oil (Juniperus communis)
Juniper scavenges free radicals that are part of the redness and swelling of athlete’s foot. It demonstrates antioxidant and antifungal benefits as noted in a study published in 2018.
Researchers conducted in vivo study of the actions of an extract derived from Romanian juniper berries. Based on their studies using plants and rats, they concluded that the extract obtained from juniper berries had these two specific benefits plus anti-inflammatory supports.
The sesquiterpene compounds create juniper’s calming effects. This adds a special layer of protection when you are concerned about getting rid of athlete’s foot. Plus your worry that someone else will get it!
Juniper essential oil is well suited as a personal inhaler to lift your day.
3. Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Don’t let lavender essential oil with its marvelously light aroma fool you. This seemingly delicate oil is known for its aid in repelling fungi, viruses, and bacteria, and any associated swelling and redness. Added to that it is analgesic and uplifting, offering you relief from any anxiety and discomfort you might have with a fungal infection.
Lavender’s components can offer you immediate, on-the-spot aid. Linalool is an alcohol that wards off the very microbes that cause athlete’s foot. As linalool goes after tinea pedis, an ester named linalyl acetate is absorbed into the bloodstream. It swiftly infuses tissues, offering soothing relief and promoting skin regeneration. The compounds’ characteristics that provide anti-inflammatory activity were observed during a 2003 in vivo study of mice.
Lavender is one of few oils that can go straight from bottle to skin. This is a super advantage when you need quick protection. Rub a dab between all your toes.
4. Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus limonum)
Lemon essential oil has strong cleansing actions associated with limonene, a monoterpene compound. Believe it or not, it makes microbes’ cell membranes permeable, disrupting the work of their enzymes. This information is presented in an in vitro study that tested various components of lemon essential oil on microbes.
Lemon oil also encourages your immune system by ridding toxins. This is discussed in a 2013 in vivo study of mice that concluded lemon oil shows signs of being protective of the central nervous system.
Use lemon essential oil as part of a disinfecting spritzer in the bath, kitchen, and entry areas where footgear collects.
5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
Eucalyptus has a pungent yet fresh quality that promotes deep breathing, just what is needed when you are concerned about an infection.
Eucalyptol (1,8-cineole), a major constituent of eucalyptus essential oil, is responsible for many of the oil’s benefits. A 2010 review of several eucalyptus oils explored antimicrobial effects, including fungi.
Studies reviewed included in vitro, in vivo, and human subjects methods related to various microbes interactions with body systems. There was a favorable outcome related to the effects of a eucalyptus species on species of tinea fungi. This review also reported on the analgesic effects of eucalyptus oils.
Eucalyptus offers double relief when used in a warm foot bath with a splash of dispersing vodka or 15 ml of milk.
6. Oregano Essential Oil (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano has protective abilities as it thwarts infections, flushing toxins from our bodies. All of these factors contribute to its work in fighting fungi, such as tinea pedis.
One oregano essential oil compound is carvacrol. This fast-acting monoterpene compound is noted to have antioxidant properties that are also linked to thymol, another oregano constituent.
This in vitro research used plates of human epithelial cells treated with these compounds prior to bacterial exposure. Cymene, a terpene known to be antimicrobial, is described as having antifungal activities based on a review of p-cymene focused studies.
Oregano aids circulation and balances mood, both real benefits when dealing with athlete’s foot.
Blend with lavender and a carrier oil for added support when dealing with athlete’s foot. Use only in maximum dilution of 1%.
7. Patchouli Essential Oil (Pogostemon cablin)
Patchouli essential oil is rich in constituents that cleanse and protect your skin. These sesquiterpenes, one being patchoulol, fend off fungi and other microbes. This oil offers aids in skin regeneration, a sure help with skin on your feet is cracked or blistered by athlete’s foot.
A 2015 comprehensive review of in vitro studies of patchouli constituents revealed clear antifungal activity by patchouli oil. Various microbes were exposed to the oil’s constituents, yielding this finding.
Patchouli oil supports you with uplifting, balancing benefits that are head clearing when dealing with athlete’s foot. This is aided by a methanol compound noted to provide an analgesic effect reported in an in vivo study discussing patchouli’s anti-inflammatory benefits.
Patchouli essential oil offers a refreshing lift during your day as a personal inhaler.
8. Copaiba Essential Oil (Copaifera officinalis)
Copaiba essential oil has long been used by the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest. They value it for its ability to protect and regenerate skin from wounds and infections. This occurs by distilling the oil from the magnificently tall copaifera evergreen’s oleoresin.
A 2017 review synthesized the findings of in vivo studies of rats and in vitro studies using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. It is noted that copaiba oil and its isolated terpenes are likely involved in the immune system’s response to infection. This is one of the benefits this oil offers to people who are faced with skin infections and irritations.
Another constituent is beta-caryophyllene that is considered a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent that has analgesic uses. Relief from athlete’s foot discomfort is one more reason to turn to essential oils to get you on your way!
Mix a drop or two in a dollop of bath gel for use in tub or shower.
9. Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon citratus)
Lemongrass has a sweet lemon scent that is awakening and energizing. It is cleansing and toning for your skin. These are real assets when trying to overcome athlete’s foot as your skin is protected from other infections. It is one of the oils that stimulates circulation as well.
An in vitro study that was published in 2017 was conducted to determine the effects of oils, heat, and salt against fungi that causes athlete’s foot. Overall conclusions suggest that the combination was harmful to the isolated microbes. The authors see their study as guiding the way for using thermotherapy with essential oils for foot bath care of tinea pedis.
This is a lovely oil to use in a salve with beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil.
5 Essential Oil Recipes For Kicking Athlete’s Foot
On-The-Spot Foot-And-Hand Aid
This is a handy, dandy oil to apply right after time at the pool or gym. It’s thoughtful to share this with family and friends so they too can thwart tinea pedis.
- Choose a small glass bottle.
- 20 ml coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
- 7 drops lavender
- 5 drops tea tree
Pour the coconut oil into the bottle. Drop in and blend the essential oils.
When leaving the pool or gym, apply the oil between your toes and smooth across the soles of your feet as a preventive measure.
Fantastic Feet Spritzer
This is delightful way to mix up the recipes to have on hand for preventing or caring for athlete’s foot. It’s quick to mix up, easy to use, and even infuses the surrounding air with loving aromas!
- A 60 ml glass bottle
- 45 ml witch hazel
- 10 ml o vodka
- 12 drops lemongrass
- 8 drops of eucalyptus
- 4 drops of copaiba
Pour witch hazel and vodka into the bottle. Add the essential oils and blend well.
Shake well prior to spritzing. Spray on soles and tops of feet before and after potential exposure to fungi. Super to use as a spray for your flip flops too!
.Ferocious Fungus Disinfectant
We don’t want the fungus among us to stay that way! This disinfectant can be used to wash or spritz on shower and sink surfaces. Try it as a swish for shoe and sneaker insoles, or to cleanse those cute flip flops.
- An amber or cobalt glass spray bottle
- 120 ml filtered or distilled water
- 60 ml distilled white vinegar
- 12 drops lemon
- 8 drops oregano
- 4 drops patchouli
Pour water and vinegar into the bottle and blend. Add the essential oils, blending well to mix.
Shake well before each use. Spray directly onto surface to be disinfected, or onto cloth used for cleansing. Let stand to dry, regardless of surface disinfected.
- The earliest symptom of athlete’s foot is typically itchy redness between the toes, and from there can spread to other parts of the feet.
- This disease is contagious! Be careful not to let the infection spread elsewhere, such as your hands. Try not to pick at it, and keep your hands clean.
- Essential oils can save the day as they protect and cleanse your feet, and socks and shoes, aid in reducing swelling, redness, and itching.
- There are handy ways to use essential oils to care for athlete’s foot. You will find tips for each oil as well as three fungi-killing recipes.