Athlete’s foot is an infection caused by fungus and usually occurs in the feet. It is highly contagious and can spread from one body part to another and also among individuals. The main cause of athlete’s foot is tinea fungus, which can spread from an infected person or by direct contact with the contaminated surface.
Athlete’s foot generally causes itching, inflammation, and blisters on the infected area. The condition is treated using oral or topical fungal medicines and ointments. Many home remedies are proved to be effective in treating athlete’s foot, including coconut oil. Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids, which helps fight the fungus present on the skin.
Did You Know!
- Athlete’s foot can spread from one body part to another and even from infected surfaces as it is highly contagious.
- According to an estimate(1), 3 to 15 % of the total population suffers from athlete’s foot.
Methods of Using Coconut Oil for Athlete’s Foot
1. Coconut Oil with Tea Tree Oil
You can use a combination of tea tree oil and coconut oil in several ways for treating athlete’s foot. You can make a coconut oil foot soak using coconut oil, vinegar, and tea tree oil and soak your feet in it. You can also mix the two oils and apply on your feet every night before going to bed. Both oils have antifungal properties that help treat the condition.
2. Coconut Oil with Oregano Oil
Using coconut oil with oregano oil also help get relief in athlete’s foot(1). Take two tablespoons of coconut oil and add ten drops of oregano oil into it. Oregano oil is an essential oil with anti-fungal properties. Massage using this mixture of oil for 2-4 times a day. Apply the oil properly between the toes. Also, if the infection is intense, use more oil for blending.
3. Using Coconut Oil Alone
In case the fungus is not much active, use only coconut oil. It is advisable to use essential oils only in serious conditions. Apply coconut oil 1-2 times in a day to get relief. You can also apply the oil after bathing.
4. Coconut Oil and Lavender Oil
It is always recommended to use essential oils in their diluted form as they are highly concentrated and can be harmful if directly applied to the skin. Lavender oil, however, is safe and can be applied without diluting. But since lavender oil is also strong, applying it on broken skin might cause pain and irritation.
Using lavender oil with coconut oil is the best way to treat athlete’s foot. It acts on the foot fungus and provides relief. Add just 3-5 drops of lavender oil in a teaspoon of coconut oil and apply on the infected area 2-3 times a day.
5. Consume Coconut Oil
As weird as it sounds, consuming coconut oil(2) also helps get relief in athlete’s foot. It fights the fungus inside the body and prevents the further growth of fungus on the skin. You either eat 1-2 tablespoon of oil per day or use it in dishes while cooking. Also, note that taking oil in large amounts might result in digestive problems, so make sure to watch the quantity.
[Read: Benefits of Coconut Oil]
Anti-Fungal Properties of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been used as a home remedy for various conditions, and one of them is athlete’s foot. Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids that have antifungal effects on the skin. Caprylic acid, derived from coconut oil, has been used with various herbs for making multiple antifungal drugs.
The oil also contains lauric acid and capric acid which disrupt the cell membrane of the fungus. Research also suggests that people are less prone to fungal infections in places where coconut oil is used in the diet.
Athlete’s foot is a normal condition but can get hard to cure sometimes. The symptoms of athlete’s foot, including redness, itchiness, pain, and inflammation may disrupt your daily activities. Various antifungal medications can be used both orally and topically, but they might have some side effects.
Using coconut oil on feet cures the infection and provides relief in various symptoms. You can enhance the antifungal properties of coconut oil by combining it with some essential oils that are antifungal in nature. There are no side effects of coconut oil. Even consuming coconut oil moderately is safe.
1. What Are the Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a common condition and is highly contagious. The various symptoms of athlete’s foot are redness, itchiness, inflammation, blisters, cracking, peeling of the skin and discolored toenails that might pull out of the toe.
2. What Are Other Home Remedies Helpful in Treating Athlete’s Foot?
Many home remedies can be used in treating athlete’s foot, including apple cider vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, grapefruit seed extract, ginger, garlic, and hydrogen peroxide.
3. How Is Coconut Oil Helpful in Treating Athlete’s Foot?
Coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids like caprylic acids, lauric acid, and capric acid that help fight the fungus present on the skin. Also, consuming coconut oil helps treat fungal infection.