Treating Athlete’s Foot with Essential Oils

Treating Athlete’s Foot with Essential Oils

understanding_athletes_foot_basicsAthlete’s foot plagues more people than just athletes. It is so named because the majority of people who suffer from it pick it up by walking around communal locker rooms, showers, or swimming pools. It is a fungal infection (Tinea pedis) that starts between the toes and sometimes spreads over the whole foot, when left unchecked. As it is highly contagious, you need to be very careful in common areas where people are walking around bare-footed. Here are a few ways you can treat it using essential oils.


  • Soft, white, scaling skin or dry, peeling, skin
  • Cracking, open flesh
  • Itching between toes, burning sensation, redness
  • Thickened, yellowing toenails
  • Foot odor
  • Possibly a rash, resembling a group of small blisters

Best oils

Tea Tree, Lemon, Thyme, Lavender, Tagetes, Melaleuca, Hyssop, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine Needles, Myrrh, Lemongrass, Coriander,

Athlete's footPoints of interest

  • Tea Tree is your absolute most effective essential oil for treating Athlete’s Foot. Use 2-3 drops undiluted or in 1 teaspoon of F.C.O. (Fractionated Coconut Oil) on the affected area. On deployment, my husband found that only Tea Tree worked on his athlete’s foot and not one single OTC ointment could touch his.
  • Use 4-6 drops of the essential oil of choice in a foot bath.
  • You can also add a few drops of essential oil of choice to 1/2 teaspoon of Witch Hazel  to dry out the fungus.
  • If skin is cracked and painful, a Calendula cream helps.
  • Air out your shoes for 24 hours before wearing again every time. If possible, get two pair so you can trade off between them. Athlete’s foot is aggravated by warm, moist conditions so give shoes a chance to dry out.
  • If possible, buy shoes with ventilation. Excessive perspiration in poorly ventilated footwear can help cause athlete’s foot.
  • Use a disinfectant powder in your shoes in between use. That will help kill off any fungi or bacteria in the shoes.  In our article on stinky shoes, there are several recipes that can help you with that.
  • Wear fresh socks every day.
  • Scrubbing feetWash feet every day. Keep them scrupulously clean.
  • Avoid socks and other hosiery made of synthetic materials. Wool socks are the best to use.
  • Spritz down your tub and/or shower with a good cleaner after bathing.
  • Expose feet to sunshine and fresh air whenever possible.
  • Watch your diet. Make sure you get in all your vitamins and minerals daily. Drink plenty of water and keep your immune system strong.
  • And for a few more ideas, you can refer to the Natural Men’s Care: Feet article.


Here are a few recipes I found in some of my books. Be sure to test the formula on a penny-sized portion of the area first to insure that your skin can handle the formula. Also, check out some of the other references down below for more recipes.

Foot bathFoot Bath and Dab

  • 5 drops Tea Tree
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1 tablespoon Epsom Salts
  • 2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar

Add formula to a bowl of warm water and soak feet for at least 5 minutes a day. Dry feet thoroughly.

  • 30 drops Tea Tree
  • 30 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Cypress

Keep this formula in a dark colored, glass bottle. Put a few drops on a cotton swab and dab between the toes and around the toenails. Can be used on a child. (7)

Foot Powder

  • 1 cup Green Clay
  • 10 drops Tea Tree
  • 10 drops Manuka or Lavender

Mix ingredients in a blender. Alternately add the essential oils to the clay while stirring fast. It will still go lumpy so wait for it to dry, then crunch the lumps into the rest of the clay. Mix well. Powder between the toes every day with a small amount. Can be used on a child. (7)

Athlete's-Foot 3Foot Massage Oil

  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 5 drops Tea Tree
  • 1 drop Lemon
  • 3 drops Manuka or Lavender

Apply a small amount of formula to the affected area. Best to use at night after a foot bath, and having dried feet well. Can be used on a child. (7)

Foot Fixer

  • 6 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Lemon
  • 12 drops Tea Tree
  • 1/2 tablespoon each of Borage Seed oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Vitamin E oil

Mix formula and massage into clean, dry feet daily. Follow with the Foot Spritz. (1)

Foot Spritz

  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Peppermint
  • 10 drops Rosemary
  • 10 drops Tea Tree
  • 8 ounces Pure Water

Add all ingredients to an 8 ounce, fine mist spray bottle. Shake well before every use. Spritz your feet to give your feet a refreshing lift and to help deter odors usually associated with foot problems. Can use distilled, spring, bottled, or filtered water. Can also boil tap water at a hard boil for 15 minutes to remove impurities. Allow to cool first before adding oils. (1)

Vegetable-GlycerinFoot Soother

  • 2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Glycerin
  • 3 drops Tea Tree
  • 2 drops Lavender

Place ingredients in a foot tub with enough water, warm or cool, to cover your feet and ankles. Swish with feet to blend. Soak feet for 15 – 20 minutes. Pat dry and follow with a coating of moisturizer. (10)

Fungus Treatment Oil Drops

  • 20 drops Tea Tree
  • 15 drops Thyme
  • 10 drops German Chamomile
  • 5 drops Clove Bud
  • 1 tablespoon Hazelnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Neem oil

Add the essential oils, drop by drop, to a dark colored, glass bottle. Screw on dropper top, wrap hand completely around bottle and shake well for 2 minutes to blend all ingredients and warm to body temperature. Place bottle in storage location between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours to allow oils to synergize. Shake well before every use. Discard after 6 months.

To use, place 10 – 20 drops into palm of hand and massage thoroughly into foot. Concentrate on the area between toes and around the cuticles. Treat both feet. Treat twice a day until fungus disappears. (10)

And finally,

Which recipe do you like the most?  What have you had the most success with? Please share in the comment section below.



  1. Seasons of Aromatherapy by Judith Fitzsimmons and Paula M. Bousquet
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils by Kurt Schnaubelt
  4. The Art of Aromatherapy: The Healing and Beautifying Properties of the Essential Oils of Flowers and Herbs by Robert B. Tisserand
  5. The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood
  6. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
  7. Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends, by Valerie Ann Worwood
  8. The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion by Valerie Ann Worwood
  9. The Aromatherapy Bible: The Definitive Guide to Using Essential Oils by Gill Farrer-Halls
  10. Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homeade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self, by Stephanie Tourles

About JC Shannon

I am a writer. I was first introduced to this world of natural health in 2005 when I was asked to write an article about using essential oils. Since I like to know what I'm writing about before I do it, I immersed myself in the essential oil and aromatherapy world and found I prefer it. I never left it. In a quest to educate myself and others in more alternative and safer ways to make our world a better place, I am always looking for good information to share.


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