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Posted in Essential Oil Basics by Rocky Mountain Oils

Essential Oils for Athlete's Foot

Athlete'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 barefooted. Here are a few ways you can use essential oils for Athlete's foot.


  • 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 


Points of Interest

  • Tea Tree is your 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 pairs of shoes and switch off using them. Athlete's foot is aggravated by warm, moist conditions, so give shoes a chance to dry out.
  • Buy shoes with ventilation. Excessive perspiration in poorly ventilated footwear helps create an environment fungus thrives in.
  • Use a disinfectant powder in your shoes in between use. That will help kill off any fungi or bacteria in the shoes.  In this article on stinky shoes, there are several recipes that can help you with that.
  • Wear fresh socks every day.
  • Wash 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.

Essential Oils for Athlete's Foot Recipes

The oils used in these recipes are antimicrobial and will help kill the fungi that causes Athlete's foot. Be sure to test the formula on a penny-sized portion of the area first to insure that your skin can handle the formula.

Foot Bath and Dab

  • 5 drops Tea Tree
  • 1 drop Lemon
  • 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.


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.

Foot Powder

Add all ingredients to a container and stir until essential oils are thoroughly mixed in.  Allow to dry. It will still get lumpy so wait for it to dry, then crunch the lumps into the rest of the clay. Mix well again. Powder between the toes every day with a small amount.

Foot Fixer

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

Foot Spritz

*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. Add all ingredients to an 8-ounce, fine-mist spray bottle. Shake well and spritz feet after they have been cleaned and dried. This will help in the treatment of athlete’s foot as well as eliminating many of the nasty odors combined with foot problems. The Peppermint will help with cooling the burn of the fungus and the Tea Tree and Lavender work hardest at killing the fungus. Treating the inside of sneakers and cleats will also help avoid worse problems and eliminate odors.

Foot Massage Oil

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.

Fungus Treatment Oil Drops

Here's a fun infographic to help you remember this one:

infographic Fungus Treatment Oil Drops

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. Store in a dark, cool place for 24 hours to allow oils to synergize. Shake well before every use. Discard after 6 months, or by use by date on the carrier oils. 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.

Shoe Freshener

Put baking powder in a resealable plastic bag and add essential oils. Squeeze air out and seal the bag tightly. Massage bag to spread the oils completely through the powder. Store in a container with a shaker top. Evenly coat insides of shoes with powder overnight. Be sure to empty powder from shoes before wearing. Use treatment 3-4 nights in a row. Repeat when necessary.

And Finally

Always remember, fungi thrive in warm moist areas. To kill them and keep them from returning, keep the area as clean and dry as possible and treat with 100% therapeutic grade essential oils. The fungi don't like the oils any more than they like dryness. Those two things can solve most, if not all, of your fungus problems.

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