Finding the best athlete's foot remedy

Why are athlete’s foot treatments so expensive?

Athlete's foot under microscope(87241)Credit: WikipediaAthlete’s foot is a major nuisance, and the over-the-counter treatments are often very costly, andrequire lengthy treatment times. Some brands charge up to $10 an ounce, and require three weeks of continued application to rid yourself of the fungus. It all adds up very quickly, especially when a resurgence of the condition comes around to ruin your day.

Pill medications are expensive, prescription-only, and damage your liver. Plus, you can’t drink alcohol while you’re taking them.

There is a better way. It’s incredibly cheap, and incredibly fast.

Bleach: The best athlete's foot treatment in the world

The fastest home remedy ever

Clorox Bleach(87242)Yes, bleach. It will kill the fungus practically instantaneously and it costs about $3 a gallon. Just a few drops will be enough to destroy anything unwelcome in the infected area and return it to its former beauty.

But we have to be careful here. Bleach is a dangerous chemical, and not only can it ruin your clothes, but can cause chemical burns on your skin if applied too heavily or frequently. So whenever handling the substance, you’ll want to be as cautious as possible, keeping it away from your eyes and children, and making sure you don’t spill. It’s a good idea to do this in the bathroom, where you can wash off any areas that start to get irritated as quickly as possible.

How to use Bleach to cure athlete's foot

Important safety tips!

First of all, you’ll want actual bleach, containing sodium hypochlorite (NaClO, for those who remember their chemistry classes), found in regular Clorox. Avoid “bleach alternatives” or chlorine-free bleach. These might work well for all sorts of things, but we want to do some serious chemical crop-dusting.

Secondly, you’ll want to water it down, depending on how liberally you will be applying the substance. Pure Clorox bleach will start to irritate your skin rather quickly if used in large amounts, or if used repeatedly on the same area for several straight days. If it starts to tingle, wash it off and water down the solution. If you try to ignore the tingling sensation and leave the bleach on your skin, the area will probably look and feel like a sunburn the next day.

Thirdly, do not use on broken skin. This might be difficult if the infection has already started cracking, in which case you should probably stick to the over-the-counter treatments (those containing terbinafine seem to work the best), maybe applying smaller spot treatments to the areas still intact.

Bleach athlete's foot treatment methods

Applying the right...solution

Eyedropper(87243)1. For tiny spot treatments, you can actually use the pure Clorox liquid straight out of the bottle. An eyedropper or similar device will help control the application, and a droplet or two will be enough to handle small infections. You can also soak a paper towel or cotton ball and dab it over the infectedarea, which helps to make sure you don’t apply too much (pouring a bit of bleach into the bottle cap makes for a really easy dipping tray). Let it dry, and clean up excess with a wet paper towel if necessary. You shouldn’t have to do this more than two or three times to fix small spots.


Clorox bleach spray bottle2. A spray bottle will work to cover larger areas, but make sure to water down the solution (3/4 water, 1/4 bleach should work), and use in moderation. Remember, if it starts to tingle, wash it off with soap right away. For large infections you might have to do this a couple times a day for a few days, but remember not to overdo it. If it starts to burn, you need to water down the solution. And remember, this will kill the fungus quickly; if it still feels irritated after a few days, it means it’s the bleach that is irritating you, not the infection.


Foot tub3. A foot soak will get into all the crevasses that drops or spray bottles might miss. A 3/4 water, 1/4 bleach solution for about 10 minutes should work, and you probably won’t have to do this more than a few times to see an improvement; maybe twice a day for a few days. Remember, if it starts to tingle, wash it off immediately, and add more water to the solution. Overly concentrated solutions or repeat applications (several times a day for a week) will probably lead to irritated or damaged skin.

Athlete's foot prevention and other treatment tips

Preventative care is the best cure!

Although the bleach will very likely kill the infection rather quickly, prevention methods will go a long way in speeding up the process, and preventing future problems. Remember that athlete’s foot infections thrive in moist, warm conditions. That’s why it’s called athlete’s foot. A hot, sweaty sock is a fungus playground.

Make sure to keep your feet as dry as possible, wearing sandals whenever you can. If you can’t help but spend all day in shoes in hot weather, opt for the powder-based athlete’s foot treatments, which will absorb the sweat. Apply before putting on socks and shoes, then remove your socks as soon as your schedule allows, then rinse and reapply, perhaps trying a bleach soak as well. Combining bleach treatments with over-the-counter powder anti-fungal sprays will make sure the fungus won’t have a chance to grow when applying bleach isn’t feasible. Make sure to wash everything, and don’t reuse worn clothing.

Hopefully these methods will help you rid yourself of the insatiable nuisance that is athlete’s foot. Remember to be careful whenever using harsh chemicals such as bleach, and practice good prevention habits once it’s gone. Good luck!