6 Ways to Keep Your Feet Fungus Free

Foot fungus kills beautiful feet.

Athlete’s foot or foot fungus and toenail fungus affects people of all ages. It is itchy and ugly and can destroy your toenails. Here are six tips to keep your feet fungus-free and beautiful.

  1. Foot fungus can be hard to treat — the best strategy is to keep your feet from getting fungus in the first place. Always wear flip-flops in places like public showers, locker rooms, and pools (walking on your tip-toes across the locker room floor won’t protect you). Don’t share towels, shower sponges, shoes, or socks. Wash your socks in hot water every time you wear them.
  2. Keep your feet dry. You should wash your feet everyday, including between the toes (you know you don’t). Then dry your feet completely, including between the toes (you know you don’t); you can even use a hair dryer before putting on your socks. If you have sweaty feet, consider using a foot antiperspirant to minimize wetness. Wear loose fitting, synthetic socks that allow your feet to breathe and wick moisture away.
  3. Apply an antifungal foot cream to your feet and toes everyday. Any over the counter antifungal cream will work; I recommend generic clotrimazole cream because its effective and a lot less expensive than other antifungals. If you don’t like applying cream, then try antifungal foot sprays such as Tinactin® (tolnaftate) or antifungal foot powders such as Desenex® (miconaozle). Spray antifungal spray powder like Oder Eaters® (tolnaftate) directly in your sneakers or sandals to block the growth of fungus.
  4. The best treatment for nail fungus is oral antifungal pills. However, pills, such as Lamisil® (terbenifine) or Nizoral® (ketoconazole), can have serious side effects and require blood tests to monitor for complications. Combining oral antifugals with a topical antifungal cream everyday gives you the best chance of a cure. If you want to treat toenail fungus at home, then consider applying Vicks VapoRub® to your nails everyday. You can also try soaking your feet in a solution of one part Listerine with one part white vinegar. The alcohols in the Vicks VapoRub® and in the Listerine® might help eliminate the fungus. A third option is to try applying tea tree oil to your nails everyday. None of these home remedies are likely to cure toenail fungus, but they can help improve the appearance of your nails and are relatively harmless. Unfortunately, if your toenails are completely infected with fungus, there is less than 50% chance you will have a complete, long-lasting cure. Even with the strongest antifungal treatments available, only 50-70% of people clear their toenails; and those who are cured become reinfected 50% of the time!
  5. Keep your toenails clean and trimmed short. You can scrape the crumbly material from under your nails, but do it gently. Vigorous scraping won’t clean out nail fungus and will cause your nail to lift off your toe or to fall off all together. Remember to wash your hands after every time you touch your feet or nails and to clean your toenail clipper and nail files with alcohol before using them again.
  6. If you have successfully eliminated your foot fungus or toenail fungus, remember that you still are at risk of getting the fungus again. Consider getting new sneakers, sandals and socks, and apply an antifungal foot cream or powder to your feet everyday to prevent a regrowth of fungus on your now fungus-free feet.

Post written by Jeffrey Benabio, MD. You might also like:

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Photo credit: Randen Pederson

13 thoughts on “6 Ways to Keep Your Feet Fungus Free”

  1. Nasty picture, good choice.
    I can’t even tell you how many people I see as an acupuncturist that have nail fungus. It is really hard to get rid of, but I have seen a handful of them really get rid of it with the Vicks VapoRub you mentioned. The problem is, the person needs to be really diligent and patient and apply it every night for weeks. A bit smelly, messy, but to my mind it is well worth it. No side effects to worry about, and as you mentioned, the meds can be pretty scary. As it is a OTC home remedy and definately not proven, it is nice to see a MD willing to share the info with the public.


    I used to have itchy feet when i’d take off my socks and cracked skin on the bottom of my feet, but after using this cream for about a month all my trouble started to disappear. I haven’t had the itch in over a year now and my feet appear way healthier than before. I can’t recommend it more highly, from a great doctor with a great brand (it focuses on women, but anyone can use her products). Very easy to understand and use.

  3. Nail Fungus can be embarrassing, especially during warmer weather when bare feet and open-toed shoes arethe norm

  4. how can you tell if your nails are getting better

  5. Real girl says:

    I’ve been applying vapor rub and after that tea tree oil and have already seen improvement. It’s. Worth a try for anyone with a similar problem! U have nothing to lose

    – real person

  6. Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…

  7. I am going to try that vic’s rub on my feet tonight. I will start to wash my feet, daily, and wipe them. I heard that your toe nails can fall off.

  8. Maybe you should change the blog title 6 Ways to Keep Your Feet Fungus Free | The Dermatology Blog to something more generic for your content you write. I liked the blog post withal.

  9. I have used Lamsil to get rid of fungs between toes and it worked.

  10. gethighlikeplanes says:

    what topical treatment would you recommend?
    Lamisil (cream)

    i’m not comfortable with home remedies, because i personally don’t think they can actually work. i’d like to try my chances on topical treatments i don’t prefer oral meds cause i have liver problems.

  11. Don’t forget to clean out your stinky soccer cletes…

    Great post. The picture at the beginning will be sure to make viewers follow the tips you gave 🙂

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