Dermatophytes cause athlete’s foot or pedia tinea. Let’s see what oils help our toes.
What causes athlete’s foot?
The major dermaphyte to cause athlete’s foot is Trichophyton mentagrophytes. There are many oils that have antifungal properties most high in phenols. Familiar oils such as tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), oregano (Orianum vulgare), thyme ct. thymol (Thymus vulgarus ct. thymol), and lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). Other oils essential oil enthusiasts would recognize for these properties would be lemongrass (Cybopogon flexuosus), melissa (Melissa officinalis), and clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata). Clove bud has a very distinct aroma, maybe you do not want to smell like a clove.
What chemical components that are anti-fungal?
Tea tree oil has the chemical component terpinene-4-ol. Tea tree is used by many people for fungal issues, with a tell-tale aroma that is very medicinal. The easiest way to mask the smell is to synergize the blend with something that smells better; like lavender, spike lavender, melissa, lemongrass, patchouli…and the list goes on.
Melissa and lemongrass, both with citral, are good for candida, but that’s another blog for another day.
Here are some solutions….
I made a blend with frankincense hydrosol, Solubol for dispersant, patchouli, palmerosa, lavender and bergamot for a spray application. The application was messy. In this blend, frankincense is good for the skin, Solubol in a 4:1 ratio disperses the oils in the hydrosol. Patchouli and palmarosa work well together. Lavender and bergamot are both antifungal and work synergistically. I did not think that the product was quite as effective as I wanted it to be, so I switched to a fractionated coconut oil base.
Patchouli inhibits 12 types of fungi as noted in case studies.
With fungi infections like athlete’s foot comes itching, adding 4 drops of sweet marjoram essential oil and 2 drops of lavender helped with that. Other blends might include myrrh, pathchouli and vetiver or an aloe base with lavender.
If you are into herbal remedies, a herbal based salve of Calendula works for rashes (along with cuts, and burns).
A simple recipe is ½ cup dried calendula flowers in 1 cup olive oil.
A quick infusion in a double boiler or oven on lowest setting. Cool to room temperature, and strain through a cheesecloth. Place ½ cup of herbal oil in pan. Add 1/8 cup beeswax and heat gently until melted. Pour into tins.
I have another recipe for a cooling foot mist.
Peppermint foot mist
3 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
9 drops peppermint oil (Mentha x peperita)
14 ml aloe vera – not gel.
14 ml witch hazel.
Mix together in a 1 oz. spray bottle. Gently shake before using.
Disclaimer note: Please note that I am not a medical doctor. The use of essential oils is to promote health and wellness. If you have medical issues, seek professional advice.