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Athlete’s foot—you’ve all heard of it, and you’ve probably suffered from it at some point. It’s hard for (as the name implies) active people to avoid contracting the fungal infection, which thrives in warm, moist environments such as locker room floors and it can be a nuisance to get rid of. The symptoms are typically characterized by scaly skin and itching and burning sensations between the toes.
Anti-fungal ointments are commonly used for the treatment of athlete’s foot. However, there is a less costly, more homeopathic treatment for the infection—garlic. When you think of garlic, medicinal purposes don’t automatically come to mind, but a study published in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests that garlic is actually more effective at curing the infection than Lamisil, a popular anti-fungal ointment. In the study, the subjects that treated their symptoms with a garlic solution experienced a 100 percent cure rate, whereas the subjects that treated their symptoms with Lamisil only experienced a 94 percent cure rate.
Garlic-based creams and solutions are not available commercially but there are simple, easy, do-it-yourself alternatives to remedy the problem. The first option is to soak your feet for 30 minutes in a footbath consisting of water and crushed garlic. Another option is to combine minced garlic and olive oil and apply it directly to the affected areas with a cotton swab. These treatments, as with any anti-fungal treatment, should be continued even after the symptoms have subsided because fungal infections are known for lying dormant for days, even weeks, after the infection has appeared to vanish.