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6 Home Remedies to Banish Body Odor, Athletes Foot, Breast Rash, and Other Summer Bothers


We should all be able to breeze through those hot summer days feeling confident and carefree. Here are six home remedies to nix stickiness from body odor to athlete’s foot fast!

Heals Painful Breast Rash: Diaper Cream

Perspiration, friction, and clothes that don’t “breathe” can make breast creases itchy, rashy, and even develop a distinct yeast-like odor. But wash and dry well twice daily, then apply a thin layer of zinc oxide, and you’ll prevent these rashes entirely — plus feel relief in just 10 minutes if you’re uncomfortable right now. Dermatologist May Gupta, MD, explains that zinc oxide tames inflammation, blocks yeast growth and provides a protective barrier so skin can heal quickly. Tip: An economical diaper rash cream will do the trick.

Stops Gassiness: This Healing Sip

The physiological strain of keeping cool can disrupt our digestive system, triggering bloat and gassiness for millions of us. But Indian researchers say compounds in licorice-like ajwain seed tea prompt the release of digestion-enhancing enzymes, cutting the risk of these bothers by 70 percent if you sip four ounces after your heaviest meal. You’ll find ajwain seeds in Whole Foods stores and online (Buy on Amazon, $7.98). Mix one teaspoon of the seeds with two cups of water and simmer for eight minutes, then strain and chill. Serve over ice with your favorite sweetener.

Fights Athlete’s Foot: Black Tea Soaks

Summer is sandal season — unfortunately, it’s also athlete’s foot season. Why? The fungi that cause this flaky rash grow rapidly when feet sweat. One of the best home remedies to nix athlete’s foot in just a week is soaking your feet daily in strong black tea. University of Memphis scientists say tea’s tannins are toxic to foot fungi — and the bacteria that cause odor too! To do: Place six tea bags in one quart of boiling water, remove from heat and steep 15 minutes; when the liquid is cool enough for comfort, immerse your feet and relax for 15 minutes.

Ends ‘Down There’ Itching: Calendula

Natural acids in perspiration can inflame delicate skin, making us twice as likely to battle “down there” itching as the temperature soars. For speedy relief, try this: Twice each day, gently wash your vulva, pat dry and dab with calendula cream. British scientists say calendula’s natural plant compounds (saponins) calm irritated nerves and speed tissue healing to cut symptoms by up to 70 percent in just 24 hours (results comparable to the prescription cream metronidazole).

Banishes Body Odor: A Touch of Toner

Warm weather speeds the growth of underarm bacteria that release smelly wastes. The good news: You can halt that growth in two minutes, and for up to 12 hours, by dabbing freshly washed underarms with facial toner before applying your deodorant or antiperspirant. Italian researchers say the toner’s salicylic, alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids reduce skin’s pH so it’s less hospitable to bacteria.

Soothes Ruddy Cheeks: Clove Oil

A sun-kissed glow is lovely, but a rosacea flare? Not so much. Thankfully, helpful home remedies like dabbing skin with diluted clove oil tames the inflammation that causes redness as effectively as OTC creams, suggests research in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, plus halts the growth of the rosacea-triggering Demodex mite. To do: Mix six drops of clove oil into two tablespoons of jojoba or other carrier oil; dab onto rosacea patches twice daily.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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