Vinegar’s role in fighting fungal infections is simple. Remember that ideal environment mentioned earlier? Warm, moist, tight spaces are great for fungi. However, they do not like acidic environments very much. Soaking the affected area in vinegar creates an acidic environment for the fungi, which makes things uncomfortable for it. Does vinegar kill the fungus that grows between your toes and under your toenails? So far, research has only suggested that it makes life more difficult for certain types of fungus, but while it seems to hinder fungal growth, there’s still a need for more information to be sure.
4. Pau D’arco Tea
Pau d’arco is a tree native to South America, the bark of which has been used to treat a number of conditions. Due to the chemicals lapachol and beta-lapachone, the bark of the pau d’arco tree has been found effective in killing some forms of fungi, as well as other harmful microbes such as bacteria and viruses. As such, it stands to reason that a soak made from pau d’arco tea could handle fungal infections on the foot. That being said, there is still plenty of room for research determining exactly how useful pau d’arco is for treating such infections.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Speaking of trees and tea, tea tree oil is another touted remedy for fungal infections. Similar to vinegar, tea tree oil, otherwise known as Melaleuca alternifolia, has been found to inhibit the growth of various fungal infections. A study revealed that tea tree oil could potentially serve as a hindrance to fungal growth in combination with other treatment strategies.
2. Oregano Oil
Tea tree oil is not the only essential oil that can interfere with fungal infections. Oregano oil, which naturally contains low levels of the antimicrobial compound thymol, has likewise been found to inhibit the growth of fungi. While this is most prominent in agricultural situations, there is still relevance regarding the fungi responsible for toenail infections, Tinea unguium, as well as athlete’s foot. Additionally, it was found that a certain aromatic compound that included various essential oils, such as basal oil, tea tree oil, and clove oil, could prevent microbial growth, even in conditions ideal for such growth.
1. Urea Paste
If you’ve ever contracted athlete’s foot before, you’ve probably heard that peeing on your toes can help clear it up. It may sound gross, but it’s not without a grain of truth. The main component of urine, urea, is a key ingredient in many fungal treatments. This is because of the way it penetrates and dissolves tissue so that the medication can get in where it needs to go. Not in a hurry to take a tinkle on your toes? Purchase some urea paste over the counter, and use it with other treatments to hopefully settle your fungal frustrations.Related: 15 Benefits of Epsom Salt
It should be said that regardless of which treatment you choose, patience is a virtue. Whether you try these remedies or go to a doctor for a prescription instead, any cure will take time to work. Remember, more often than not, your feet are in an ideal state for fungus to grow, and these treatments do take time and diligence to work; daily foot baths and essential oil applications will clear up the problem, but it also helps to keep your feet clean and dry at all times in order to make your feet a less enticing target for fungal growth.