Q. Two months ago I instituted a quasi-experiment for a home remedy to treat my toenail fungus, which is on both feet. Each morning I treat only the right foot, using urine (heard on your syndicated public radio program).
In the morning shower, I apply a small amount of surfactant (dish-detergent) with a paintbrush to the toenails of the right foot, dump some saved urine into a dedicated wastebasket, and then soak the toes for several seconds.
After two months, there appears to be a remarkable improvement of the right foot over the left (which has remained untreated).

A. This is not the first time we have heard about the benefits of urine against a variety of skin problems and fungal infections including athlete’s foot and nail fungus, but you have taken the most scientific approach to testing it. Here are some other messages from visitors to our website:

“I remember my grandma saying she peed on her hands when they were dry and cracking. She would pee in a jar and then pour it over her hands. I have heard about urine for along time but never seen it published.
“Love your website!!!”

Kandy


“If you watch the movie ‘King of Mask’ you see that many other cultures use this remedy for many other things besides foot fungus. Yes, it is true that urine helps, as well as other anti fungus home remedies (Vicks, Listerine, possible tea tree oil.”
CPMT


“Whilst in the army we were told to urinate on our feet in the shower to prevent athlete’s foot.”
Matt


“If I only learned one thing in USAF basic training in summer of ’61, it was to urinate on my feet in the shower to cure/prevent athlete’s foot. I didn’t believe it ’til I got it. Then when I tried it, it was only a matter of days before the infection was gone, but the relief was immediate. Still works.”
A.S.


If using urine is a little too gross for you to get rid of nail fungus, athlete’s foot or other fungal infections, we suggest our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. It is filled with other fascinating approaches (some of them more appealing). And we would love to hear your experiences with fungal infections. What works best for you? Share your story or comment below.

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  1. Raymond S.
    Reply

    Thank You for your post! There is so much merit to the ways of our elders. Honestly, they knew the tricks to get things done back then without having to pay the drug companies big bucks. I’m not against the advances in medicine though. Hell, Polio is gone, Smallpox is gone (hopefully) and many more. Hat’s off to them! BUT, Our Elders knew little homemade ways to cure the little or ‘nagging’ things and they should Not be looked down upon. Instead if there is a better natural and cheap way to cure the little stuff then it should be appreciated and used!

  2. T. S.
    Reply

    My doctor prescribed Betadine but it is not covered by my insurance and though the cost was only ten bucks, I did not have any money so I did not get it. Plus, I question the usefulness of Betadine for my discolored toenail. Is it the same thing as iodine?
    After seeing my husband suffer for years with nail fungus and the dismal results he got from prescriptions, such as oral anti fungal (we have liver disease and I felt he should not take the pills but he did. It took a long time, finally helped but not completely and the fungus returned.
    Also I want to ask, what is the thinking behind using cornmeal?
    What exactly is in it, that would “eat fungus”???
    thank you !

  3. DHH
    Reply

    Decolorized iodine works well without the smell of urine. CVS Pharmacy sells decolorized iodine. Paint it on affected toe nails once or twice a day. Fungus vanished from my toe nail within a week.

  4. LEOLA G.
    Reply

    I am 76 years old and my grandmother always told us grandkids to “go pee on it” whenever we came through the farmhouse door with a new scratch or cut. She was far too busy in the kitchen cooking and baking on the old wood stove for the men due in from the hayfields to worry about little cuts or scratches. Bless her. She had the answer way back then.

  5. Paul 43
    Reply

    I would like to hear more on this subject.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE:
    Dear Paul,
    One ingredient in urine is UREA. It is quite an amazing compound. A little-appreciated ingredient in some moisturizers can be exceptionally helpful.
    A study in the highly regarded Journal of Investigative Dermatology (June, 2012) suggests that urea can improve barrier function and regulate gene activity in the skin to improve its antimicrobial defenses.
    Urea (aka carbamide) is a natural nitrogen-containing compound made by the body. It is found mixed with other compounds in skin oils. At concentrations of around 10 percent, urea is an excellent skin protector. You’ll find urea in moisturizers such as Udderly Smooth Extra Care Cream with 10% Urea.
    http://www.udderlysmooth.com/dry-skin-extra-care-moisturizing-lotion.shtml
    The makers (Redex Industries) underwrite our public radio show. Even if they didin’t we would still say that this is one of the very best moisturizers on the market! It is also highly affordable compared to some of the far more expensive skin creams that are out there.

  6. ebm
    Reply

    Come-on, Gottfried, don’t we all wash our feet with soap? Do you really think dish soap would cure athlete’s foot? Give it a rest or use the harmful chemical goops from the store.
    THANK YOU GRAEDENS FOR PUBLISHING THIS AND ALL YOUR MUCH NEEDED HELP!!!

  7. Cindy B.
    Reply

    “KILL THAT FUNGUS!” — by I. P. Freely (lol)

  8. JimP
    Reply

    Several years ago, Joe or Terry said that Resorcinol in Vagisil was an anti-fungal, so I gave it a try on my toenails, and it worked well. I rub it into the nail and nail bed every morning after my shower on my 4 toenails that have fungus. It’s fast, no smell, no grease. Plus, it leaves my nails shinier and more normal-looking than with Vapor Rub.

  9. PR
    Reply

    Re using Vicks Mentholating Ointment on Fungal toenails, do you or anyone out there no of a NON-TOXIC version that does not have toxic Petroleum or Turpentine in the ingredients like Vicks does? I will also check some health stores as well to see if there is a non toxic version.

  10. EPM
    Reply

    When I was young, I remember my mother advising us children to pee on places on our hands or feet where we had inadvertently received nettle stings. Initially we were grossed out, but it worked.

  11. PP
    Reply

    Most public showers don’t like people urinating in them!

  12. M J C
    Reply

    I would like to know if this would work for acne on the back?

  13. BTP
    Reply

    How long are you supposed to keep it on?

  14. Gottlieb
    Reply

    This clever little “quasi-experiment” would have been more valid if the surfactant had been applied to the toenails of both feet and not just the foot on which the urine soak was performed. As it is now, we don’t know if the beneficial results observed on the toenails of the right foot were due to the surfactant, the urine soak, or a combination of both.

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