Q. I had problems with cracked, calloused soles and toenail fungus. I had medicine but it did not go very far. One of the items in the medicine was urea, which I believe is a by-product of urine.

I started soaking my feet in my own urine and WOW! It cleared up the callouses and thickened soles as well as the toe nail fungus. Just thought you would want to know.


A. You are not the first person who has used urine to deal with skin and nail problems. Here are just a few of the many stories we have received over the years about “urine therapy.”

“When I was in the US military (50 yrs ago) our training NCOs told that we’d get very good results by urinating on our feet in the shower. These showers were AT LEAST daily. Worked for me… still does.”


“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.”


“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.”


“I have suffered with smelly and sweaty feet for years. I have tried many creams, ointments, oils, foot baths and you name it. I would put on a pair of brand new shoes and 30 min. later, look out!

“I could never take my shoes off in public. The odor could clear a large room out. People, even my friends, would place a finger underneath their nostrils and even constantly spray cologne into the air!

“It was so hurtful! I prayed without ceasing because I know that I am not the only one with foot odor. I Googled smelly feet & stumbled upon your article.

“Check this out–I soaked my feet in urine for 30 min: ‘ODOR-FREE FEET’. Thank you, and thank God for answering my prayers! Feet still sweat but NO ODOR!


“Okay, I do have to join the conversation. I am over 60 yrs of age. I developed a dark gray “something” on my large toenail on my left foot. I had been doing aerobic exercising in a pool with a group of people and wondered if I ‘caught’ something from that. I guess I will never know.

“The main thing here is that I had read that a reader said he had that same type of problem and that using urine in the shower would be very helpful. I did not try that right away but used your suggestion of Listerine. It was helpful (for a while). The darkness started to come again in about a year or a little more and I remembered the other story and bit the bullet and tried urine on the toenail in the shower.

“Honestly, the urine made everything change, go away, and hurrah, healthy toenail again. It was not as gross as one may think and so easy, even for a woman. We shouldn’t be so squeamish about trying something really simple and harmless, anyway.”


“Would a lotion with urea in it work as well as urinating on one’s feet?

“Sometimes it’s not the fault of the feet. I’ve found that certain shoes are more prone to making feet smell bad than others. It probably is connected with what the shoes are made of.”



You are quite right that shoes can contribute to foot odor. Synthetic material that allows feet to get warm and sweaty will create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that can exacerbate food odor.

We are always impressed with the many adventurous visitors to our website. The stories above are quite intriguing. Although some people may be willing to experiment with urine soaks, most people would prefer an affordable hand cream with urea included.

Urea (carbamide) is a natural component of urine and has been used for a very long time in fertilizer. That is because of its high nitrogen content.

When urea is included in skin cream, it serves as a marvelous epidermal protector. The most prestigious dermatology research journal in the world is The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. A study published in this journal in June, 2012, revealed that urea improves the barrier function of the skin and regulates gene activity in the skin to improve its antimicrobial defenses. That makes the skin more resistant to infection and other attacks. The urea used in cosmetics and skin creams is not extracted from urine but is manufactured in a modern facility.

Redex Industries, the makers of Udderly Smooth Udder Cream (and sponsors of our radio show) have come up with a urea-containing version of their famous moisturizer. You can get what we consider “professional strength” Extra Care 20 with 20% urea. This is the strongest urea cream you can buy without a prescription. People with diabetes or those undergoing chemotherapy find this skin cream especially helpful, but it is also great for people with dry, cracked “sandpaper” skin.

What works for your leathery skin at this time of year? With all the recommendations urging us to wash our hands dozens of times a day to avoid catching influenza or norovirus (stomach flu), it is no wonder everyone is suffering. Add to that the cold weather and dry heat and you have a recipe for sad skin. Let us know what you do to protect yourself by commenting below.

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  1. Bill

    If you look up the practice of Shivambo in India’s culture and the book “the water of life”you may find your answers that you seek on skin issues and other illness

  2. Alfredo

    For how long and how often should I soak my feet in urine in order to get the optimal benefit of the urea on my calluses?

  3. Carol
    Portland, OR

    At a yoga workshop I heard the instructor say to soak your feet in your first urine of the day; but, I didn’t catch the reason she said to do that. A few days later, and for 2 or 3 days, I noticed that the bottoms of my feet stung. When I got up the next day, I tried it. I peed in a bucket that just barely let my feet rest on the bottom with my toes curled in the little well around the circumference of the bottom of the pail. I left my feet in there until the pee was no longer warm, washed my feet rubbing with soap and water for a full 20 seconds and then rinsed. After a couple of days I quit because I no longer had stinging feet to remind me. Later on, when the stinging returned, I tried it again with the same results. Why my feet stung, why peeing on my feet helped and if there is some scientific reason for what happened remains a mystery. But, it worked well enough that I plan to purchase a foot bath; that bucket is pretty cramped.

  4. Lisa
    Texas USA

    A health practitioner advised me to collect a bit of my first morning urine and pour it over my toe infected with nail fungus. That was too difficult for me. Instead, I dabbed my “used tissue” on the toe and simply let it dry. The white streaks of fungus were gone in a few days. My adviser stressed that I should use only the first urine of the day. I’m not sure that it matters since I go to the bathroom two or three times every night.

  5. Wilma
    Chilliwack B.C.

    Does urine really help for foot fungus?

  6. S.Q

    Depending on the condition, you do it at least once or twice a day. Soak or dab for 10 minutes, then wash off with clear water and no soap. I haven’t tried it myself, but I remember my mom did it for my sister when she was a toddler. She had a weird rash once when she was 3 years old, I’m not sure what it was since I was young too, and none of the creams and medications worked. That lasted for a couple months until desperate, mom finally listened to my grandmother and every time my sister had to pee, my mom would collect that urine and dab it all over my sister’s infected skin. About 5 days in, every last bit of the rash was gone.

  7. LYNND

    I feel there are easier, effective approaches that are worth a try before turing to urine! For years, my spouse experienced dry, cracked fingertips that did not respond to Bag Balm, Noxema and any number of remedies. Wounds to the fingertips were particularly alarming because they would take many weeks to close. The daily use of U-Lactin lotion, which is typically available by special order from a pharmacy, provided relief. It can be purchased online. Others find success with the regular application of Amalactin because it, too, contains lactic acid, which is similar to urea in its skin-softening properties. If chased by a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a pair of gloves, worn to bed at night, the condition will improve even faster.
    Extremely dry skin on the feet lends itself well to warm apple cider and epsom salts foot soaks, followed by a generous application of the above-lotion and a pair of socks, worn to bed. If you do not have U-Lactin on hand, the next best thing is a 50/50 mix of 100 percent pure cocoa butter and 100 percent shea butter, applied beneath a layer of Vaseline (also followed by a pair of socks). If nail fungus is a problem, add to the foot soak or lotion “mix” a few drops of tea tree oil (100 percent). The key to any of these is to apply daily, otherwise the condition will quickly return.

  8. jg

    why doesn’t the People’s Pharmacy answer the question? Like – do you wash your feet after soaking in urine? and is it once forever, or once a day, 5 minutes or 30 etc?
    I love this site but find that it is lacking in giving the full directions to some of the home remedies
    People’s Pharmacy response: Fair enough. If we knew the answers, we’d give them. We don’t create the home remedies; we serve as a conduit for people to share them. And since we have not tried this one, we are sorry we don’t know the details. We hope somebody who has tried it will give us all some answers.

  9. js

    That sounds gross. You may want to try soaking your fungus in HYDROGEN PEROXIDE. Since your skin is cracked, you may want to follow the HYDROGEN PEROXIDE TREATMENT with tea tree oil while the skin is still moist. This enables the tea tree oil to penetrate the skin. Grapeseed oil may also help heal cracked skin.

  10. AHS

    In the 30’s, my brother suffered earaches regularly. Our country doctor had my mother treat his ear with cotton balls soaked in HIS urine for relief. (It had to be HIS.) Those old doctors had to use whatever they could for relief.

  11. angelo D

    My grandmother many years ago when we went to see her with her grandaughter of three months old changed her pee diapers and wiped her face and neck and arms with the pee diaper.
    My wife asked what she was doing and grandma said “do this every day and she will always have beautiful skin and you should also.”
    I never forgot this and do it every day first thing in the morning. My skin on my face is smooth for a seventy nine year old and I made it a point to never wash my face with water.
    After I cleaned and scrubbed my face in the morning with the wash cloth with the pee, I rinsed off my face with clear water and applied a cream cleansing rinse.
    Can’t deal with it? Too bad, it is only for the people that believe and will have beautiful skin and all the natural cures urine can help.
    And one more point, keep away from doctors, they will kill you.

  12. PJ

    While reading about using urine on skin before, I came across a warning about urine creating a smell in the shower as the drain is different from the one from a toilet. I don’t know if this is true or not, but it certainly gave me pause.

  13. Cindy B.

    For a topic on urine, I can’t believe someone hasn’t mentioned the fact that a significant no. of people not only use urine topically — but drink it too! Something about getting “the very last of the nutrients” that the body missed the first time around. Most people (myself included) find this a bit ludicrous…. Still, just for the adventure of it, I HAVE tasted my urine on occasion, and I found it quite fine. Especially if you’ve been drinking a lot of liquids, the urine is barely yellowish and fairly bland and sweet-tasting. I didn’t swallow, but it was still interesting. I’m gonna try it on my feet now!

  14. Sally

    I am willing to give the urine soak a try to help deal with my toenail fungus. Is there a recommended duration? ie once daily x 1 week? or use until fungus disappears?

  15. LF

    I find that by wearing cotton socks (or mostly cotton) your feet will not smell as bad as if you choose to wear synthetic socks. My son’s feet will knock you out, but NOT if he wears cotton socks. Same for me by wearing all cotton t-shirts. If I wear a shirt without cotton, I sweat more.

  16. Shucky

    For years I was covered in psoriasis every winter, then by high summer it would be starting to recede, but I had to wear long sleeves to cover the ugly red rings and grey scales. then it would start growing like crazy after the first big drop in temperature. People told me I should get that looked at – for almost 20 years.
    A friend and neighbour kept telling me to use urine on it. Desperate, I finally did some research on the relatively new internet, and found instructions for urine therapy on skin diseases, and how a clean catch at night would only smell like perspiration. So I tried it for a week, to the horror of my husband, and it completely went away! I’ve only had to dab a bit on it for a few days when tiny spots appear again, and again it goes away. Unfortunately, it’s done nothing for my nails or psoriatic arthritis. I have to have a hip replacement this spring, but I have beautiful skin, even for someone in her 60’s.
    I’ve told several people about this, but they think it’s too weird to try. So did my husband. He didn’t like our friend, and he never acknowledged the healing of my skin, it grossed him out so badly. And he eventually left, silly man. It’s amazing how an otherwise sane person gets doubted when they come up with something like this.

  17. Lola

    On a recent program of either The Dr. Oz Show or The Doctors show, there was mention of using shortening for smoothing rough heels, etc. Just put some on your feet and wear a pair of socks. I tried this and it works. I would rather put cooking shortening on my feet, or other rough spot, than urine.

  18. Jean Thomas

    Strange that people are quick to use any “DRUG” handed to them by a doctor, but recoil at natural cures that are much better.

  19. jcm

    Do you let the shower water wash off the urine? Do you wash your feet after soaking them in urine?

    • Annie

      Amen to that! People are so quick to take anything the doctor gives them, but when it comes to natural remedies with no side affects they really turn to a different tune. I believe that society has put so much faith in doctor’s that we just do’t know any better. I have learned to share certain information with certain people and keep my mouth SHUT. I really hate to see anyone suffer unnecessarily, but they either think you’re crazy or they label you as a know it all. What can you say?

      • Lewis

        You have that right, Annie.

  20. MJW

    I am wondering whether their is any difference is using one’s own urine (vs. what is manufactured for, e.g., Udder Cream)?

  21. Shari

    Is this true only for your own urine (since it’s sterile to you)?

  22. cpmt

    oolong tea also works for some people.

  23. CJ

    Where do they get the urine for the Udder Cream?
    PEOPEL’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: The urea in these moisturizers is NOT extracted from urine, but manufactured in a modern facility.

  24. fcp

    Wash your hands — a lot! — but it’s the friction and rinsing that washes away the bugs, not harsh soaps. If in a public bathroom have a paper towel handy to turn off that filthy faucet. And have another paper towel ready for that door handle. And stop touching your face!

    • Juhum M
      Private !!!

      Common sense Germs!!? Most things you touch in public have many many Germs!! Some company should manufacturer gloves that you put on when you leave home then arriving back home dispose of them without cross/contamination! My Idea August 31,2016 ?

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