ugly toenail fungus, peeing on your feet

Warning: this remedy might be too disgusting for you. Many readers tell us that peeing on your feet can help you overcome toenail fungus or athlete’s foot. Is there any evidence to back this claim up?

Peeing on Your Feet:

Q. Thank you for writing about peeing on your feet. At first I thought it was too gross. But then I had occasion to think again.

I have, or did have, toenail fungus on my left foot. None of the many OTC medicines I’d tried gave me results. I even asked my doctor if he knew of a cure. The only thing he suggested was tea tree oil. That didn’t work either.

When I read your column I thought, “What do I have to lose?” I stood in the bathtub and did the deed every morning. Within two weeks the fungus had cleared up. I was amazed. Not only did it work, but it was free.

Urine and Urea:

A. We too are amazed. It normally takes months for nail fungus to clear up, no matter what type of treatment you use. We can almost hear the dermatologists laughing or gnashing their teeth at the idea of you peeing on your feet.

Urine is an old military secret, however. Soldiers and sailors have been using it as an antifungal remedy for decades to treat athlete’s foot.

Dermatologists have used concentrated urea (a component of urine) to treat a range of skin conditions, including athlete’s foot and nail fungus (Pan et al, Dermatology Online Journal, Nov. 15, 2013).

Other dermatologists write:

“For over a century urea-containing formulations have been used in a concentration-dependent manner to restore skin hydration, thin hyperkeratosis, debride dystrophic nails, and enhance topical drug penetration.”

(Friedman et al, Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, May 1, 2016). That doesn’t imply dermatologists endorse peeing on your feet. We strongly suspect they do not. Nonetheless, the research on urea suggests the idea might not be completely crazy.

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  1. Mary Beth

    I feel that God gave us natural remedies before we discovered medicines, which are both good and bad.

  2. Pat

    When I lived in Florida, I wore sandals most of the time and never had a problem with nail fungus. Then I moved to a state where I had to wear socks and closed shoes to protect my feet from the cold. Sure enough, my feet rebelled, and I developed a light case of toenail fungus. Tea tree oil helps, but I will consider the other suggestions mentioned here.

  3. Jerry
    La Habra, California

    Weak acids definitely help with fungal infections. So do zinc formulations. A sure cure (albeit slow) is 13% (or stronger, like 40%) zinc ointment: e.g. Desitin Diaper-Rash Relief.

  4. Sudhir M.

    To get rid of toe nail fungus, the simplest remedy is to take 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of raw turmeric powder daily. You can mix in yogurt and add a little salt for taste.

  5. Wayne
    Kalamazoo, MI

    I suffered with athlete’s foot (painful cracking between my toes) for many, many years. I tried every cream and ointment on the market with results no better than nothing. After a doctor impressed me with the necessity of keeping my feet dry, I tried various methods. I finally settled on a very simple procedure: every time I take my shoes off I pull my socks back and forth between all my toes. This removes the “toe jam” and dries them thoroughly. I have not had a reoccurance of athletes foot for 20 years, and my feet don’t smell!

  6. Anne

    I had a fungal nail infection in my fingernail for five months. Tried using Vicks Vapo-Rub (available in the U.K. ), possibly in USA also . I massaged it in my fingernail approx three times per day, and after two months the infection had cleared up and has never returned six months on.

  7. Someone

    For toenail fungus try taking olive leaf extract capsules. It’s the strongest antifungal on the planet!

  8. Karen H

    I had toenail fungus for 8 years. I tried multiple natural remedies including tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar and I would see improvement for months but it would always flare up again before it could completely clear. My dermatologist prescribed Jublia, I started using it last March and by November it was completely clear and still is today.

  9. Linda

    As someone with MS (and the concomitant bladder issues) I have peed on my feet (and the doormat and my shoes) more times than I can count! Who knew it could be beneficial?

  10. James

    I tried for many years to treat/cure toe nail
    fungus. I know that there are countless natural
    cures for almost anything, including cancer.
    Daily, I soaked my feet in virgin apple cider,
    and removed the infected nails. Slowly my toe
    nails improved. I now, daily (using a long artists
    brush,) dab each nail with Apple cider vinegar.
    My toe nails look fine, but I will continue to dab
    on apple cider vinegar daily, as it only takes a
    few seconds

  11. Rich
    Houghton MI

    I’ve found “bag balm” (like they use on cow udders) works best in my battle with toenail fungus. By the way it smells, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has urea in it.

  12. Lydia Jasper

    I’ve battled toenail fungus twice using prescription drugs. My PCM at the time said she didn’t want to put me through that again as the drugs are rough on the liver IIRC. I heard tea tree oil was a good preventive treatment so I’ve been doing that every other night or any time I trim my nails or if my feet got wet because my shoes got soaked. I hope I never get that fungus ever again and I’d advise others to take preventive care of their feet.

  13. Sara

    That is an awful suggestion

    • Patty

      Sara, Some of us are less squeamish than others when we have suffered with a condition for a long time. Thankfully, I don’t have toenail fungus, but I’d be willing to follow the remedy in the shower if I did.

      I do know a method of getting rid of fever blisters (cold sores?) on the lips that many find revolting, but it works. My mom taught me what had been passed down in her family. You use soft ear wax and put a thin coat on the sore. It heals after two days or so of application. Some folks have soft ear wax, some have hard. The biggest rule is not to lick your lips after applying because it tastes very bad.

    • Anne
      Bakersfield, Ca.

      Some traditional “awful” treatments, work.

  14. Karen
    Williamsville, NY

    For those of us who find it difficult to pee on our toes (particularly women) I use a product purchased online called Urea 40% Cream by Amilie Monnier. It is thick enough to be brushed onto the damaged toenail. I put a bandage over it, then my sock and shoe. This softens up the top layer of the nail enough that I can peel it off later in the day, reapply urea again, and so on. I do this twice a day. I have seen a difference and will continue to use this product. Being diabetic I would rather not go to a podiatrist to have the nail removed as I have healing problems.

  15. Carolyn H.

    I had read this too, and decided to try it on some of the mold that is bound and determined to grow in my shower–so I attacked it with some urine, a little baking soda, and an old toothbrush–and it did remove a fair portion of what was there. Need to keep after it, though. We women have a little difficulty with aim, as in peeing on your feet, so saving a little in an old container works just fine. Will have to try painting the toenails with the dreaded foot fungus next with a little urine. Have had some success in soaking in vinegar water, but get tired of it after a while–takes months to have any effect.

    • Ann

      Apple cider vinegar, another acidic substance has cured my toe fungus. A very long treatment-every night watching TV for about a year-but no pain.

      Ann Baehr

  16. Donna

    I had toe fungus for about 10 years. I did the home remedies without success. Then I got a yeast infection. I was prescribed the compound generic yeast infection medication. I had to take one tablet every three days until the yeast infection was gone. To my surprise my toe fungus was gone. The yeast infection was never gone gone, but it has been better. The toe fungus has not come back.

  17. hank

    I prefer to soak them in vinegar, thank you.

    • RJ

      That stinks worse than urine.

  18. Katherine
    Newport, OR

    How long do you need to leave the urine on before washing it off?

  19. Mary

    I’m glad this worked but I have had success with tea tree oil ( after much failure with other meds and remedies). I put a drop on it in the morning and a drop on in the evening. It took a couple of months but it has worked.

  20. Judy N
    Jackson Heights, NY

    Years ago I visited Club Med in Martinique and, on my first day there, I went wading on the beach. Soon thereafter I was stung by a sea anemone, and very quickly it started to hurt a lot.

    I was advised to pee on it so I retreated to a part of the beach where no one could see me to try that.

    Sure enough, it worked! The pain went away.

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