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.