The People's Perspective on Medicine

Will Urine Cure Nail Fungus & Athlete’s Foot?

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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!!!”


“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.”


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


“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.”


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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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Desperate to get rid of toe nail fungus. Over the counter fungal creams worked for tinea on the skin on toes but as soon as I stopped it came back even though I applied for a few months with no symptoms. Toe nail fungus: I tried neat domestos on the area. DO NOT TRY. HUGE ADVERSE effect to skin. Tried a few other natural products, i.e. tea tree oil, using nail polish remover on the toenail to facilitate absorption as I understood tea tree oil creates a barrier.

Now soaking feet in my morning urine a minimum of 10 minutes every morning straight after my shower! I have removed a quarter of my big toenail to try to get all the fungus. Looks clean but still using an antifungal cream too. Plan to stop the cream and increase soaks to twice a day.

I have tried Vick’s Listerine coconut oil provide and a number of other things for nail fungus. I’m a little desperate so I’m going to try urine. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks DW

Your own works for poison ivy. In 3 to 4 days it’s all dried up.

Peeing on your feet works, have used this remedy many times, I’m a wrestler and a athlete and had to wear boots for work as well, and the moisture causes fungus and athlete’s feet. I also recommend anytime before you put your socks on use them to dry between your toes > To anybody out there trying to de-bug this cure you are wrong it works, Military trick and is essential to people incarcerated.

My ex wife was a nurse and she convinced me to try it, and it worked like a charm for my athletes foot. I had tried many creams for years, and it always kept coming back, now it is 15 years with no athletes foot. I am convinced it works. Try it, the only thing you have to lose is your athletes foot.
Funny how everyone on this site that tries it finds it to works.

It is not urine that helps fungus but a compound in urine called Urea. In regular urine there isn’t enough (only about 2%) so to have ANY benefit save urine and allow the water to evaporate leaving a darker, more acrid fluid. Place this concentrate in a foot bath, wash and dry you feet, then soak your feet for two to five minutes.

This is not necessarily better than anti-fungal cream. Athletes Foot can be serious and even topical ointment may not be effective forcing the use of oral antifungal medications. These can be bad for the liver and heart so talk to your doctor, try the pee and cream first. Dry feet are critical along with clean, white socks.

Untreated Athletes foot can lead to infection and possibly cellulitis.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. Advanced degree is in history. Now it’s true that urine has been used for centuries for medical use (it is a clean liquid for irrigation of wounds) but keep in mind that treatment for depression has included exorcism, burning at the stake, lobotomy, Bach went blind because he complained to the Barber-Surgeon of blurred vision and the cure was a leach on each cornea. Even today, science claims we use only 10% of our brain where it makes far more sense that scientists don’t know what most of our brain does.

So pee away!

Urine cures toenail fungus.
Save your overnight urine in a plastic jug. After a hot shower in the morning, the toenails will be soft. Use some sort of corn file to take off excess toenail surface (having trimmed them back hard).

After drying your body and legs, mix a drop or two of any surfactant (shampoo?) with the urine and mix it with you hands (it will do them good too!) Immerse the toes into the urine for 30 seconds (one foot at a time). Rub urine into the space between toes as well.
Step out onto a towel and allow the feet to dry naturally. If your lowers legs have any skin disorder, rub them with the urine too and allow to dry.

Fresh urine does not smell on the skin.

After a week you will start noticing a difference. Any toenail fungus cure is a slow process but this one works and it doesn’t cost a penny (no pun intended)

The skin on your hands and legs will also improve.

Urine is one of our bodies most valuable by-products. That is why urea is put into some expensive skin creams. Better to use you own than animal-derived urea products.

If you have a toe-sucking lover, that is probably where the problem arose!

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!

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 !

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.

I have to ask, how did you know your nail fungus was gone in one week? As I research this dreadful subject, I stumble upon people with a similar experience. It leads me to believe that it was not nail fungus. Would you mind sharing what it was that lead you to believe you had nail fungus?

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 would like to hear more on this subject.
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 20% Urea.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Yes I would.

How long are you supposed to keep it on?

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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