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Will Urine Cure Nail Fungus & Athlete’s Foot?

For many years, readers were eager to share their home remedies for toenail fungus. During much of that time, doctors had little to offer patients who wanted to clear this unsightly infection. The prescription drugs that were available, such as griseofulvin, had to be taken by mouth. Some could cause unpleasant or downright dangerous side effects. Perhaps that is why so many people were fascinated with the urine cure.

Can Urine Cure Toenail Fungus?

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).

Other Readers Agree on the Benefits of Urine:

A. This is not the first time we have heard about using urine to cure 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:

Kandy wrote:

“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.”

CPMT shared this:

“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, possibly tea tree oil).”

Matt offered a common theme:

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

So did AS:

“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.”

We have not been able to find studies showing that urine could cure foot fungus, whether on the nails or the skin. However, many readers have offered their experience, and most have had success.

Learn More:

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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