15 Natural Remedies for Fungal Skin Infections

23 January, 2020
In addition to trying these home remedies, good hygiene and avoiding sweating is key to preventing and treating fungal skin infections.

Fungal skin infections can be caused by different kinds of fungi, including dermatophytes and yeast. These infections colonize dead keratin, a protein which is found in the skin, nails and hair.

They can appear in different areas of the body, show up in a range of forms, and, in general, cause symptoms like itchiness, redness, and scaly skin. Treatment depends on the type of fungus and the severity of the infection. However, according to this study from the Journal of Fungithey are usually treated with antimycotics.

There are also some natural remedies that use to treat these kinds of fungal skin infections. While they shouldn’t be a substitute for medical treatment, their application can help relieve symptoms. Ready to try them?

Causes of fungal skin infections

Skin Fungus

There are many types of fungi that can cause skin infections. However, there are some common triggers that tend to result in an overgrowth of fungus on the skin. These include:

  • Weak immune system. The appearance of skin fungus indicates that your defenses are low because the body can’t fight them.
  • Contagion. A common example is the showers at gyms or swimming pools. The fungus is on the damp floor, and from there enters and settles between the toes.
  • Lack of hygiene and excess damp. These conditions increase the likelihood of colonization by different kinds of fungi. After washing, it’s important to dry your skin well, between your toes and in all folds and creases of your body.
  • Also, some people sweat more than others. This creates an ideal environment for these microorganisms to proliferate.
  • Sebaceous secretions, when they increase for any reason.
  • Poor diet and low vitamin intake. Not eating adequately makes the defenses drop. This makes it difficult to cleanse toxins.
  • Stress. It’s widely known that stress lowers our defenses and, as we’ve mentioned, this makes it easier for fungi to reproduce.

Symptoms of fungal skin infections

Symptoms vary, depending on what kinds of microorganisms are causing the infection. They are sometimes also confused with other skin diseases. That’s why it’s important to see your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis if you suspect a problem.

  • Spots or blemishes on the skin, which can be of different colors and sizes.
  • Reddish colored circles.
  • Itching or burning.
  • Bad odor.
  • Degradation of the skin.

15 remedies to cure skin fungus

It’s very important to remember that fungal skin infections should be treated by a doctor or dermatologist. While there are some natural remedies that can alleviate your symptoms, you need medical treatment to get rid of the infection.

On the other hand, keep in mind that the evidence about the safety and effectiveness of some of these remedies is limited. Consequently, they may not always work how you expect them to. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in trying them, here are some options:

1. Diet

Diet

A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that nutrition is a determining factor in your body’s immune response. So, nutrients like zinc, selenium, iron, copper, vitamins A, C, E, B-6, and folic acid play an important role in keeping your immune system healthy.

That means that if you want to prevent or treat fungal skin infections, you should focus on your diet. Make sure you include foods that provide these important nutrients. In general, experts recommend the following:

  • Avoid red meats, white flour, sugar and cow’s milk, as all these slow down your digestion.
  • Eat more fruit (especially citrus fruits), vegetables, and whole grains. The juices help to increase our defenses and cleanse the body.

See also: Benefits of Eating Fruit for Breakfast

2. Plain yogurt

Studies show that probiotics play an important role in treating fungal infections. A recent study published in the Journal of Microbiological Methods highlighted that probiotics are useful antimicrobial and antimycotic agents.

  • Yogurt, then, can help fight fungal infections because it contains lactobacillus, a beneficial bacteria that fights harmful microorganisms.
  • You can also apply yogurt topically to the affected area.

3. Lemon juice

There still isn’t enough evidence to support the ability of lemon to treat fungal skin infections. A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that it could be useful for treating dermatophytosis in animals. In spite of the lack of evidence, proponents of natural medicine often use lemon juice to treat skin conditions.

  • Applied locally, it could help reduce fungal infection. It should be used at night, because in contact with the sun it can cause skin discoloration. Also, if you have any adverse reactions, like burning or itching, discontinue use.

4. Cranberry juice

Cranberry juice

Drinking cranberry juice can strengthen your immune system, which can help alleviate fungal skin infections. Among other things, a study published in Advances in Nutrition showed that cranberry juice can help strengthen your microbiota, which is crucial for strengthening your defenses.

5. Tea for fungal skin infections

According to a study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, the tannins in tea can help inhibit the growth of many types of fungi, yeast, bacteria, and virus.

  • Topically applying tea can help treat fungal skin infections, thanks to its antimycotic effects. It can also calm itching and burning. To get best results, apply it to the area two or three times a day.

6. Olive leaf

Olive leaves can help you in two different ways. In addition to strengthening the immune system, they also have properties that help eliminate the fungus.

To get the most from their benefits, you can:

7. Sea salt

Sea salt

There’s no scientific evidence to support the use of sea salt as a natural antimycotic. However, alternative medicine often uses it for this purpose. If you want to try it, follow these instructions:

Ingredients

  • 1 glass of water (200 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt (30 g)

What should you do?

  • Add the salt to the glass of water, mix it well and then apply it topically several times a day.

8. Garlic to eliminate skin fungus

Without a doubt, garlic is one of the most popular natural remedies for fungal skin infections thanks to its antifungal properties. In fact, a study published in the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences found that it could be an alternative treatment for dermatophytosis. Some ways to use it are:

  • Ingested: It helps to eliminate toxins from the body. It’s best to eat garlic on an empty stomach and then chew parsley to counteract the smell.
  • Topically: Mash one piece of garlic and put it on a sterile gauze. Apply it to the area for a few minutes. Then, rinse the area.

9. Oregano oil

Oregano oil has some interesting potential medical uses. A study published in the International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences (IJCMAS) found that it is an effective antifungal ingredient. That makes a good option for treating fungal skin infections.

  • Ingested: Two or three drops in a glass of water.
  • Topically: Mix equal parts of oregano oil and olive oil and apply it.

10. Coconut oil

Coconut oil

The fatty acids in coconut oil can have important benefits for the skin. For example, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that it has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Consequently, you can use it to fight infections.

  • To take advantage of its benefits, use it on the affected areas two or three times a day.

11. Apple cider vinegar

There isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the use of apple cider vinegar for fungal skin infections. However, studies suggest that it could be beneficial for these types of problems because of its acetic acid content.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of water (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (15 ml)

What should you do?

Mix the two ingredients and apply it to the affected area with the help of gauze.

12. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an exceptional anti-fungal agent that also prevents the fungus from propagating to other areas of the body. A study published in Skin Pharmacology supports this claim and suggests that tea tree oil can even be helpful for problems like dandruff.

  • It’s used topically by massaging it on the affected area.

13. Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric has been recognized as a good natural antimycotic. This property is due to its high curcumin content. It can also be used in two ways:

  • Locally: apply it to the affected area and leave it for a couple of hours, then rinse.
  • Ingested: as an infusion with milk and honey.

14. Colloidal silver

Scientific studies have suggested that colloidal silver has antimycotic properties that can help dry out the fungus.

  • To use the extracts, follow the instructions of an herbal medicine practitioner. You can also use a colloidal silver infusion, applied topically.

15. Aloe vera

Aloe vera has countless properties, including being antifungal. That is according to a study from Fitoterapia journal, that found the said effect varies depending on the species of fungus.

  • Cut the leaf and apply the gel inside onto the affected area several times a day.

The success of these home remedies lies in applying them regularly, together with very good hygiene.

There are plenty of complementary remedies that could contribute to the treatment of fungal skin infections. However, it’s important to see your doctor or dermatologist to properly treat the problem.

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