If you have ever had a ringworm or athlete’s foot, you probably know that fungal infections are nothing but trouble. They are not only itchy and uncomfortable but unpleasant to look at. In rare circumstances, skin infections can get out of control and cause a myriad of health issues.
Fungi can live and reproduce anywhere—in the soil, in the human body, in water, on plants, and even in the air. However, their favorite home is in moist places. This is why they love setting up shop between the toes, under the breasts, and inside the genitals. Some of the common skin fungal infections include:
- Athlete’s foot
- Candida (yeast) infections
- Nail infections
- Pityriasis Versicolor
- Jock itch
You can use over-the-counter medications to treat and prevent fungal infections. However, there are numerous natural antifungal remedies that have been proven to be effective.
Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids that may damage the fungi’s cell membranes. The fatty acids exhibit excellent antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral effects which can kill the fungus.
For optimal results, apply coconut oil to the affected area up to three times a day. Applying the oil as a moisturizer can be an effective way of preventing future fungal infections.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been used for approximately 100 years in Australia as an active component in a number of products. A 2006 study found out that tea tree oil (melaleuca) has great anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It detoxifies the affected area and reduces inflammation.
Mix diluted tea tree essential oil and a few drops of a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply on the affected area three times a day for effective results. If you don’t have sensitive skin, feel free to apply the undiluted version directly on your skin.
Powdered licorice, a famous herb amongst the traditional Chinese herbalists, boasts potent anti-microbial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It is often used in the treatment of ringworm and an array of other skin fungal infections.
Mix about three tablespoons of licorice into and one cup of water. Allow the mixture to boil for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to sit and cool until it forms a paste. Apply on the infected area twice a day.
Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol, which can stop the growth of fungus. Apply 3 times a day and ensure that it is heavily diluted with carrier oil. Additionally, always strive to use wild oregano oil (Origanum Vulgare)—not common oregano (Origanum marjoram).
Lemongrass oil has also been shown to have great antifungal properties and serves as a remedy for a number of skin fungal infections. To use this essential oil, mix it with carrier oil and apply on the affected area twice per day.
Garlic has great antibacterial properties and has been proven to be effective against athlete’s foot than other prescription medicines. Mix equal parts of garlic and olive oils and apply to the affected area. Use a bandage to cover it for a couple of hours. Eating raw garlic can also help you destroy the fungi from within.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is highly recommended for nail fungus and other skin infections due to its powerful antifungal properties. What’s more, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has the ability to neutralize pH hence inhibiting the growth of yeast.
Mix two parts of warm and 1 part of the Apple Cider Vinegar. Apply the vinegar on the affected area using a cotton ball three times a day.
Like other natural remedies, the above-highlighted remedies can take some time to show results. So, be patient.
Additionally, although the remedies are backed by scientific researches, you should still consult a health care professional before you begin treating any form of fungal infection at home.
If you have a history of skin fungal infection, consult a dermatologist.