Foot Fungus & Other Skin Maladies: Should You DIY?

People will try just about anything to avoid going to the doctor. It’s natural to wonder, “Is taking so many medications really necessary… or are there cheap fixes that are just as effective?” You’ve probably had a neighbor, a relative, or a coworker share a story about an effective home remedy for acne, skin rashes, bee stings, or even foot fungus. The makers of the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer have found there are pros and cons to a Do-It-Yourself approach to medicine.

tea tree oil

Home remedies using foods, herbs, and essential oils have been around for centuries.
Image source: Stephanie via Wikimedia.org

Some Home Remedies Work for Foot Fungus

Toothpaste for acne, mud for a bee sting, tea bags for dark under-eye circles — surely you’ve heard of these cures before. But did you know people swear by Vick’s Vapo-Rub for toenail fungus? It is believed the eucalyptus oil and camphor have anti-fungal properties. “It also has some petrolatum, or turpentine oil, which seems to bring the anti-fungal properties through the nail plate to the fungal infection,” explained Dr. Brian Horvath of Horvath Dermatology. The trick is, one has to apply it twice a day for a year to see results. The other option is to see a doctor to get prescription pills, which are somewhat more effective, but could cause some issues with the liver.

Another common home remedy for foot fungus is tea tree oil. The Albuquerque Journal reports that this oil has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties that are even strong enough to go up against staph infections. Research shows that the majority of patients applying this home remedy twice a day will have noticeable improvement for nail fungus within six months.

Six Other Home Remedies for Skin Problems

Other reportedly successful home remedies include:

– Wet tea bags for dark eye circles: Dark eye circles are caused by fluid buildup and lost skin volume. Cold tea bags reduces swelling beneath the eyes, while the caffeine constricts blood vessels and helps with the discoloration. Sleep, of course, is another powerful home remedy.

– Apple cider vinegar for molluscum contagiosumThe hundreds of bumps that make up this chronic condition can be treated by putting anti-microbial vinegar over the lesions with a Band-Aid and covering it for two hours a day. Results should be seen within a few weeks.

– Tea tree oil for acne: Tea tree oil can break down dead skin cells, open up the pores, and kill bacteria.

– Lemon juice for dark spots on face and hands: The citric acid in lemon juice acts as a natural exfoliant to break down and remove dead skin. Sunshine is another great natural remedy.

– Baking soda for poison ivy: Baking soda neutralizes the rash-causing plant oil if you take a bath with it immediately following contact. If you are already suffering from the rash, you can make a paste with baking soda with vinegar and rub it on the itchy spots.

– Sugar cubes for insect bites: Rubbing a bite with damp sugar cubes allegedly decreases pain and swelling. They say the cube “draws out the poison.” Lemon juice can help relieve the itch.

Beware: Other Home Remedies May Cause Harm

Of course, you can’t believe everything you read. We’ve heard of people recommending soaking the skin with gasoline to get rid of poison ivy and bleach to eradicate nail fungus. Other dangerous home remedies include: putting butter on a burn, rooibos tea for babies with gastro-enteritis, applying whiskey to the gums of teething infants, and putting hydrogen peroxide on a scrape. People should also be careful about trusting their health to creams coming from overseas, as these products are not carefully regulated. Sometimes the active ingredients are not even listed on the bottles and they actually contain strong topical steroids, warns Dr. Horvath.

SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer: A Worthwhile Home Foot Fungus Remedy

Some of the most successful applications of home remedies are in preventative medicine. If you’ve had foot fungus in the past, then you will need to take steps to prevent it from coming back. Many people unknowingly re-infect themselves with foot fungus by putting their treated feet back into contaminated shoes. You can avoid this problem by running your footwear through a cycle with the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer, which uses natural, ultra-violet rays to kill 99.9% of the fungi, bacteria and viruses living there. Try one today!