Fungi are primitive organisms that can be found everywhere. They can be found in the air, in soils, on plants, and in water. Some live in the human body.
Fungi can live on the human skin for years. However, certain factors can make these fungi to start to overgrow and get out of control. In other cases, your body could be infected with an external fungi organism. All these could result in a fungal infection.
Fungi tend to thrive on the parts of the skin that is usually moist and/or warm such as our feet, groin, and armpit.
Common fungal infections include; jock itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm, onychomycosis, and candidiasis.
Factors that can increase the likelihood of having a fungal infection include; poor hygiene, living in a warm environment, poor blood circulation, diabetes, a weakened immune system, excessive usage of antibiotics, and having contact with an infected material or person.
Common symptoms of skin fungal infections include; flaky/cracking/peeling skin, itching and burning sensation, redness, and blister on the skin.
Here are tips and good practice, to consider, when dealing with fungal infections;
- Endeavor to keep your skin clean and dry (especially the armpit and groin) as fungus strives in a warm and moist environment.
- Strive not to walk barefoot in public places such as pools and gyms.
- Ensure you change your underwear and pants daily.
- Avoiding sharing wares, such as clothing and beddings, as well as utensils as doing such could lead to the rapid spread of skin fungal infections.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes especially tight-fitting jeans and pants.
- Ensure you thoroughly wash your hands and feet after your work in gardens, farms, or any other outdoor endeavor that exposes you to contact with the soil.
- Ensure you relax and reduce stress as stress could weaken your immune system which could make you more susceptible to fungal infections.
Below are natural treatments and home remedies for fungal infections;
Apart from its culinary role, garlic is a powerful antifungal. It’s effective in the treatment of candida as well as other fungal and yeast infections. Other than that, garlic is an active detoxifier and a proven immune booster. To keep fungal infections at bay, crush fresh garlic and add some olive oil. Apply the resultant paste to the problem area and clean off after 20-30 minutes. For vagina fungal infections, insert a fresh garlic clove into the vagina for half an hour. You can also add garlic to your foods and salads.
2. Oregano Oil
The benefits of oregano oil go beyond the kitchen. It works as an antifungal and antibacterial agent. Unlike other antifungal medications, it’s less likely to develop resistance to the fungus. For fungal skin infections, mix equal units of oregano and olive oil and then apply on the problem area. Alternatively, add 2-3 drops of oregano oil in a cup of warm water and drink the solution. You may also consider taking some oregano capsules as advised by your doctor.
Turmeric contains curcumin compound which works as a potent antifungal agent. Additionally, curcumin has antibiotic and antiseptic properties making it a useful ancillary to numerous pharmaceutical antifungal drugs. To alleviate the symptoms, crush fresh garlic and apply the paste on the affected area. Then, rinse with tepid water after 1-2 hours. You can also add turmeric powder in warm milk; simmer for 15-20 minutes and then drink. Consume 1 cup of the mixture every day to boost your immune system.
4. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is rich in vitamin C and has powerful antifungal properties. Furthermore, cranberry inhibits the overgrowth of fungus in the mouth, urinary tract, and the intestines. It also balances the pH level in your urine, thus, preventing the growth of fungi. To flush out the fungus from your body, drink 1-2 glasses of cranberry juice every day. If you don’t like the taste, you can buy some pills at your local health food store.
Yogurt helps to increase the “good” bacteria in the body. It also controls fungus by producing lactic acid. If you’ve been using over-the-counter medications to treat fungal infections, it’s time you switch to yogurt. For vaginal fungal infection, dip a tampon in unsweetened yogurt and insert it into your vagina. Clean off after 20-30 minutes and pat dry. Alternatively, you can take yogurt alongside your meals or include it in your smoothies.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is one of the best natural alternatives to conventional antifungal medication. Vinegar has strong antimicrobial properties that can kill microbes including fungi and bacteria. If you have a fungal skin infection, applying ACV can provide some relief. Simply add two cups of apple cider vinegar in your bathing water and soak the affected area. After that, rinse off and pat dry. Due to its mild acidic nature, apple cider vinegar stops the infection from spreading to other parts of the body. Another way is to dissolve two tablespoons of ACV in a glass of milk and drink 1-2 times a day.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a well-known remedy for treating toenail fungus. It’s also a powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent. The best part is that tea tree oil is less expensive compared to other essential oils. To combat fungal skin infections, mix equal parts of tea tree oil with sweet almond and olive oil. Rub the mixture on the affected area in a circular motion, then, rinse after 30-45 minutes. For vaginal infection, dip a tampon in solution and insert into the vagina for half an hour.
8. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another remedy for ugly toenail fungus. It’s also effective in the treatment of fungal infections associated with cuts. However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s crucial that you dilute hydrogen peroxide with water. For this remedy, just add one cup of hydrogen peroxide in a bathing tub and soak the affected area. Use the solution 2 times a day until the infection clears.
9. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a powerful antioxidant that possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties. Thankfully, the oil not only tackles the infection’s symptoms but also the infection itself. Also, coconut oil has fatty acids with amazing therapeutic effects. To alleviate the symptoms, heat some extra-virgin coconut oil and rub on the affected region. If you have a vaginal infection, dip a cotton cloth in coconut oil and clean the outer area of your vagina. You could also dip a tampon in coconut oil and insert it into the vagina. Remove the tampon after 30 minutes and rinse your vagina with plain water. Use the coconut oil up to 3 times a day until the infection clears.
10. Olive Leaf Extract
This traditional herb is praised for its culinary use. The leaves contain oleuropein compound which has an array of health benefits. Moreover, it has antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. To eliminate fungal skin infections, grind some leaves to make a paste. Then, apply the paste on the skin and wash off after 30-45 minutes. You can also make some olive tea by boiling some leaves in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Drink the concoction early in the morning and before bed.
Most teas are rich in catechins and tannins which help to kill fungal infections. They also contain stringent and antibiotic properties which alleviate fungal infection symptoms like swelling, inflammation, and skin irritation. To prepare tea, steep one tea bag in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Drink the concoction up to 3 times a day. To curb toenail fungus, steep a few teabags in a basin of hot water and soak your feet for 30 minutes. Use this tea remedy twice a day until the infection clears.
While bleach solutions are commonly used in household cleaning, they can be used externally to get rid of the toenail fungus. However, it contains chemicals and may irritate your skin. First, mix one unit of bleach with one unit of water. Then, soak a cotton ball and clean the affected area. Wash with mild soap after one hour.
13. Keep Your Feet Clean And Dry
Toenail fungus thrives well in warm, moist area. It’s crucial that you dry your feet thoroughly after taking a bath. Furthermore, if your shoes are wet, make sure you dry them before wearing. You should also want to avoid wearing wet socks.
14. Clean Your Feet Well
Often, we tend to forget cleaning our feet especially after taking a bath. To prevent fungal infection, you should scrub the feet to remove dead skin cells and then wash with mild soap.
15. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has enzymes and trace elements that possess anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and astringent properties. Furthermore, aloe vera helps to soothe the itchiness that brings the discomfort. To treat fungal infection, rub fresh aloe gel on the affected area 3 times a day.
16. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac aids in the treatment of athlete’s foot thanks to its antifungal properties. It also helps to relieve symptoms like inflammation of toe, redness of the skin, and heel blister. For quick relief, crush some leaves to make a paste and apply on the affected region. Rinse off with tepid water after about 20 minutes.
17. Baking Soda
Baking soda is effective in eliminating candida, a fungus that thrives in the vagina. Since it’s alkaline in nature, it creates an environment that is non-conducive for the fungus. At the same time, it balances the skin pH to prevent the growth of these organisms. To prepare the concoction, mix one cup of baking soda with a half cup of Epsom salt and pour in your bath. Soak your body for 5-10 minutes to disinfect the problem area.
18. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is the secret weapon of fighting resistant fungal infections. Moreover, lavender oil has antiviral, antibacterial, sedative, and antispasmodic properties. To eliminate skin fungus, mix lavender oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, and apply on your skin. Leave it for 20 minutes before washing off. Use this remedy 2-3 times a day.
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