Fungal skin infections are a common occurrence, and many people will experience some variation of a fungal infection during their lifetime. They are caused by many different kinds of fungi, including yeasts.[1]

A fungal infection can refer to a variety of different conditions, from athlete’s foot to ringworm. Nail infections are also common issues that can be found on both hands and feet, as a result of the presence of one fungus or another. They most commonly start at the edge of the nail.[2]

A quick search online will show you plenty of common household ingredients claiming to be the miracle cure for fungal infection. But what are these so-called cures, and do they actually work?

Garlic

Garlic is one of the best-known home remedies for fungal infection, considered to have antibiotic qualities. In particular, the major biologically active component of garlic, Allicin, exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties.

However, there is no definitive medical answer as to whether garlic is an effective cure for fungal infections, and results from studies have been mixed. One piece of research conducted in 2006 found garlic to be a promising component in reversing the effects of fungus growth.[3] However, another study found the effects of short-term doses of garlic to be inconclusive.[4]

Cranberry Juice

It’s commonly stated that cranberry juice can help to alleviate a urinary tract infection, or UTI, thanks to the presence of nutrients believed to stop fungal bacteria from sticking to the mucus membranes.

However, recent research has found that the main benefit of drinking lots of cranberry juice when suffering with an infection is simply staying hydrated. In this sense, cranberry juice specifically isn’t really any more effective than drinking plenty of water. A Yale University study looked at 185 women over the course of the year and found that cranberries had no significant effect on bacteria in urine.[5] Staying hydrated dilutes the urine, making it seem as though the infection is passing.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is another ingredient frequently hailed as a cure for fungal infections. There is some truth to this, as one study found that coconut oil can help to tackle certain strains of yeast, particularly those present in vaginal infections, due to the medium chain fatty acids in the oil itself.[6]

As such, coconut oil is an established anti-fungal. However, research into the area is limited and further studies are needed in order to determine the possible long- and short-term effectiveness of using coconut oil to treat yeast infections.

Your best bet? Anti-fungal medication

While some home remedies may go some way to relieving symptoms of a fungal infection, none have been shown to have the consistent, proven effectiveness of clinically-tested anti-fungal medication.

Anti-fungal medication is the first and most important aspect of treatment advised to anyone suffering with an infection of this kind.[7] Fungal issues of the nail, in particular, do not clear up by themselves, and can require a long-term course of specifically tailored condition in order to clear up the infected area fully.[8]

The NHS advises simple lifestyle changes such as keeping your feet clean and dry, wearing clean socks every day, wearing flipflops in public showers and getting rid of old shoes.[9]

These are habits that are advised to be carried out alongside the necessary medication, not instead of it.

You can find effective and safe anti-fungal treatment at Express Pharmacy. Curanail is designed to treat mild fungal infections in the fingernails and toenails. If you have any further queries, contact the Express Pharmacy team today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet Live Chat service.

[1] Bupa UK. Fungal Skin Infections. 2018.

[2] NHS UK. Fungal Nail Infections. 2017.

[3] Shams-Ghahfaroki, M. et al. In vitro antifungal activities of Allium cepa, Allium sativum and ketoconazole against some pathogenic yeasts and dermatophytes. Fitoterapia. 2006.

[4] Watson, C. J. Allium sativum (garlic) and candidiasis. Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre, The University of Melbourne. 2013.

[5] Juthani-Mehta, M, PhD. et al. Effect of Cranberry Capsules on Bacteriuria Plus Pyuria Among Older Women in Nursing Homes. Jama. 2016.

[6] Ogbolu, DO. et al. In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. US National Library of Medicine. 2007.

[7] NICE. Fungal skin infection – body and groin. 2018.

[8] British Association of Dermatologists. Fungal infections of the nails. 2017.

[9] NHS UK. Fungal Nail Infections. 2017.