A FUNGUS? Nobody wants it. If you have ever had a skin fungus, whether it be on the nail, between the toes, or in a fold, it is not a pretty sight, nor is it fun to experience. Scaly, red, itchy, flaky, bumpy, unsightly, all of which can drive us crazy. Some common names for this tinea include nail fungus, jock itch, ringworm, athlete’s foot.

Prevention is the key by practicing good hygiene, living in a clean environment and maintaining a healthy diet.  Makes sense, but it is not always easy to be so perfect.

To combat this unpleasant intruder, there are Over the Counter (OTC) medications as well as the prescriptions, to apply topically or in the more complicated cases, to take internally. If you dare go that route.

OTC Lotrimin, OTC Lamisil, Scholl Fungal Nail treatment. Creams and sprays and powders. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. Side effects include skin irritations, Of course, if opting for the internal meds like Lamisil or Sporanox there can be side effects, irregular heartbeat or liver/ gastrointestinal damage being the most serious.

Home remedies also abound. Over and above wearing clean socks and shoes, other advice might read

‘Soak in an apple cider vinegar bath."  I like this one as an acv bath does wonders for the skin by maintaining a normal skin PH level, reducing itching and redness. It is such a healthy and safe option.

"Epsom salt bath or other salt soak." These baths are always soothing and help in cleansing. 

“Good old hydrogen peroxide application."  It can kill the fungus apparently.  So worth a try.

“Get out the cornmeal.” The cornmeal remedy sounds messy and time consuming, but it does have some antifungal properties.  

“Soak the area in Listerine.”  Since I’m not too fond of the ingredients in most commercial mouth washes, this toe soak might be a more attractive usage than a mouth wash. 

"Try an essential oil like eucalyptus, lavender, manuka, tea tree, lemon or….” It is hard to know what to choose. I would go for the manuka. I was surprised to see it listed as most people do not know of it. It is actually more than 30 times stronger anti-bacterial than tea tree (which is  a great EO). The EO should be diluted in a carrier oil before applying.

“Treat the area with zinc.”  I like this option too, as zinc is miraculous.  However, many zincs do contain formaldehyde, so be careful where you shop.

No mention of neem.  How sad.

I did not find neem on the list.  It should be there. Neem should be the number one recommendation. Neem from India. The miracle tree. The miracle oil.  There are no studies done on neem for fungal infections. There should be. it works. We use it for everything. It is not advertised for fungal conditions here in Canada. But in India they know. In India they refer to neem as the 'village pharmacy'. That says a lot.