11 Home Remedies For Fungal Skin Infections & Prevention Tips

Put an end to this skin ailment with ingredients already in your kitchen.

Reviewed by Kohei Iguchi, BNatMed
Written by Shaheen Naser, MSc
Edited by Ramona Sinha, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Monomita Chakraborty, MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Skin Care Coach  • 

It is important to try various medicinal techniques, both internal and external, to get rid of fungal skin infections. Research states that over a billion people usually suffer from hair, skin, or even nail infections caused by fungus or other bacteria. In addition, over 1.5 million people worldwide encounter a serious fungal issue accelerated by diseases like aids, tuberculosis, or any form of cancer (1).

Many make the mistake of ignoring the initial signs of white marks on their body as it causes no itch or pain in the beginning. Unfortunately, it only increases and flares after a while and causes extremely painful encounters in the long run. Consult your doctor for anti-fungal creams or oral medication, depending on the severity of the situation. In case of a mild infection, you can resort to some natural and organic ingredients to help cure them. The article explores how to cure fungal infection on the skin naturally. Keep scrolling to learn more about these remedies!

What Is A Fungal Infection?

A fungal infection or mycosis is a common infection of the skin that is a result of a fungus invading an area of your body. Your immune system will try to ward off this infection initially, but when it becomes too much for the immune system to handle, it results in a fungal infection.

Fungi can survive anywhere – be it the air, soil, or water. Certain fungi also survive naturally in the human body. Like many microbes living in your body, there are both good and bad fungi living in there. While some of them may be beneficial, others can turn out to be harmful.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than 75,000 hospitalizations and 9 million outpatient visits are documented every year. It was further estimated that 23,000 cases of invasive candidiasis took place in 2017 and the number of fungal disease deaths was recorded at 7199 in 2021.

There are different types of fungal infections, and the symptoms of each type may vary.

Types And Symptoms Of Fungal Infections

The common types of fungal infections are as follows:

  • Athlete’s Foot: It is also commonly referred to as tinea pedis, and it often affects the foot. Such fungal infections are quite common in athletes as the fungi can thrive perfectly in warm and moist environments like the socks and shoes worn by them. The symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
    • Blistering
    • Redness
    • Softened skin
    • Peeling of skin layers
    • Scaly skin
    • Itching, stinging, or a burning sensation
  • Yeast Infection: Pityriasis versicolor is a common yeast infection that causes small, flaky discolored patches on your chest and back. It is triggered by a type of fungus called Candida albicans. Candida may also cause a fungal infection in the mouth, called thrush. This infection leads to creamy white lesions on your inner cheeks or tongue. Vaginal yeast infection is another common type of fungal infection caused by candida albicans. A Candida overgrowth often disrupts the balance of the vaginal flora. It is also capable of causing toenail infections and diaper rashes. The symptoms associated with a yeast infection include:
    • Swelling and/or itching around the vagina
    • A burning sensation or pain while urinating or during intercourse
    • Redness/soreness around the vagina
    • An unusual vaginal discharge
  • Jock Itch: This condition is medically known as tinea cruris. Since fungi love moist and warm areas, they can easily affect certain areas of your body like the groin, buttocks, and inner thighs. This type of infection is more common in summer and warm/humid parts of the world. Its symptoms include:
    • Redness
    • An itching or burning sensation
    • Chafing of the skin in the affected area
    • A red rash with raised edges
    • Peeling or cracking of the skin
  • Ringworm: It is also referred to as tinea corporis. This type of fungal infection is triggered by fungi that thrive on dead tissues like nails (onychomycosis), hair, and dead skin. These fungi are also known to cause jock itch and athlete’s foot. However, if the infection occurs anywhere else on your body, it is referred to as a ringworm. The symptoms associated with it are:
    • A red, scaly, and ring-shaped patch with raised edges
    • Fissures
    • Skin darkening
    • Blistering
  • Histoplasmosis: This fungal infection is caused by breathing in spores of fungus often found in bat and bird droppings. It is triggered by the fungus Histoplasma. This fungus thrives in soil that contains large amounts of bat or bird droppings. They are most commonly found in Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. The symptoms associated with it are:
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Chills
    • Cough
    • Muscle aches
    • Chest discomfort
    • Eczema Fungal Infection: This is also known as eczema mycoticum, which occurs when a person with eczema develops a secondary fungal infection on their skin. This complication can exacerbate eczema symptoms and pose additional challenges for treatment. The symptoms associated with it are:
      • Increased itching
      • Redness and swelling
      • Burning sensation
      • Oozing and crusting
      • Worsened rash
      • Foul odor

Additionally, individuals with an eczema fungal infection may experience pain and discomfort due to the symptoms mentioned. Scratching the intensely itchy areas may lead to further skin damage, potentially causing open sores and increasing the risk of bacterial superinfection. The presence of a fungal infection may also complicate the management of underlying eczema, demanding specialized treatment to address both conditions simultaneously.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Some fungal infections, like Aspergillosis and invasive candidiasisi  XA life-threatening yeast infection that can spread through the bloodstream to internal organs, such as the heart and brain. , have been noticed to occur alongside Covid-19 and complicate the condition.

Some uncommon fungal infections include:

Blastomycosis: It is a rare fungal infection caused due to breathing in the spores of the fungi Blastomyces. It is a lung infection that can spread to the brain, skin, intestine, and stomach.

Sporotrichosis: It is also known as Rose Gardener’s disease. This infection occurs when an area of skin that is cut or scraped comes in contact with soil or plant matter in which the fungus Sporothrix lives.

Cryptococcosis: This fungal infection is caused by breathing in the microscopic fungus, Cryptococcus. It mainly affects the lungs or central nervous system, but can affect other parts of the body as well. This infection is not common in healthy individuals but occurs in people who have a weakened immune system, especially people with HIV/AIDS.

Mucormycosis: It is also known as black fungus. This is a rare dangerous fungal infection caused when you inhale mold spores of mucormycetes or come in contact with them in soil, rotting bread, or compost. It usually affects the lungs, sinuses, skin, and brain.

Let us now look into the causes of a fungal infection.

Causes And Risk Factors For A Fungal Infection

As we have already mentioned, fungal infections are caused by yeasts (such as Candida or Malassezia furfur) or by dermatophytesi  XFungi that spread through contact with people, animals, and soil. They need keratin for growth and can cause skin, hair, and nail infections. like Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton. An infection begins when the fungal spores touch certain areas of your skin or if the fungus is inhaled.

Some factors can also put you at an increased risk of developing a fungal infection. They are as follows:

      • A weakened immune system
      • A genetic predisposition to fungal infections
      • Being in a profession that causes you to sweat a lot (e.g., an athlete)
      • Close contact with an affected individual
      • Obesity – Obese people tend to have more skin folds, which are perfect spots for a fungal infection.

As you can see, many factors could contribute to the onset of a fungal infection in an individual. Antifungal topical formulations are one of the most sought-after ways to combat such an infection. There are also a number of home remedies that may help in the treatment of mild to moderate cases of fungal infection. They are as follows.

Home Remedies To Treat A Fungal Infection

1. Coconut Oil

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

1-2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil

What You Have To Do
      1. Apply coconut oil to the affected area. Leave it on for 30-40 minutes
      2. Rinse it off.
      3. You may also leave it on and allow it to dry on its own.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil is antifungal and can help treat fungal infections, especially the ones caused by Candida (2).

2. Garlic

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
      • 2-3 garlic cloves
      • 2-3 teaspoons of organic coconut oil
What You Have To Do
      1. Mince two to three garlic cloves.
      2. Add the minced garlic to a few teaspoons of organic coconut oil.
      3. Heat the mixture over low flame for 4-5 minutes.
      4. Allow the mixture to cool and strain the oil.
      5. Apply the oil to the affected area.
      6. Leave it on for at least 30-40 minutes before rinsing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Garlic contains ajoene, an organosulfur compound that exhibits antifungal properties (3).

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
      • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
      • ½ cup of water
      • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
      1. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to half a cup of water.
      2. Mix well and dip a cotton ball into the mixture.
      3. Apply the soaked cotton ball to the affected area.
      4. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing it off with plain water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar is effective in eliminating a wide range of microbes, including fungi, due to its antifungal nature. A study published in the Journal of Prosthodontics found ACV to be effective against Candida (4).

4. Cranberry Juice

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

500 mL of cranberry juice

What You Have To Do

Consume 500 mL of cranberry juice daily until the symptoms clear away.

How Often You Should Do This

You may drink this juice once daily.

Why This Works

Cranberry juice is fungistatic. According to a study published in the journal Applied Microbiology, cranberry juice is effective against eight species of dermatophytes (5).

5. Aloe Vera

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Freshly extracted aloe gel

What You Have To Do
      1. Take some freshly extracted aloe gel and apply it to the affected area.
      2. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

The fresh leaves extract of aloe vera possesses antifungal properties. A study published in Mycoses journal shows that aloe vera reduces the growth of Candida, a common fungal species (6).

6. Baking Soda

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
      • ½ cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
      • Water
What You Have To Do
      1. Add half a cup of baking soda to a basin or bucket filled with water.
      2. Allow the baking soda to dissolve completely.
      3. Soak your feet in the solution for 15-20 minutes.
      4. Alternatively, you can also soak a clean washcloth in the solution and apply it to any of the affected areas.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

While the mechanism of its action is yet to be explored, a study published in the journal Mycopathologia found that baking soda exhibited antifungal properties (7).

7. Epsom Salt Bath

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
      • 1 cup of Epsom salt
      • Water
What You Have To Do
      1. Add a cup of Epsom salt to a tub filled with water.
      2. Allow it to dissolve completely and soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once every alternate day until you notice an improvement in your symptoms.

Why This Works

Epsom salt contains magnesium. Magnesium helps reduce inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties and is thus a great remedy to alleviate the inflammatory symptoms of a fungal infection (8).

8. Guava Leaves

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
      • A handful of guava leaves
      • Water
What You Have To Do
      1. Take a handful of guava leaves and place them in a saucepan filled with water.
      2. Allow it to boil for 15-20 minutes.
      3. Let the mixture cool. Strain it.
      4. Use this solution as a soak, bath rinse, or wash for the affected areas.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

Guava leaves help inhibit fungal growth and may improve the functions of other antifungal formulations (9).

9. Ginger

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
      • 1-2 inches of sliced ginger
      • A cup of water
      • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
      1. Add the sliced ginger to a cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil in a saucepan.
      2. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
      3. Allow the mixture to cool.
      4. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and apply it to the affected areas.
      5. You can also drink ginger tea for additional benefits.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Ginger possesses antifungal and fungistatic properties that may help in preventing the formation of fungi biofilmi  XClusters of attached cells formed during infection, making them hard to treat with antifungals and the body's defenses. (10). These properties may also help in getting rid of fungal skin infections.

10. Neem Leaves

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
      • A handful of neem leaves
      • Water
What You Have To Do
      1. Take a handful of neem leaves and put them in a saucepan filled with water.
      2. Bring the leaves to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
      3. Allow the mixture to cool and strain.
      4. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it to the affected areas.
      5. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Neem leaves are rich in polyphenolic flavonoidsi  XAn antioxidant compound found in plant foods, used in traditional medicine, and may protect against aging-related diseases and cancer. that exhibit antifungal properties (11). Hence, they may help get rid of fungal infections.

11. Tea Tree Oil

Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
      • 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil
      • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
      1. Add two to three drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil.
      2. Mix well and apply it to the affected area.
      3. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil exerts antifungal action (12). This may help you deal with fungal infections.

protip_icon Trivia
In the early 1840s, David Gruby, a Hungarian microscopist based in Paris, was the first to report that fungi can cause human diseases.

Once you get a fungal skin infection, it can become a recurring event if proper care and caution are not taken. Listed below are some helpful tips to prevent fungal infections from recurring time and again.

How To Prevent A Fungal Skin Infection

      • Wear breathable cotton underwear.
      • Follow a good personal hygiene regimen.
      • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing.
      • Keep the folds and corners of your skin clean and dry.
      • Avoid vaginal douching.
      • Avoid using perfumed soap and scented tampons.
      • Manage your stress levels.

In some cases, a fungal infection may be mistaken for psoriasis or bacterial infection. To be able to differentiate a fungal infection from them, you should be aware of the major differences between the three conditions.

Fungal Infection Vs. Psoriasis Vs. Bacterial Infection

The main differences between a fungal infection, psoriasis, and bacterial infection are as follows.

Fungal Infection

• It is caused by fungal spores like Candida.
• It may cause symptoms of itching, redness, peeling, and scaling.
• It is categorized into different types depending on the body part it affects.

Psoriasis

      • It is a chronic condition that is triggered by an overactive immune system.
      • It causes cells to build up on your skin’s surface, thereby resulting in symptoms like red patches, scales, itching, burning, and swelling of your skin.
      • It can be categorized into different types.

Bacterial Infection

      • It is triggered by different bacterial species.
      • It can cause varying symptoms like cough, fever, nausea, sneezing, cold, and so on.
      • Bacterial skin infections cause symptoms like rashes, blistering, redness, pain, tenderness, and itchiness.
      • It is classified into different types, depending on the symptoms exhibited and the type of bacteria triggering it.

If you are unsure, it is best to consult a doctor.


Learn about skin fungal infections and how to treat them. Watch this video for tips on prevention and relief from the discomfort they cause.

Infographic: 5 Home Remedies For Fungal Skin Infections

Fungal infections are quite common and easy to treat. You can opt for antifungal medication or creams to help manage and treat such infections.In addition, you can try out some home remedies that may help manage the condition. Check out the infographic below for more information.

5 home remedies for fungal skin infections (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Fungal skin infection develops due to a weakened immune system or contact with an infected individual. When yeasts such as Candida or Malassezia furfur get across your skin barrier, it can result in fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, or yeast infection. You can use coconut oil, aloe vera, or apple cider vinegar to treat mild infections. To avoid fungal infections from recurring, you must follow a proper hygiene routine and avoid wearing extremely tight clothes. While fungal, bacterial infections, and psoriasis cause red, burning, and peeling skin, they are all caused by different factors. If you see no improvement in your symptoms and you are not sure, consult a doctor.

Hope you found this article informative. Don’t forget to leave your feedback in the comments box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kills fungus on the skin?

Any of the remedies discussed above can help in getting rid of fungus on the skin. Antifungal ointments are also effective in treating fungal skin infections.

How long does it take for a fungal skin infection to clear up?

While a superficial fungal infection may heal in a few days or months, a deep tissue infection may take up to two years.

What should you not eat with a fungal infection?

If you have a fungal infection, avoid sugar, white flour, glutenous foods, fermented drinks like alcohol, and certain dairy products like whole milk as they may aggravate the condition. Instead, you can start consuming more of antifungal foods like herbal teas and probiotics like yogurt.

What is the strongest over-the-counter antifungal medication?

Some of the most popular over-the-counter antifungal medications include butenafine hydrochloride, clotrimazole, miconazole nitrate, terbinafine hydrochloride, and tolnaftate.

How to test for a fungal sinus infection?

The common diagnostic tests for fungal sinusitis include total immunoglobulin E test, immunologic testing for allergens, and non-specific allergy testing.

Can I get a fungal infection from not washing my bath?

Bathrooms are the ideal place for fungi to grow as they are both warm and moist. Those susceptible to diseases are thus quite likely to catch a fungal infection from a dirty bath.

When to see a doctor for a fungal infection?

While most mild infections can be treated with the above home remedies for fungal infections and any of the over-the-counter medications, some symptoms may be quite severe and may not show any improvement despite treatment. In such instances, it is best to avail of medical treatment immediately.

Which type of fungal infection is the most serious?

Invasive aspergillosisi  XMold-related infection that causes wheezing, chest pain, and fever, especially in those with weakened immunity or lung problems. is a fungal infection that is reported to have high fatality rates. It commonly attacks the lungs and can even spread to other body parts (13).

Key Takeaways

  • Close contact with an infected person and obesity can cause fungal infections.
  • Simple kitchen ingredients like garlic, aloe vera, and tea tree oil might help treat them.
  • Keep the skin clean and maintain a good personal hygiene routine to prevent fungal infections.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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