If you are reading this section then you are probably looking to treat a foot infection such as Athletes Foot or Fungal Nail (onychomycosis). It may be your own feet or that of someone you care for. It is very common for people to be treating a parent or grandparent who may be unable to care for their own feet because of age or lack of mobility. Fungal infections of the feet have the tendency to steadily get worse over time.
My guess is that the condition has already got quite bad otherwise you wouldn’t have been searching the Internet for a cure. Do not worry. No matter how bad things look, the treatment is the same and it can always be cleared up using the same simple process. Even if the infection looks so bad that you feel ill just looking at it, do not despair. It may take a little longer, it may take a little more work but believe me, you can clear it up back to healthy feet. I have seen this happen many times.
A lot of what I am going to tell you is just plain common sense. Don’t dismiss those things because they seem so simple. Just include them in your daily routine. Most of those common sense things are essential and it constantly astonishes me that medical practitioners do not emphasize them more. Time and time again people tell me that their doctor prescribes some medication to treat this condition and neglects to mention even the simplest of procedures to reduce infection.!
Following rules 1, 2 and 3 is what will eradicate the infection from your feet. It does not matter how bad a fungal nail infection is, you can get rid of it by following these rules. Rule 4 is about keeping the infection away and making sure that you stay healthy. We have also included general tips including some things that did not fit neatly into the earlier sections.
I am going to repeat myself, so here goes. What will clear this infection is persistence. If you persist then you will win. If you do not persist you will lose. It is that simple. It matters more that you are persistent than the exact treatment you use. Following my process with the most basic mixture will clear the infection. Some treatments are better than others and will work faster. But using the best treatment in the world will count for nothing if you do not apply it persistently.
Try to use soap that has no artificial perfumes in it. If you bought the soap from a store and it has a perfumed smell then it almost certainly has artificial perfumes in it. If the soap is a well known brand that you have seen advertised on the TV then it almost certainly has artificial perfumes in it. Look at the list of ingredients and if it states that it contains “perfume” or “parfum” then you are better off not using it. If the list of ingredients has a load of chemical sounding names then you are better off not using it. The problem with these kinds of soap is that the artificial perfume is not good for the skin and will have leave residue behind that can make the infection worse.
If your soap contains aromas that are essential oils then that is fine. These types of soaps are generally more expensive, but they are more natural and better quality. If in doubt buy the simplest unperfumed soap you can find. Often this is the cheapest soap in the shop. Baby soap is often the best one to use - unperfumed, of course.
When you wash your feet use a flannel or wash cloth. This will have a slightly abrasive action and will help remove any loose bits of infection. Use the wash cloth to get between all the toes and give everything a good rubbing. Make sure that you clear off all the soap residue when you have finished washing.
The action of rubbing with the flannel helps restore some circulation in the blood supply. The more vigorous you do it the better in my view. It is like having a foot massage. Poor blood circulation in the feet leads to cold feet and is commonly associated with foot infections. Foot massage will help with the circulation and rubbing in the treatment.
After you have finished washing put the wash cloth in the pile of dirty laundry. Do not use it again until it has been washed. It will carry infection. The next time you wash yourself you will need to use a fresh clean cloth.
Dry your feet thoroughly with a fresh clean towel. Make sure that you get in between every toe. After you have finished drying put the towel in the pile of dirty laundry. Do not use it again until it has been washed. It will carry infection. The next time you wash yourself you need to use a fresh clean towel.
If you have a hair drier then I would highly recommend you use it to dry off the last traces of moisture. If you don’t have a hair drier it would be a good idea to invest in one. Some men have extremely short hair or are bald and may not have access to a hair-drier. I would still recommend buying one to dry your feet.
If you can leave your feet open to the air this will help a lot. Even if you can only do it for a few minutes before you put on your shoes and socks / stockings it will help. In any case you need to apply your morning foot treatment after drying and immediately before shoes and socks. More of that later, but the longer you can leave your feet exposed to the open air at this stage the better.
Most people use a shower to clean themselves. It is obviously more convenient and uses less water and power. When using the shower it is harder to clean your feet properly. As a result feet tend to get neglected in the washing routine. It is tempting to think that the feet will benefit from the actions of all that soapy water that washes down on them and that they will somehow clean themselves. In fact, the opposite is true. The feet will have been standing in the dirty water and will not get themselves clean at all.
Make sure that you spend effort washing your feet in the shower. If your age or lack of mobility means that bending down is an issue then you probably could do with some kind of shower seat. Alternatively, wash your feet after the shower. Immerse them in a bowl or bucket of water and wash them the old fashioned way. There is a lot to be said for doing that anyway. I know that it is also a lot more pleasant than a mad rush through the shower. Go on, pamper yourself... Immerse your hot and sweaty body in a nice relaxing bath!
Feet do not have it easy. We expect them to do a lot of things. We expect them to take our weight, to carry us around, to help us balance, to be good at dancing and to look good in high heels. We also expect them to do this whilst spending a lot of time squashed up in the unnatural, unventilated, damp and hot environment of shoes and socks. It is little wonder that they are prone to aches, pains and infections. Let’s put our hands together and have a round of applause for feet.
On the subject of socks, try to wear only socks made of natural fibres. Socks made of cotton or wool are much, much better for the feet. Whereas socks made of artificial materials are less ventilating and create an environment that make infection more likely. If your socks are not pure cotton or wool then at least try to buy ones that are labelled as “rich in cotton” or “rich in wool” or something similar.
Make sure that you wear clean socks every day. In fact, I strongly recommend that whenever you take your socks off you put them in the laundry basket and do not put them back on. This means that if you take your socks off at any point in the day you put fresh ones back on. If you do sport during the day then you will need 3 pairs of socks. One to wear before playing, one to wear whilst playing and the third pair to put on afterwards.
I have a similar rule with shoes. I recommend not wearing the same shoes every day. It is better to alternate which shoes you wear on different days. This gives the shoes chance to dry out and recover. Dryness is the most important thing. If you wear trainers and you wear the same ones every day this is a high risk in terms of infection. Trainers are poorly ventilated and are mostly made of plastics and rubber. Everyone has had some experience of smelly trainers and it is not just a problem restricted to teenagers. It is much better to alternate the shoes you wear.
The best way to get shoes and trainers to recover is to allow the air and sunshine to do it. Sunshine is naturally germ killing and air will dry them out. I appreciate that leaving shoes out on the porch is not possible for everyone and rain is always an issue. What I want you to think about is trying to find somewhere to put your shoes where they will be well ventilated. The worst thing to do is to store them where you are using warmth to dry them out rather than ventilation. Warm damp shoes is the perfect breeding environment for germs and infection.
If you are able to wear sandals then do so. Allowing your feet to be exposed to the sunshine and air is incredibly good for preventing infection and can help clear up existing infections. I appreciate that you might not live in a climate that allows you to do this but in the summer you might find it possible.
It is vital that you follow a routine. If you are the sort of person who cannot follow a routine then you are going to have problems getting rid of the infection. You need to realize that it is a battle between you and the infection. It is a battle that you will win if you stick at it. It is a battle that you will lose if you approach it in a half-hearted manner.
Having said that, the daily routine is extremely simple and will take you about 1 minute every morning and another minute before bed. That’s it, 2 minutes a day. Period.
You will be applying 2 treatments your feet and toenails. One treatment will be done in the morning and another one before bed. You can mix them yourself or you can buy the treatments from a shop or off the web if you wish. There are a number of different mixtures people have tried and contributed to this site and they are given in detail in the “Mixtures” page of this site. When you are ready to start this process have a look there and decide for yourself what you think is likely to work best for you.
The different blends described on the mixtures page have considerably different active ingredients and so act in different ways on the infection. For that reason you may find it extra beneficial to use different mixtures morning and evening. However, you can use the same mixture if you wish. It is entirely up to you.
I would appreciate some feedback from you. If you try a particular “mixture” let me know how you get on as I would very much like to provide some kind of rating system for the different mixtures.
I don’t want to be disrespectful to commercial products but some of them are way too expensive. There are plenty of treatments that will cost you hundreds of pounds or dollars. It is true that you will need to keep up the treatment for several months in the case of toenail fungus treatment. But, some vendors are asking far too much. As for Laser treatment, that is just crazy prices. Whereas, using even the most expensive mixtures described on this site should cost you no more than a few dollars a month.
This is to be applied before you get dressed in the morning. Specifically, you need to do this just before you put on your socks and shoes. For most people this is after a shower and after they have washed and dried their feet. That is what I recommend. However,if it is your normal routine to get dressed without showering / bathing in the morning then simply apply the treatment before getting dressed. Many people prefer to shower / bathe after work or before bed and that is fine just as long as there is a daily soap and water foot wash as described in rule 1.
The morning treatment is always in the form of a cream, lotion or carrier oil. You rub it all over each foot. This is not just for the infection. You rub it between all toes and into the nail. You rub it over the heel and indeed all over the surface of the foot. Be generous and enjoy the foot massage.
Some people like their feet to be oiled up and slightly slippery afterwards. If that is you it would be better to choose a carrier oil. Personally I prefer the treatment to be largely absorbed by the time my shoes and socks are being put on. It is largely a personal preference thing and you can try one and then change to a different one at a later date.
Before you start using this system you will need to make up a mixture of your own. The “Mixtures” page of this site will give you loads of options and tell you how much to make up. Typically you will make up enough Morning Treatments to last you up to a month. When used up, you make up some more. The whole mixing process takes only a couple of minutes.
This is to be applied before you get into bed and it is extra effective if the pure essential oil mixture is applied neat. Because the mixture is pure the smell is much stronger, but often quite pleasant. If this leads to any discomfort at all then do not apply it neat. Use it in the form of a blend in the same way to that of the morning treatment.
If you are applying the mixture neat then it is not applied to the entire foot. You only apply it to those areas where there is an infection. If you have Athletes Foot then you apply it directly to the affected areas. If you have Fungal Nail then apply it directly to the nail beds that are infected. Most people find that it is highly absorbed deep down under the nails. If you are applying it neat then you will only need a tiny amount of oil. One drop of oil is sufficient for one nail.
In my experience, the vast majority of people find the one drop per nail works well and does not cause any discomfort. However I want to emphasise that if you have any discomfort then stop using it in its concentrated form. Use it in the form of a blend in exactly the same way that you would use the morning treatment.
Some people like to apply it using a cotton bud and then using that to rub directly into the affected areas. It is very important that you do not keep dipping the cotton bud in and out of the oil bottle otherwise there is a risk of cross contamination. Once the bud has been used throw it away. Some people like to use a cotton wool ball to do this job and the same rule applies about cross contamination. One person tells me that they use a cotton wool ball and then leaves the ball inside their trainers overnight to have an antiseptic effect. [Thank you Sue M. of Edinburgh]
Personally, I use my fingers to rub in. I use one finger on my right hand to rub the treatment into the affected part of my left foot. I then use a finger on my left hand to rub the treatment into the affected part of my right foot. I then wash my hands.
The night-time mixture I used initially consisted of an equal combination of Tea Tree(50%) and Lavender(50%) pure essential oils. I found that to be very good and if you are stuck for a combination then try that because those two oils are widely available, very inexpensive and many people find that they have them already or are easily obtained. I have no doubt that for most people this combination will show very good results.
After a little while I wanted to try to improve on it and did some more Internet research. I have had some awesome dealings with the people at eMolly.co.uk and they really taught me a lot about oils. I was able to tell them the effect I wanted and they were able to tell me what oil combinations were needed to have that effect. They have now formulated something that is absolutely fantastic. It is now my preferred mixture - how can it not be when I have had such a direct say in the design of it. Nowadays, I am free of Fungal nail and so I do not need to use the Night-Time mixture on myself. When I recommend a mixture to people it is the eMolly mixture that is my first choice.
The morning mixture I mostly use nowadays is the eMolly Foot and Nail Treatment mixture in Coconut oil.
The people at eMolly.co.uk pay me $1.50 (£1.00) every time they sell a 50ml bottle of their Foot and Nail Treatment. I do not get paid a commission for recommending people to them. I consider that I am paid as a royalty for the work I did in helping them create the ideal mixture. They mostly sell their oils off their website and I get paid a royalty fee for every bottle they sell. That money is what helps me to afford to run this site. I told them exactly what I wanted the treatment to do and they designed the perfect combination. For that contribution, I get paid a royalty. I do not expect you to buy their products. Instead, I encourage you to try out some of the mixtures described on this site. If you do buy the eMolly Foot and Nail Treatment then I will get $1.50 and that money is used to run this site.
The morning mixture I used initially was mixture of Frankincense (25%), Lemongrass (10%) and Lavender (65%). I combined 10ml (1/3oz) of this mixture with 250ml (8oz) of a carrier. This gave me a 4% concentration. My preferred carrier is Coconut oil. However, I also have had very good experience of Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula . Frankly, I only started using the cocoa butter mixture as a carrier because we had a large bottle sitting in the bathroom cabinet that needed using up. However, it suits me just fine as a carrier. In fact, I like it a lot.
This is incredibly important and can also be quite unpleasant to do. The first two times you do it you are likely to be removing a lot of dead tissue. After that it gets a lot easier and you are removing less and less tissue. If you have done a good job in week 1 then by week 3 the feet will start to get significantly better and the work will get a whole lot easier.
When you are washing your feet the wash cloth will remove quite a lot of loose bits of skin and dead tissue. That is one reason why you put the wash cloth straight into the laundry basket afterwards. It is all about keeping infected tissues away from the foot.
However, this rule is much more than that. What you need to do is remove as much of the nail infection and loose skin as possible using the simple tools of nail-clippers, nail scissors and sandpaper. In my experience it is best to do this once a week. For some people they prefer to do it once a fortnight. That’s OK, but make sure that you do it because it is very important that you keep on top of it
The process I will describe takes about 15 minutes if you are in a hurry. If you prefer to be pampered and relaxed then take as long as you want.
After you have done this a few times you should find that it is getting less and less work. By about the 4th or 5th session there should be relatively little infection to remove. Soon after there will be largely healthy nail to work on and you can let it grow back normally.
Do not stop the weekly check - the infection is still there. It is greatly weakened but will still be there and if you slack off with the supervision it may well take hold again. If you keep vigilant the infection will reduce very significantly in a few weeks.
There are electric tools you can buy to do this but I do not recommend them. Likewise there are special cutting tools and files and I have pretty much found them to be a waste of money. The best thing to use by far is ordinary sandpaper. Most people have some sandpaper or they know someone who does. Failing that you can buy some sheets very cheaply from a DIY store.
Sandpaper comes in different grades. If you look at the back of a sheet of sandpaper you will see a number. The lower the number the coarser the sandpaper is and the higher the number the finer it is. I recommend using 80 grade sandpaper and sometimes 100 grade.
Cut the sandpaper into small pieces. One sheet can be cut up into 8 ideal sized pieces. Wrap one piece around a small flat surface like a ruler and use it to sand off any hard skin on the heels and sole of the feet. Using sandpaper like this will easily remove the hard dead skin and leave soft good skin totally undamaged. If the heels are cracked then be careful not to overdo the sanding. Remember you are going to be doing this every week so it is best not to remove too much on the first attempt.
Use a bowl or bucket large enough to accommodate both feet comfortably. Pour enough warm water in the bucket to cover the feet and make sure that the water is not too hot. Dissolve some ordinary household salt in the water. I normally add about an egg cup full of salt but you do not have to be too exact. Some people prefer to use Epsom Salts instead of household salt. If you have Epsom salts then it is a good idea to use it as it is supposed to be beneficial in soothing sore muscles and improving circulation. Personally I use household salt because it is what I have in the cupboard.
Soak the feet for 10 minutes then start to remove the dead nail tissue.
Use the nail-clippers and nail scissors to remove as much of the diseased nail tissue as possible. If you are doing your own nails this is easy because you will feel any discomfort directly. It is amazing how much you are able to remove without feeling anything. You would think it would hurt but the fungus reduces the sensitivity. It is much harder to do someone else’s toes partly because it will tickle them and partly because you will be very wary of causing pain. Believe me, you can remove a lot more tissue than you think.
When you have cut away as much as you can with the nail-clippers and nail scissors, use the sandpaper to file away as much of the damaged nail as possible. Again, you can remove a lot more than you think. Because you are using 80 grade sandpaper you will find that you can sand through the dead nail easily leaving softer living tissues unharmed. Sand through as much of the infected nail as you feel comfortable with - not just the ends of the nail. Sand the flat surface as well. Your aim is to remove as much matter as you can. The nail will grow back normally and all the affected tissue will eventually be replaced by healthy fresh nail.
The first day you do this you may want to soak and cut a few times. The warm water and the action of the salt will soften the nail but if it is very bad it may need a lot of work. By week 3, however, the process is a whole lot easier.
Removing dead tissue enables the essential oils in the nail fungus treatment to penetrate deeper and directly affect the active infection under the nail. So it not only removes the unsightly, unpleasant matter but it makes the treatment a whole lot more effective.
After you have finished removing the dead nail tissue, rinse the feet with fresh clean water and dry them thoroughly. Don’t forget the hair-drier and to put the towel in the dirty laundry pile. Throw away the used piece of sandpaper. At this point I would apply a morning treatment and leave the feet out of shoes and socks for a while.
These 3 rules are all you need to do. If you do these then I will guarantee that you will win the battle. It is not easy, it is often unpleasant, but it is very, very simple. I have done this to myself and the effect was fantastic. I have also done this for dozens of people - Often elderly, often disabled and sometimes very badly affected by the condition. I can tell you that the transformation has been absolutely amazing. It is easy to appreciate how foot condition can deteriorate with unintentional neglect. But it is almost magical how they can be brought back to better condition.
If you stick to this process you will find that the Athletes Foot will be clear in days and The Fungal Nail infection will be clear in months. What takes time with Fungal Nail is the fact that toenails grow back slowly. It can take almost a year for some people but for others it is fine in 6 months. Whilst the nail is growing back it is vulnerable to infection and may still be some infection in the deeper nail tissues. This is why it is so important that you continue to take care of the feet and nails.
The rule about washing your feet daily is still very important. The weekly pampering session less so (unless you want to) but use the sandpaper to keep on top of the hard skin. I would strongly recommend continuing with the Morning Treatment to act as a preventative but you can easily discontinue the Bed-Time Treatment.
Here are some facts that we think are important. Some of these are repetitions of what is in the text above and some of them are things that I did not know where to put so here they are.