Coconut Oil/Foot Fungus Update

A month ago I wrote about Chuck Currie’s discovery that coconut oil cured his foot fungus and seems to be curing his toenail fungus. He put coconut oil on his foot, put it in a plastic bag, and put a sock on it. Then he could walk around or whatever — vastly more convenient than the soaking remedies (e.g., soak your feet in vinegar) many people recommend (which I tried) and incomparably better than the foot fungus and toenail fungus remedies you find in a drugstore (which I tried many times).

For some strange reason I had foot fungus on one foot but not the other — for ten years. I have been doing Chuck’s remedy for a month. Within a few days it was clear it worked.  Now the “good” and “bad” foot are indistinguishable. I am writing this post because I discovered that the plastic bag is unnecessary, making it even more convenient. I put the coconut oil on my feet and then put on socks. It still works. Nothing bad happens to the socks, which I think are a cotton/polyester blend.

I’ve been using Whole Foods house brand (“365″) food grade (‘expeller pressed virgin organic”) coconut oil. A 16-oz jar cost about $8. Maybe it will last 4 months with daily application. (For toenail fungus. My foot fungus is completely gone.) All other commercial foot fungus remedies should quietly disappear…

21 Responses to “Coconut Oil/Foot Fungus Update”

  1. Kirk Says:

    I tried applying cider vinegar in the morning and coconut oil in the evening. Within 3 weeks the fungus had started to creep down my toes and the numbness in my right foot increased. I abandoned the vinegar/coconut oil experiment and returned to my previous treatment, and am now trialing a modification. The fungus has receded and I have little numbness in my right foot. My current treatment: I apply Povidone Iodine to my toenails in the morning, and in the evening soak my feet in Epsom Salts and then apply Clotramazole to the toenails.

    I admit to being surprised at how quickly I saw a change. I’m used to running long-term experiments.

  2. gwern Says:

    > Nothing bad happens to the socks, which I think are a cotton/polyester blend.

    So this isn’t a very thick layer of coconut oil then?

    Seth: Yes, a thin layer.

  3. Philip Kilner Says:

    I’d had athletes foot for years which kept flaring up again and again (as it does), and a couple of years ago I got a cut in my finger and developed what I suspected was a fungal infection. The hand infection was much more distressing for me, and was also intermittently quite painful. My doctor made it clear that she would not test it and use something specific, but rather would prescribe ointments by trial and error, so I gave up on that route.

    When I read your post, I started using Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, as sold for cooking, on both hands and feet. The feet were clear within days, the hands quickly started to improve and are now almost clear.

    The oil is solid at room temperature, but liquid at skin temperature, so it’s easy to handle as it’s solid as it comes out of the jar and melts as it is rubbed in. I use a couple of bean sized lumps morning and evening, and I find that I can rub it into the skin so that it’s not oily enough to be an issue – less so than the stuff from the pharmacy, anyway.

    Easier and much less unpleasant to handle than the creams and potions I’d used before, leaves me smelling faintly of coconut (which I like but which doesn’t last for very long), but with one critical difference – so far, it actually works!

    I’m very happy – thanks for the pointer!

    (BTW, also lost four stone with SLD, so this site has made a huge difference to my life)

  4. Chuck Says:

    The reason I haven’t used the “sock only” method is because I don’t often wear socks (I live in So CA a block from the beach). I’m glad it’s working for you and you found a more convenient application.

    I believe I also mentioned to you that a dermatologist told me to soak my foot in a bucket of warm water with a cap-full of household bleach for twenty minutes once every week or two to kill any new fungus. I found this work well along with the coconut oil.

    Also, the fungus can survive in your shoes, slippers and even the straps of flip-flops (the non-rubber/plastic kind). So it’s a good idea, once you start treatment to put anti-fungal powder in your shoes – I through out my sleepers and flip-flops (I replace my flip-flops regularly anyway).

    Happy Feet

  5. Alex Chernavsky Says:

    Speaking of skin problems, I have had a long-standing problem with painful cracks developing on my hands during the colder months of the year. I’ve tried various remedies, including different skin lotions, A&D ointment, and skin crack sealers (the type that resemble nail polish). Nothing worked very well, until I discovered O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream.

    O’Keeffe’s is truly amazing. I apply it just once a day, using a generous amount at bedtime (I keep a jar of it in my nightstand). The cracks are totally eliminated. I ran out once this winter and didn’t replace it for about ten days, and the cracks returned quickly — so I’m pretty sure that it works.

  6. Tyler Says:

    Has anyone had any success with this regarding any face-related fungus? I’ve had a recurring itchy bump for as long as I can remember, and nothing’s seemed to work, including nightly coconut oil. I am hesitant to go to a dermatologist and get pills, as I imagine that can’t be too great for gut flora, but I’m reaching wit’s end. :)

  7. Stone Glasgow Says:

    Try acetylcysteine for your face. Find cream with it or make your own.

  8. Scott Pierce Says:

    I’ve been using H2O2 on ring worm (fungus) that keeps showing up on my sternum and it works within days. If I stop, it will come back in a month or two. Maybe I’ll try the coconut oil.

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  11. PHIL G Says:

    I personally use tea tree oil as an anti-fungal agent. As a teen, I frequently had athletes foot infections but never nail fungus. At the first sign of redness, warmth or cracking between toes I now apply tea tree oil. Clears in days. When I travel; hotel showers, gyms and pools are notorious for spreading fungus (tinea pedis) so I preempt the infection by routinely using small amounts of tea tree oil.

    Seth: A friend of mine used tea tree oil to get rid of her toenail fungus. I tried it and found it worked for foot fungus but not for toenail fungus — maybe I wasn’t diligent or careful enough. You write: “As a teen, I frequently had athletes foot infections but never nail fungus.” Why is that, do you think?

  12. Stephanie Says:

    I also successfully treated toenail fungus with coconut oil. After getting out of the shower each day, I put a drop of rubbing alcohol on the nail and allowed it to get completely dry, then I massaged in some coconut oil and went about the day as normal. Within a month, it was nearly gone and after a few more weeks, totally gone. It works!

  13. chuck Says:

    @scott,

    Ringworm on sternum – Fought this for 5 years but a few times in the tanning booth killed it and have had no problem for 3 years now

  14. Jscott Says:

    I’ve never had ‘athlete’s foot.’

    I find this odd. I wonder if that is more important than the cures for it…?

  15. BigTex Says:

    Just pee on your feet in the shower. Uric acid is your friend.

  16. Jay Valento Says:

    Trader Joes has coconut oil for 5.99

  17. Brad Says:

    I’ll add another ingredient to this story in that perhaps non-topical application of the Coconut Oil will even required achieve the effect. I recently (3 weeks) started a Paleo type diet including using Coconut Oil in my cooking, at least once a day for breakfast’s eggs but often 2 or 3 times. I had developed a fungus like look to one of my big toes over the last two years and it had slowly been spreading, much to my sadness. As of today, however, all of the new growth on the nail is fungus free. Completely unexepected results.

  18. Ronald Says:

    I too have foot fungus – left foot only – toe nails are “messed” up – since mid 60′s – Grisovulfin until mid 70′s – also had fungus on right hand – lost all finger nails on right hand only at least 4-5 times – was in a research program for about one year in the mid late 70′s – completely cleared fungus on the nails and skin on hand only no impact on the foot – fungus never came back on the hand!! – right foot did not have fungus until 3 years ago – damaged big toe nail at the base – fungus spread very rapidly – the soles and edges on both feet are extremely dry – need to use pumas stone to remove callus build up and sometimes the skin will split causing a little bit of bleeding – thanks I will try the coconut oil

    Seth: I predict good results.

  19. Kristen Says:

    Isn’t foot fungus or nail fungus a symptom of a systemic yeast infection. I know if I lay off sugar it clears up. Anyone else find the problem is from the inside out?

  20. Gruesome Says:

    I believe the surest long-term remedy for athlete’s foot is going soapless. Your skin will take on Teflon-like qualities, repeling all manner of infections and rapidly healing when broken. This works not only for athlete’s foot, but also acne, and festering wounds. It’s amazing how little scarring is left if you’re hurt, but take all your baths soapless — just running warm water over your skin without rubbing, or soaking in a warm bath. Your hair also becomes shiny, smooth and full of body without being greasy. And your pits and bits actually smeller less and better.

    Seth: I stopped using soap on my face many years ago. I agree, it’s a good idea. I cut way down on soap on the rest of my body when Richard Nikoley recommended it. I think that’s a good idea, too, but it did not get rid of foot fungus. I didn’t have athlete’s foot. Sometimes going soapless helps with acne, sometimes not.

  21. Monica Kelly Says:

    My docotr had me mix a concotion of coconut oil with oregano oil (from the health food store). I was skeptical as i had fungus in toenails for decades. Completely cleared up with in 6 months!