Myths and Legends

Will Pee Cure Athlete’s Foot

Athlete's Foot

Photo by [Salvatore Vuono]

Many of you have probably already heard of the old remedy of peeing on your feet in the shower for curing athlete’s foot. But will pee cure athlete’s foot for real?
Some of the best things about using your pee as a cure for athlete’s foot is that it doesn’t cost you anything, plus there’s plenty of it to last a lifetime. Not only that, but no one will borrow your remedy and not return it. In 1994 Madonna gave pee a pretty good boost as a cure for athlete’s foot during a David Letterman interview. But the real question remains, does it really work?

Is the Pee Cure for Athlete’s Foot a Myth

Well sadly, we have to say yes, this is a myth. But let me explain further.


There are tons of commercial athlete’s foot creams on the market today and all claim to be the best. But many of them have one thing in common. That’s the ingredient urea. Urea just so happens to be a major component of human urine. This would certainly explain why pee gained such high marks as an athlete’s foot remedy.


Urea is used to carry excess oxygen from the body and has magical properties that may help soften and exfoliate skin. But it’s concentration in the urine is not nearly enough to clear up a case of athlete’s foot. For example, many of the antifungal remedies that are on the market today will contain upwards of 40% urea. That’s over 15 times the amount found in human urine.


Another thing to consider is the method in which you are administering this treatment. Some may chose using a bucket to collect urine specimen in and give their feet a bath in the bucket. While others may prefer taking care of business while in the shower. But there are other elements at play while showering. There are adulterants such as soap and water that will mix with the urine and most certainly further dilute any urea that may be present. So you can see how there would be a pretty slim chance of this remedy working properly.


Is it Bad to Wash your Feet in Urine?

Well to quickly answer that question, No. As we discussed in the post Why is Urine Yellow and is it Safe to Drink, urine is actually quite sterile and non-toxic. And I say hesitantly that guys are not the only ones peeing in the shower. Glamour magazine discovered that 75% of women admitted to peeing in the shower.


And get this quirky little fact, during a 2009 campaign to save the rainforest in Brazil, they asked that everyone pee in the shower in order to save a few gallons of water flushing the toilets!

So, is this a myth you’ve heard over the years. Has someone told you that peeing on your feet would cure your athlete’s feet?  I just rhymed, what do ya know, I’m a poet and didn’t know it…

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65 thoughts on “Will Pee Cure Athlete’s Foot
  1. If this is not a cure, what is it releaving?
    My feet between each little toe have what i will describe as wet and dead skin. If I pee on my feet it goes away and as long as I do it daily it stays gone…

    1. Thanks Kevin for sharing your experience with this. It seems that this post has drawn out a huge collective of individuals that have had success with urine in helping with athletes foot.

      That’s what this blog is all about is community discussion and weeding out fact from fiction. It seems that the doctors findings from my research may of not been thorough enough in their experiments!

  2. Followup. First of all, Jason, at least for me, it’s not about washing my feet. I’ve washed my feet with all sorts of soaps daily. It never helped my athletes foot. In fact, I only have the athletes foot in the left foot. So it wouldn’t make sense cause for sure, I’m not washing my right foot more than my left foot. However, we all have different genetic makeups so perhaps better foot washing would work better for someone else, but that was not my solution. My solution was the urine foot rinses.

    Anyway, here is the real followup to my initial post. Over the last month or so I’ve discovered that urine works BETTER than the over the counter creams. I would have to apply them (Clotrimazole or Tolnaftate) twice a day. Now I’m finding that I only have to rinse my feet in urine about once a week and it keeps my athletes foot away. At this rate–I think I may be able to completely stop urine rinses in a few months and my athletes foot of 15 years may be *cured* as my toenail grows out. This would sure beat having to apply an over the counter cream (that seeps synthetic chemicals into my bloodstream) twice daily for the rest of my life to control the symptoms. I’ll write another post in a couple of months with my findings. My feet have never been in such good shape. I really don’t get why it’s working so well–but it works–for me. Robert, I want to thank you for creating and taking the time to post on this site to help us get this type of information out. I wish I knew about this 15 years ago–my feet would have been much healthier.

    1. Hi Bill, thanks for the follow up.

      You’re very welcome for the post. I like to write about those subjects that most people don’t think about or are a little on the obscure side. I’m glad this one has been helpful to so many folks.

      If nothing else it’s become a great place for people to discuss their findings on the remedy. I’m glad it’s working out for you and I would be quite interested to know how this turns out for you. Like I said before, although my post may be geared toward the fact urine isn’t so much a cure for athletes foot, it doesn’t necessarily mean I take a stand with everything my research uncovers.

      It’s pretty evident that most “doctors” findings that are mentioned in this post may be due to the support of big pharmaceutical companies.

      So it’s great to hear from the general public and find out the true findings, not necessarily those done in controlled experiments by doctors and researchers.

  3. After seeing this site it got me thinking. I have had athlete’s feet for several years and recently I noticed it was spreading to the tops of my feet and was red, burning and extremely itchy. I was trying to contain with the all the off the counter creams although I gave up on those very early on since they were worthless. The thing that worked best for me was soaking my feet in dead sea salt. Also, I would change my shoes and socks at least twice a day and try to keep my feet out in the air as much as I can. But the dead sea salt was not working as well as it did before and I had to find some relief.

    I figured I would try urinating directly on my feet since I had nothing to lose and then let it air dry. At first contact with my feet there was some stinging but then came the relief. No more itching no more burning and the redness was less. It has been a couple days now and my feet are getting better every day by peeing on them as often as I can. So far so good and I’ll follow up in a few months and let you know how it ends up but I am amazed by how effective this is.

    1. I really appreciate your findings Alan! You are not alone in this…Several other readers have commented on how this has helped their athletes foot.

      This post has taken an unusual twist over the last several months as it’s becoming more clear that the research I uncovered when posting this was probably based off protecting big business in pharmaceuticals.

      But this is exactly what I like to uncover with my posts is the truth and real world examples of things like this.

      I wish you the best in your continued self-treatment. Most certainly it is a cheaper alternative to spending tons of money on creams that do not work. Please do follow up with us on how things are going!

    2. After doing this a little over a month now I can say that the urine isn’t going to cure my athlete’s feet. It does seems to stop it in it tracks to where it does not get worse and does clear up the flaking skin and sores that occur between the toes. However, the rough skin and itching and burning I have on the top of my feet has not really changed much. I have been using a hair dryer on my feet set on “hot” to relieve the itching and burning and also try to get a lot of sunlight on the feet as that helps. I feel once I can get the rough skin smoothed out I can used the urine for prevention but it does not appear it will cure it. I am going to try a few other things as I saw a post online about soaking the feet at night in hot water and vinegar and then put raw honey on the feet and put in a sock overnight. I am going to try that and see what happens.

      1. Alan, It sounds like the itching and burning you are experiencing on the top of your foot may come from systemic yeast.
        Now you wrote this last year so perhaps the problem has cleared up. I suggest you read about using a castor oil compress with a hot water bottle on your spleen and also liver. It’s a simple cleanse to help the body process toxins more effectively. I use this treatment frequently, but once used it to clear up a skin issue like you describe. I was shocked to see that the skin was flawless the next morning.
        Look on line for instructions for the castor oil cleanse.

        Good luck!

  4. Pee doesn’t cure athletes foot. I can’t even see any scientific basis on it, so please don’t.

    1. Hi and thanks for commenting. What my research uncovered based on scientific experiments concluded the same opinion as yours.

      But there are many, many folks that have commented that just the opposite was true.

      So I suppose it’s possible that this may be a case of different body chemistry reacting differently to the urine “treatment”. I’ve also had some comment that the research was bias toward the “big brother” of pharmaceutical companies and their negative findings were due to protecting manufacturers of medicine.

      Seeing how you appear to be in the profession of orthotics, how should the general public feel about your reply? I’m totally neutral in all this, but I love a good debate. So I will leave this open to comments from other readers. 🙂

    2. I get athletes foot maybe a few times a summer and I pee on my feet in the shower once a day for about 3 days and it goes away. I used to spray on athletes foot medicine for the long time they tell you to. Now I save my money, close the drain in my shower, pee on my feet, make sure that it gets all over my feet, and turn on the shower and wash as usual. So I say to you,” They are my feet and I’ll pee on them if I want to.”:)

      1. haha very well said Donna. Do unto yourself as you would like to do unto yourself I always say lol.

    3. Do you not see the scientific basis for it because you are willfully refusing to acknowledge the very fact that there are synthetic ingredients in anti-fungal treatments that are simply lab created versions of what is naturally found in human urine? Your comment is disturbing considering, as a doctor, you are PART of the scientific community and are blatantly refuting the existence of proven scientific evidence that DOES exist. Whether recognized as a cure by the medical community or not, the SCIENCE is there. Orthotics…. Hmmm…. I imagine your livelihood is pretty well determined by refuting as much as possible anything that avoids people seeking help from Orthotic specialists. Still, it is immoral and appalling that you would do so. Speaking as a former medical professional myself, your patients come first and if a professional is unwilling to acknowledge the existence of science based natural options as a POSSIBILITY, they are putting their pocketbook before their patients. That is disgusting and I am pretty confident is a contradiction of your Hippocratic oath in terms of upholding specific ethical standards.

      1. of course a doctor will be against it automatically because there is NO money to be made if everyone finds out about this or any other natural remedy. Same reason why oncologists rush you into getting chemo before you find out some better NATURAL therapy that doesn’t kill your healthy cells. It’s about MONEY. Same reason MD’s are so prescription happy to their patients. They make money on that too.

        1. Fortunately, more and more physicians and specialists are stepping over that line and opening their minds regarding alternative treatments in many cases. Not cancer so much, but many other areas. The issue I have is with close-minded individuals like the above who choose to deny actual science. The truth of the matter is MOST medical treatments originated from synthesizing a natural remedy and then expanding on it in a lab setting to increase the effectiveness. Denying natural remedies on a whole is the same as denying the very scripts they write as those scripts are often a derivative of a naturally occurring cause and effect of a naturally occurring substance like uric acid! That’s ok though, more and more patients are insisting on more natural treatments so physicians like that will be ou of a job sooner or later.

  5. I’ve been playing sports for over 10 years, as a young athlete I had to deal with foot fungus for years. Catching it from sports or from the shared showers was a major pain. My family doctor mentioned the benefits of utinating on your feet to help cure and prevent this issue has saved me time; and at the time.. My parents money. I’ve had sever cases for months at a time as a child. But my doctor recommended it over 20 years ago and I’ve never stopped, till this day I continue to give my feet a wash down in urine and even peen on my lovers feet to ensure mutual disinfection. We laugh about the whole thing and my lover doesn’t believe my stants about the issue but as a child hood athlete I can attest to this method working with out a doubt. I’ve not had fungus infected feet since then. Peace.

  6. I will tell you, urine does work. It may not work for severe cases and perhaps that is why the medical community refutes it so vehemently. Logic would tell you most people would not seek medical attention for a mild to moderate case of athletes foot. They would be going in after it becomes a significant problem. I also agree with the fact that those in the medical profession often tend to back big pharma and I speak to that with experience as a former medical professional. I have had athletes foot only a handful of times and peeing on my feet at the first sign has always worked well. The one time it did not help was when I had a bad habit of wearing my muck boots to run and tend to the animals without socks. Then I peed on my feet, kept them clean and dry and applied tea tree oil between my toes each evening. I also started putting talcum powder in my boots and made sure to wear socks. My boots no longer smell and my athletes foot cleared up within days. So my consensus is Urine treatment DOES work but at times you may need additional measures. SEVERE cases may require antifungal creams though. Just my two cents.

    1. Very good advice Danielle. Urine may help to some extent but as you said severe cases may call for additional measures. I’ve not heard of the tea tree oil, thanks for sharing.

  7. I’m late to this discussion, but I thought I would add some insight. Had a crazy fungus I caught over seas. Nothing worked, not anti biotics, not anti fungals, and the doctors conformed it wasn’t athletes foot. Dealt with it for eight years, after the military I still had it. One day my best friend sees my feet and says hey bro, you should try tea tree oil. Come to find out it was the Australian cure all for trench foot in WWII. In our confessions he mentioned that I should also pee on my feet, swish them around in it for a minute, then wash, dry and apply the tea tree oil. The peeing on the feet was a measure to soften the dead skin so that the tea tree oil could better soak into and eliminate the infection. Every day it got better, my feet were no longer raw after two weeks. By the fourth week all the dead skin peeled off and the deep bleeding cracks were beginning to disappear. I stopped peeing on my feet and the progress haulted. I still used the tea tree oil every day,along with foot powder and sock changes, it didn’t get any worse, but it wasn’t getting better. About six weeks i started peeing on my feet again, and it went away finally after eight weeks. Eight weeks , I couldn’t believe it. Let me tell you, athletes foot is small compared to my foot problems. But pee helped even an infection far worse than athletes foot. Maybe not the cure, but a definately aid to healing.

  8. You make an interesting point about the supposed origin of the urine cure and how it was based on a false inference from the major component of medicinal creams (i.e., urea). However, a little research (Wikipedia, sorry) seems to show an independent origin which may even have preceded the knowledge about an urea. In fact, it MAY be the other way around. Chemists may have begun experimenting with urea because it is a component of an effective home remedy. (Only offering this as a possibility.) If that were the case, it would be classic case of the “more is better” fallacy.

    And my own anecdotal evidence supports your other readers, it does work for me.

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