Skin Infection - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Skin Infection. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Bentonite Clay

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 08/25/2020
5 out of 5 stars

My daughter had a finger infected along the side of the nail. I think it was an ingrown nail that got fooled with. The finger was red and swollen and angry and was beginning to get red streaks. I had her take turmeric internally morning and evening. I was keeping charcoal poultices on the finger. It was helping but not solving the problem. We switched to bentonite clay. The clay turned out to be easier, more comfortable and more effective.

I mixed the powder with water to reconstitute the clay. I applied it thickly to her finger and covered it with plastic wrap and a bandage. (The clay won't work if it dries out.) Overnight it was dramatically better. I am continuing to use clay poultices at night until it is completely healed.

~Mama to Many~

Raw Potato

Posted by Beverly (Elkhart, In) on 03/10/2017
5 out of 5 stars

My grandson had a huge boil on his butt, I took a raw potato and grated it, put this into a big gauze and taped around the outside edges of the gauze with the potato to his skin, being sure I didn`t tape over the middle of the gauze because the gauze has to be able to breathe to let the air help pull the boil out, the raw potato was wrapped inside the gauze then taped to his skin, that nite he felt it hurt, then the next morning I took off the gauze with the raw potato off of his skin, the potato had turned black, which is what it was suppose to do, this meant it was working,

I cleaned the yucky mess from where the potato had pulled out the core with hydrogen peroxide, he healed up in one week completely, and if you feel you want to do another raw potato, this would be safe if only you feel it needs it again.I even did this to my husbands 4 toes on his one foot, he had infection on all 4 toes, he had something at work drop on his toes, I took a large gauze big enough to cover all 4 toes with the raw grated potatoes and lots of it, with tape and a sock to help hold it on, next morning his toes were pus looking and yucky from where the infection was pulled out, I cleaned his toes up with hydrogen peroxide every day and covered them in a plain gauze to keep them clean, no more potatoes though because the potatoes had pulled out the infection that one nite, he healed up within one week.

And then I myself had a splinter in the bottom of my foot from last summer for a whole year, it kept hurting and going deeper into my foot, I finally could not walk for the pain, I took a raw potato for 4 nites in a row, grated the potato and put this into a gauze just big enough of a little square to cover the tiny area, I split open my foot where I wanted the potato to pull out the splinter, just a very tiny slit to get the juice from the raw potato to get into under my skin, the potato turned black every nite after each time I did this and it would hurt but it would hurt less each time, finally I pulled off the potato gauze for the fourth day in the morning and found I tiny piece of dried up skin which had a very tiny piece of a wood splinter I had gotten from last summer, I took this off and I no longer hurt at all, I only had to do this at night, not during the day, I did this all because of a tiny piece of splinter you would think would not hurt anyone.

Vodka and Epsom Salt Soak

Posted by Latoya (Ky) on 02/14/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Paronychia Finger Infection

Somehow my middle finger on my right hand became infected near my nail bed. It was very painful and swollen. It kept swelling to where I thought it could just explode. It was larger than my thumb and twice the size of my non-infected middle finger on my left hand. The pain also started to spread to my other fingers as well. To make matters worse I had cut 2 fingers on my left hand while cooking. 😥 So with 3 fingers out of commission and in pain I was miserable.

I researched the issue of my swollen middle finger due to this green line in the infection near my nail bed. Upon my research I discovered it was called Payronchia due to the same green line I found in images on the internet. I came across a remedy for using vodka to soak my finger in. I used enough vodka to submerge my finger in a small glass jar. I kept it that way for hours throughout the day as I couldn't do much else due to the pain anyway. Within 1-2 hours I noticed the puss moved to the outside of my finger instead of my nail bed even though the green line still remained on the skin outside my nail bed. So I soaked it some more then kept soaking it in warm water and epsom salts because the swelling was so bad. I applied all kinds of other remedies like colloidal silver and neosporin when I wasn't soaking it which I'm sure played a role as well. But the most important was the vodka and epsom salts and warm water. Throughout that night my finger hurt worse as I could barely sleep without elevating my finger by keeping my middle finger in the air. 😔😑. But that was the healing taking place.

The next day after my morning shower I noticed at the spot where the pus moved to there was an opening and pus was coming out on its own! I had my Fiancé squeeze the rest out as much as he could. I noticed after 30 minutes the pain started to subside. Since the pus was out I soaked it in vodka again throughout the day to be sure to kill whatever infection was there since there was now an opening which I did not have to make due to the vodka doing this for me.

After soaking with vodka I put colloidal silver in the opening and then neosporin then wrapped with a band-aid then went on with my day. Later that night I soaked in Vodka again for about 1 hr to kill the remaining infection and squeezed out more pus which this time I was able to do myself because my finger did not hurt as bad as before. After soaking I applied aloe vera gel straight from the leaf and after my night-time shower colloidal silver, aloe vera and neosporin and went to sleep. The next day I woke with 80% less pain and 1/3 less swelling. I would continue the remedies until I am 100% healed as infections are nothing to play with.

I refreshed with a new clean jar of vodka just in case. If you don't have all the remedies I had just be sure to have vodka, epsom salts and warm water, neosporin and band-aids to keep out infection.

There will be no need to cut your finger open which was a great help because I feared that if I went to the hospital that's what they would do and my finger was already in pain on a scale of 9-10 especially when I hit it against something. 😨

Do what I did and stay out of the hospital and avoid more pain by not having to get cut open.

Cat Bite Infection Remedies

Posted by Om (Hope, B.C. Canada) on 03/15/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Re: cat bites. I have had many rescue cats and not many bites at all. The ones treated at hospital took weeks and were unpeasant. But here is THE remedy. Would you believe next morning you can hardly discern the bite, all looks good and normal, no pain? The remedy is good quality turmeric. Stick your affected part into the powder and press it on right away. The bleeding will stop, the pain disappears. I always have turmeric in at least two places in the house. Any bleeding will be stopped. Antibiotics suppress the immune system so govern yourself with common sense. Next morning I could hardly see the tooth mark. By the way, when a cat bites, something is wrong with the animal and try to find out what you can do to help. Turmeric is a gift from the gods! Om

Echinacea Root

Posted by Kgd (Saint Louis, Mo) on 02/12/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I had skin problems that got gradually worse over a 20 year period during my 20's, 30's & 40's. It manifested in several different ways...

1. acute skin infections mainly on upper legs and butt that would quickly swell up larger than a pimple but smaller than a boil... Topical tea tree oil would dry these out quickly. Otherwise the infections would remain and get larger eventually erupting like a giant pimple

2. a dense cluster of seemingly benign red spots on lower legs and ankles that didn't change very much and itched very little.

3. more recently... extreme sudden itching on the forearms and back of neck with no visible rash that could be relieved only by directly rubbing with freshly cut garlic

I was looking for remedies in a James Duke herbal remedy book and had the insight that this might be a systemic yeast infection manifesting through the skin.

I tested some of his remedies in isolation like high daily doses of garlic added to juice for 3 weeks then high doses of goldenseal for 3 weeks. These worked great, especially goldenseal, but the skin infections came raging back within a week after stopping each herb.

Then I tried echinacea root. I had been effectively using it to stop acute respiratory infections since 1996 by chewing a pinch of dried root for 45 minutes - typically once a day for 1-5 days at a time.

Since some people say it's OK to use it for up to 3 weeks before it loses effectiveness, I got the idea to do exactly that in August 2012. The skin infections stopped - even the spots on my lower legs that had been there for almost 20 years. Then I stopped the echinacea after 3 weeks and there was no rebound effect. Apparently the echinacea killed the microbe populations that were causing 3 different types of skin infections. I had 3 full months of relief. The tea tree oil bottle gathered dust because I didn't need it. During December the symptoms gradually returned so I did another 3-week round of echinacea in January.

In the central US you can just grow a patch of echinacea (purple coneflower) in your yard, then cut, dry, and store one root at a time as needed. It doesn't take very much, and a small amount stored in a sealed jar can last for several years without deteriorating.


Posted by Marinette (Cleveland, U.S.A) on 07/05/2007
5 out of 5 stars

One of the best remedies for infections is strong chamomile tea. Our family has used this for many years. An elderly woman we knew years ago, fell down the stairs which resulted in an ugly infection in her hand. She was diabetic and the doctors could not heal her. My mom made a pan of strong chamomile tea and the woman soaked her hand in it for 15 minutes. Immediately you could see a difference. She continued doing this for a few days and was completely healed. It is best to make the tea fresh each time. Thank you for this excellent website!