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Natural health & wellbeing

How to Treat Mycosis

What is a mycosis?

Common infections of the skin, mucous membranes, hair, or nails, can be caused by microscopic fungi or yeasts, such as Candida Albicans.
These infections can affect several parts of the body, but are particularly found in moist areas where fungi thrive. The most common are vaginal mycosis, oral mycosis and foot mycosis.


Certain factors are more optimum for the development of fungi and therefore the appearance of mycosis:

  • humid heat and, in particular, the use of swimming pools, saunas and steam rooms
  • all factors responsible for keeping skin moist such as excessive sweating, insufficient drying after bathing, wearing tight clothing or shoes, being overweight, and the use of nappies for babies
  • injuries to the skin such as scratches and grazes, no matter the size
  • certain drug treatments such as antibiotics and corticosteroids
  • chronic conditions such as diabetes and immune deficiencies
  • pregnancy

If you have any doubts about whether you have a yeast infection, make an appointment with a doctor or gynaecologist, who will be able to make a clinical diagnosis. A clinician may need to take a sample or directly observe the affected area with a special lamp.

What parts of the body can be affected by fungus?

Fungi can affect many areas of the body, particularly the genitals, nails and, more generally, the skin. 

The following areas are more likely to be affected:

  • the mouth or tongueLes pieds
  • the feet
  • the vagina or vulva
  • the glands
  • the anus
  • the skin – particularly in the folds or pityriasis versicolor
  • nails

What are the symptoms of a fungus?

Symptoms differ depending on the part of the body affected by the fungus. The most common symptoms are severe pruritus (itching), reddish lesions and/or scaly skin.

How long does a fungus last?

.Although fungus is a benign condition, it should be treated because it is very rarely resolved naturally. If treated with the correct treatment in the correct dosage, this infection can disappear quickly – in some cases, less than a week.

How to treat genital fungus naturally

Genital fungus is an infection of the external or internal genitalia and can occur in both men and women. Genital mycosis is most often caused by Candida Albicans, a yeast-like fungus.

Vaginal mycoses

Mycose vaginale et vulvaire : que faire ?

Vaginal thrush is the appearance of redness and swelling in the vulva and vagina. It is accompanied by itching, a burning sensation inside the vagina, and a whitish, thick, odourless vaginal discharge that looks like curdled milk. Unpleasant sensations and pain may be experienced during sexual intercourse.

Vaginal fungus is especially prevalent in the summer. Infections are more common in the summer because of increased humidity, which is conducive to the development of fungi. Wearing a wet swimming costume, coming into contact with sand and just living in higher temperatures can all lead to fungal infections, and also to urinary tract infections or cystitis. After each use, you should wash and dry your swimming costume before putting it back on. If possible, change your underwear to ensure its dry before walking, to help minimise chafing.

Vulvar mycosis always develops as the result of vaginal mycosis. If a vaginal mycosis is not treated quickly, the fungi will develop further and spread to the vulva. 

Fungal infections can be common during pregnancy, which make it extra important to treat them quickly.

Other factors can promote fungal infections, and the most common is intimate hygiene. Repeated washing of the intimate area, sometimes with unsuitable products, can cause an inbalance in the flora which contributes to the development of fungi. We advise you to use products specially designed for daily washing of the intimate areas.

Mycosis of the Glans or Penis

Mycose du gland : que faire ?

In most cases, this area is affected by a yeast-like fungus of the Candida Albicans type. Symptoms present as an inflammation of the glans and foreskin with a whitish coating in the preputial balano groove*, and pruritus (itching).

With a propensity to develop in warm, moist places and with the help of sugar, yeast is more likely to develop in men with diabetes, in those who have not been circumcised, those who have a slightly long foreskin or those who practise poor hygiene.

However, this type of genital infection is still rare in men.

The symptoms are very recognisable, first appearing on the frenulum and then spreading to the glans and foreskin.

Visually, the condition is characterised by:

  • redness on the glans
  • small white pustules (white buttons)

As with vaginal thrush, thrush on the glans can cause itching and burning.

Balano preputial groove: the groove that separates the foreskin from the rest of the penis at the base of the glans.

Recipes to Relieve Genital Fungus:

From 15 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 15 ans et plus

Mix 2 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil with 20 drops of Sweet Almond vegetable oil. Apply once a day to the irritated area. Continue the treatment for 5 days.

Consult a pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible.

From 15 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 15 ans et plus

Use only 1% concentrated Thyme Linalool essential oil. This is equivalent to mixing 2 drops of Linalool Thyme essential oil in 20 drops of a neutral vegetable oil. Apply to the affected areas on the surface of the skin.
Consult a pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible.


This recipe should only be used on the surface of the skin (vulva or glans). It should not be applied inside the vagina. To treat vaginal mycosis, ask your pharmacist for advice or consult your doctor or gynaecologist to obtain a prescription.

How to treat oral thrush

Mycose au niveau de la bouche, de la langue...

Oral thrush is a benign infection of the oral cavity by a particular fungus, Candida Albicans. It is also known as baby thrush, or fungus associated with chemotherapy.


The onset of oral thrush is often related to the following factors:

  • dry mouth
  • poor hygiene, including poorly cleaned dental equipment or dentures
  • certain drugs such as broad-spectrum antibiotics, corticoids, neuroleptics, etc. or treatments such as immunosuppressive treatments, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy
  • certain diseases, leading to immune weakness such as diabetes, or HIV

There are different types of oral thrush such as thrush (common in babies), Perlchea (inflammatory skin lesions), and Black Tongue (greenish brown appearance).

The most common symptoms are a whitening of the mouth or tongue, severe dryness and irritation in the mouth and sometimes a sore throat.

Recipes to Relieve Oral Fungus:

From 12 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus

Apply 1 drop of Linalool Thyme essential oil to the area with lesions, 5 times a day.
From 12 years old
Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus

Put 1 drop of Linalool Thyme essential oil on a neutral tablet, and suck 3 times a day for 20 days.

How to treat a skin fungus

Soigner naturellement une mycose de la peau (image d'une personne atteinte de pityriasis versicolor)

Skin infections caused by fungus are common. The skin folds are particularly susceptible: between the toes (athlete's foot), intertrigo caused by rubbing of the skin against itself, and in the groin area. The scalp can also be affected, in this area the infection is called ringworm. Most cases of dandruff (scaly skin) are due to a fungal infection and can be cured with appropriate treatments.

There is a benign, superficial, very common and recurrent skin mycosis in young adults (men and women) called pityriasis versicolor. It is caused by fungi of the genus Malassezia. The affected person sees multiple small spots appear on the body (from pink, to beige, yellow and brown). As a result of exposure to the sun and tanning, the spots often turn white. The spots are prominent across the upper chest and back, as well as the tops of the upper limbs, but can sometimes exist on the head, neck and limbs.

The patches tend to grow in size and may join together to form large patches. It’s important to be aware that some areas of the skin may be contaminated but not visible to the naked eye, so a special light is needed to see the extent of the contamination.

Various fungi can cause skin fungus:

  • Candida
  • Dermatophytes
  • Malassezia

The symptoms vary according to the area, but generally correspond to the classic symptoms of a fungus, such as redness, irritation, scaling, and itching.

Recipes to Relieve Skin Fungus:

From 12 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus
Mix 2 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil, 2 drops of Spike Lavender essential oil, in 5 drops of neutral vegetable oil, such as Sweet Almond or Hazelnut. Apply the mixture twice a day until the patches disappear, for at least 3-4 weeks.
From 7 years old
Recette réservée aux enfants de 7 ans et plus

Mix 2 drops of Geranium essential oil with 20 drops of Sweet Almond vegetable oil and massage into the affected area.

From 12 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus

Mix 5 drops of Geranium essential oil with 5 drops of Black Cumin vegetable oil and a small amount of Coconut oil. Apply to the affected area morning and night for at least 3 weeks.

How to treat a foot fungus

Mycose au niveau du pied (pied d'athlète)

Known as "athlete's foot", foot fungus is the most common fungal infection in adults. It’s less common in young children. It is a mycotic infection that occurs in the folds between the toes, and can later spread to the whole foot. The infection usually comes from a dermatophyte (a variety of fungus) after contact with contaminated soil (for example at a swimming pool, sports hall, shared bathroom, etc). The fungus penetrates more easily if the skin is damp or has a small wound.

It is called "athlete's foot" because sportsmen and women frequently suffer from it. When the feet sweat inside sports shoes, a humid, warm and dark environment helps the fungi to thrive. Certain physical activities are more conducive to the development of foot fungus, particularly swimming, long runs and horse riding.

When the fungus gets into the folds between the toes, redness appears followed by vesicles*, the skin peels and softens, often causing a foul odour. Severe itching (pruritus) between the toes may aggravate the lesions if scratched.

*Vesicles: small blisters filled with liquid.

If it is not treated quickly, athletes foots can spread to the whole foot. In this case, the symptoms stay the same but spread to the sole and heel and cracks form. These cracks can cause severe itching.

Over time, athlete's foot can spread further and reach the toenails. The infection will be more difficult and time consuming to treat. In this case, the nails become thicker and change colour.

Recipes to Relieve Foot Fungus:

Application of a pure essential oil:

Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus 
From 12 years old Apply 1 drop of Tea Tree essential oil directly to the skin.

Application of a blend:

From 12 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus

Apply a few drops of pure Lavender Aspic essential oil to the spaces between the toes twice a day for at least 3 weeks.

From 12 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus

Mix 20 drops of Java Citronella essential oil and 30 drops of Vetiver essential oil into 50 drops of Calophylla vegetable oil. Apply to the affected areas twice a day for as long as necessary.

How to treat nail fungus naturally

Soigner une mycose de l'ongle naturellement

In the case of nail fungus, Candida Albicans grows on the nail bed. This fungal infection is caused by the rapid growth of fungus naturally present on the nail, or by the contamination of the nail as a result of external contact with the fungus via another person, a swimming pool floor, changing room, shared bathroom etc. It is more common in the elderly, and accounts for 50% of nail problems.

This infection initially presents as:

  • an unsightly change in nail colour (yellowish or darker)
  • thickening of the nail
  • increased fragility and crumbling
  • an accumulation of debris under the nails
  • severe pain (often when wearing enclosed shoes, when walking or standing, etc.)

At a very advanced stage, the fungus causes a significant deformation of the nail. It may even detach from the surface of the finger or toe and contaminate other nails, or even the skin itself, leading to athlete's foot, hand fungus, etc.

It’s important to treat this fungus as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage to the nail or its spread to other nails.

Recipes to Relieve Nail Fungus:

From 12 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus

For a fungal infection caught at the beginning of the infection: Mix 50 drops of Thyme essential oil with 50 drops of neutral vegetable oil.

File the top of the nail and rub the mixture in once a day. Continue the treatment for 10 days after the symptoms have stopped.

From 7 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 7 ans et plus

Mix 2 drops of Tea Tree oil and 3 drops of Geranium oil. If you see skin irritation, dilute this mixture in a small amount of aloe vera gel.
Apply to the affected areas (including the whole nail and matrix), every morning and evening until completely healed. Monitor carefully, and in the case of persistent symptoms consult a dermatologist.

Source: Parrish N et al. Activity of Various Essential Oils Against Clinical Dermatophytes of Microsporum and Trichophyton. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020

From 12 years old

Recette réservée aux enfants de 12 ans et plus

Mix 2 drops of Java Citronella essential oil and 1 drop of Palmarosa essential oil with 1 drop of Black Cumin vegetable oil. Apply to the affected areas, twice a day, for 3 weeks.

 


For more conventional treatments, a doctor or midwife can prescribe an ovum for vaginal mycosis, or a cream or antifungal medication for other mycoses. This type of treatment is also available in pharmacies without a prescription. However, you will not be reimbursed if you do not have a prescription.

 

This article is intended as a guide and is not a substitute for the advice of a physician, pharmacist, or other health care professional.
For any therapeutic use, consult a doctor or a pharmacist. Refer carefully to the contraindications and precautions for use of each essential oil. In case of doubt, consult a health professional.


Sources: Extracts from the books "Aromatherapia, tout sur les huiles essentielles" and "HUILES ESSENTIELLES, HUILES VÉGÉTALES & HYDROLATS : Mes indispensables", by Isabelle Pacchioni, published by Aroma Thera.

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