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Chemical Burns From Garlic Home Remedy For Athlete's Foot Destroy Woman's Toe

Chemical Burns From Garlic Home Remedy For Athlete's Foot Destroy Woman's Toe

**WARNING: Graphic images

Sometimes home remedies work great. Other times, however, they burn your toes.

In England, a 45-year-old woman was rushed to the hospital with second-degree burns she accidentally caused herself. It turns out the woman had been attempting to treat a fungal infection on her toenail with raw garlic.

The burns didn't happen overnight. The unnamed woman cut raw garlic and placed it on her toe for four hours a day every day for a month. In the final 12 hours before she sought medical attention, her toe had erupted in "painful blisters and redness."

British Medical Journal

Though garlic has been used as a herbal remedy for thousands of years, due to its supposed "antibacterial and antifungal properties," doctors caution that prolonged exposure can also cause "chemical burns and contact dermatitis." As always, it's important to be careful when resorting to herbal remedies.

Garlic burns are caused by sulphuric compounds which react chemically to heat. The resulting reaction can burn the skin to varying degrees depending on "how fresh the garlic is and how long it is used for." Many chefs experience similar burns after working with garlic for many years.

Doctors released a report on the patient summarizing how they treated her wound:

The garlic burn was managed with regular dressings and the skin changes resolved over two weeks. [The patient was advised] to avoid further application of garlic or other topical herbal medicines. This case seeks to highlight the potential for injury following application of garlic-related naturopathic remedies. The general population should be encouraged to apply caution when using such herbal treatments.

This sadly is not the first time garlic has caused strange burns through its use as a herbal remedy. In one particularly tragic case, an 80-year-old woman was attempting to use garlic to treat nerve pain on the side of her face. Tragically, she was later rushed to the hospital with second-degree burns on her cheek, her nerve damage unimproved.

When using home remedies, it's always important to check online for any safety risks. And, depending on the nature of your condition, a trip to the doctor may be the best option.

H/T - The Daily Mail, LiveScience