A 45-year-old woman in England developed inflammation and painful blisters on her great toe after applying freshly sliced raw garlic to treat a fungal nail infection. This incident was reported in BMJ Case Reports, and is similar to garlic burns reported in other medical journals.
Garlic has been used as a medical treatment for generations. It is said to have antimicrobial properties. However, raw garlic on skin can cause a chemical burn and/or contact dermatitis.
The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic are believed to be the cause. The severity of the injury depends on the freshness of garlic, duration of exposure, and presence of pre-existing skin conditions and sensitivity.
Please use caution with herbal products and home remedies. If you have toenail fungus or any other foot problem, please contact our office for medical expertise.