How to Heal Skin Infections Naturally (Without Antibiotics)

At the end of last year I developed a skin infection. It started with an infected pimple on the right side of my chin, but gradually got worse, spreading right across my face (as pictured above), down my arms, and eventually spreading to my left ear, causing an ear infection. I was mortified when big red sores appeared around my cheeks and mouth, and was so embarrassed to be seen by anyone I knew when out in public.

Before following the usual path of taking antibiotics, I wanted to look for natural remedies that were tried and tested by others in the past that helped to heal skin infections naturally.

Many of the remedies I came across were actually used by our ancestors, back before antibiotics were created.

I was able to keep the skin infection at bay using some of these natural remedies (the skin infection would heal but turn up again somewhere else. I later found out it was a staph infection). However, once the infection spread to my ear, I sought medical advice as I didn’t want the infection to cause permanent damage to my ear, such as hearing loss. I ended up taking prescribed antibiotics, as well as applying an antibiotic cream to the inside of my ear, which managed to completely clear up the remaining infection.

Note: It’s important to know when it’s time to seek medical professional help to prevent serious illness from arising. If you’re currently experiencing an infection that’s just not healing, and you’ve tried natural remedies and things, but the infection’s getting worse, then it’s definitely time to seek medical help to prevent sepsis or other serious illnesses from developing due to the infection.

You can see, pictured here, on my chin a couple of red dots; this was taken just after my infection had finally cleared. So that was all that was left!

Any who, here are a few natural remedies that may help in treating skin infections, naturally.

Always consult with your own doctor first before using this or any other new product externally or internally. If symptoms persist, see your medical professional immediately.

Remedies to Treat Skin Infections Naturally

Some natural remedies that stand out above the rest in helping to combat antibiotic-resistant skin infections include:

  • CBD oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Honey
  • Echinacea
  • Cryptolepis
  • Garlic extract
  • Sida acuta
  • Ginger
  • Essential oils
  • Goldenseal
  • Probiotics
  • Clove

How CBD Oil helps with Skin Infections

Cannabidiol (a.k.a CBD) is a form of cannabis that contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that may prove to be medicinal when it comes to skin infections. The cannabinoids found in CBD oil may help in neutralising MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a type of superbug that’s resistant to most antibiotics.

Cannabinoids may also help in preventing future skin infections by upregulating the endocannabinoid system (a network of molecules and receptors that help with immunity, among other things), making the skin more resistant to infections.

Applying a topical form of CBD oil may prove most beneficial for reaping the antibacterial benefits of cannabinoids.

Oregano oil (Nature’s Antibiotic)

Carvacrol is a type of antioxidant called a phenol that may promote healing in the body, while thymol may protect against toxins and fight fungal infections. Both are found in oregano (but in concentrated amounts in the oil).

Honey’s Medicinal Properties

According to Chris Kresser, M.S.;

Topical application of natural, unprocessed honey reduces redness, swelling, and healing time in bacterial infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella. Its effects are comparable to that of topical antibiotics.

Manuka honey, in particular, has a very well-known for its medicinal benefits. It prevents bacteria like MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa from spreading on the skin and colonising in wounds. The methylgyloxal (MGO) in Manuka honey damages bacterial DNA, RNA, and proteins, making it a very powerful antimicrobial.

The UMF ratings (Unique Manuka Factor) on Manuka honey are very important, as the different ratings hold varying levels of medicinal properties:

  • UMF 10+ – the minimum rating recommended for medicinal use
  • UMF 15+ – good for more stubborn infections
  • UMF 20+ – may be effective against drug-resistant strains of bacteria

Echinacea for immunity

As with oregano oil, echinacea contains phenols, essential for controlling the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors.

According to Medical News Today;

The Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology reports that extract of Echinacea purpurea can kill many different kinds of bacteria, including Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes).

Strep throat, toxic shock syndrome, and necrotizing fasciitis (the “flesh-eating disease”) are all linked to S. pyogenes.

Echinacea may also be effective in supporting immune function, and help with conditions such as mouth ulcers (canker sores), yeast infections and ear infections due to its powerful antimicrobial and antiviral properties.

Cryptolepis Benefits

Cryptolepis works as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, and was used traditionally to treat malaria. Now, Cryptolepis has been shown to be effective against bacteria like MRSAPseudomonas aureginosa, and Candida albicans.

If using to treat skin infections, the best form of Cryptolepis is in a salve. Chris Kresser recommends this one.

Garlic extract

Garlic has been used throughout the ages for its curative powers, and when used in extract form, delivers a concentrated dose of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.

Garlic may be an effective treatment against Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and many other forms of bacteria.

Sida acuta as a Treatment Option

Sida acuta can be grown around the world, and is a powerful treatment for skin infections, particularly bacteria like Staphylococcus auresPseudomonas, aeruginosa, and Candida.

Ginger (a Natural Antibiotic)

While ginger is a well-known remedy for seasickness and nausea, it can in fact be used to help fight against many strains of bacteria. The á-pinene, borneol, camphene, and linalool compounds were found to provide antimicrobial effects.

Essential Oils to Use

There are a wide variety of essential oils that contain antimicrobial properties helpful in neutralising pathogens on skin. According to Chris Kresser, some of best ones for use on skin infections include:

Eucalyptus

Juniper berry

Lavender

Tea tree

Oregano

Sage

Thyme

Frankincense

Ylang-ylang

Cypress

When using these oils, a carrier oil (such as coconut, jojoba, or olive oil) is needed to dilute them before application, as they can cause irritation and even damage to skin due to their potency.

Combining different essential oils will enhance their effects. There are recipes online, or even pre-made blends in store intended for topical use in skin conditions.

Goldenseal for Infections

Goldenseal comes in a range of forms such as teas, herbal extracts, or capsules, and can be used to treat colds and upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract and yeast infections, digestive problems, sore gums, and skin problems.

This herbal remedy has been shown to help with rashes, ulcers, wound infections, eczema, acne, ringworm, herpes blisters, and cold sores.

According to Medical News Today;

Goldenseal extracts were used to prevent MRSA from damaging tissue.

A person taking prescription medications should check with a doctor before taking goldenseal, as this supplement can cause interference. It is also unsafe for infants, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Topical Probiotics

Lactobacilli contain antimicrobial properties and may help prevent the formation of biofilm (stubborn bacteria encased in a mucous-like substance which protects them from most antibacterial compounds, making them difficult to eradicate) when applied topically to skin. 

Chris Kresser recommends Mother Dirt for probiotic skin application products.

Clove oil as an Antibacterial

Clove is a well-known antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and insecticidal used commonly for oral health, as it’s proven to be very effective against bacteria that cause conditions like gum disease, due to its antimicrobial properties.

However, research has found that clove water extract may be effective against many different kinds of bacteria, such as S. aureus and E. coli.

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

Have you used any of the remedies above to help treat skin infections? What natural remedies did you use? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

Sources:

Kresser, Chris. (November 1, 2018). 6 Ways to Treat a Skin Infection Using Natural Remedies. Chris Kresser. Retrieved from https://chriskresser.com/6-ways-to-treat-a-skin-infection-using-natural-remedies/

What is CBD?. Project CBD. Retrieved from https://www.projectcbd.org/about/what-cbd

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Stephanie, Watson. (November 19, 2020). How to Select Manuka Honey and What It’s Used For. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-select-manuka-honey

Brazier, Yvette. (Updated: April 27, 2020). Benefits, uses, and side effects of Echinacea. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252684

Qing Liu, Xiao Meng, Ya Li, Cai-Ning Zhao, Guo-Yi Tang, and Hua-Bin Li. (June 16, 2017). Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Spices. NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5486105/

Wells, Diana. (Updated: June 13, 2018). How to Treat Acne and Some Other Skin Conditions with Garlic. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/garlic-for-acne#uses

Goldenseal. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-943/goldenseal

Petre, Alina, MS, RD (NL). (June 18, 2020). Goldenseal: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, and More. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/goldenseal-cure-for-everything

Cherney, Kristeen. (June 2, 2021). 7 Ways to Treat an Infected Wound Naturally and When to Seek Care. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/skin/how-to-treat-an-infected-wound-naturally

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