Can Bag Balm cure foot fungus?

One of my neighbors swears that Bag Balm® helps cure foot fungus. Is that true?
No, not really. Applying Bag Balm® to a fungal infection might help it keep from spreading, but it's far more likely to make it worse.
Most organisms grow better when placed in specific conditions that help them thrive. Most plants grow faster when planted in areas that receive many hours of direct sunlight each day. Other plants grow better in filtered light or areas out of the direct sun. Grasses and corn thrive in wet areas and will wither unless they get regular watering. Yet, iris and cacti have roots that can quickly rot if exposed to too much water. 
Foot fungus and yeast organisms grow best in warm, dark, and moist places. This is why you'll find fungus and yeast thrive in the spaces between your toes and in the groin area rather than on the tops of your feet or on your elbows. Yeast can infect the diaper area because wet diapers provide a warm, dark and moist environment.  
Bag Balm® has 3 main ingredients: petroleum jelly (Vaseline®), lanolin (wool fat), and 8-hydroxyquinoline, an anti-infective agent. Bag Balm® was initially marketed to dairy farmers to apply to cow udders to reduce skin irritation and speed the healing of minor cuts and scrapes.  Although licensed for veterinary use only, most farmers also used it on themselves and their family members for their cuts and chapped skin, with good results. Today, many homes wouldn't be without Bag Balm® in its iconic bright green square can. 
8-hydroxyquinoline is considered an effective topical anti-infective. It has been used as an active ingredient in liquid bandages such as New Skin®. The 19th edition of the United States Dispensatory published in 1907 describes 8-hydroxyquinoline as a potent antiseptic. 
8-hydroxyquinoline can stop the growth of bacteria and fungi by combining with specific trace minerals found on the surface of bacteria and fungi. This poisons them and prevents these microorganisms from reproducing, inhibiting their growth and ability to cause infection.  
Although 8-hydroxyquinoline can inhibit fungus reproduction, slathering it on your feet won't ensure a cure for Athlete's foot. The main reason is that Bag Balm® is an ointment. 
Your body continuously gives off moisture through your breath, your sweat, and the pores of your skin. Creams help trap that moisture next to your skin before it evaporates, but ointments do that even better. One of the best ways to soothe dry skin is to get it wet, pat it only partly dry and then apply an ointment. Ointment traps moisture next to the skin and prevents it from evaporating. 
Bag Balm® is only available as an ointment. Applying ointment to your feet moisturizes dry, chapped, or cracked skin. But if that skin is infected with fungus, using an ointment will encourage it to spread. 
Ointment applied to feet covered in socks and shoes provides a warm, dark, and moist place, the perfect spot for growing fungus. 
Instead of reaching for a can of Bag Balm® when fighting foot fungus, I recommend keeping your feet as dry as possible and using a non-prescription antifungal agent. 
Here are 3 keys to a Successfully Battling Foot Fungus:
1.Change your socks frequently
2.Apply a medicated antifungal cream until the infection is under control 
3.Keep fungus under control by using an antifungal spray powder daily  
Q: Can I use Bag Balm® for my baby's diaper rash?
I don't recommend it. Babies have much thinner skin than children or adults, and the genital area has the most delicate skin of all. 
The thinner your skin, the more likely that compounds applied to your skin can be absorbed through it into your bloodstream. Broken or blistered skin is even more likely to absorb stuff that’s intended only for use on the outside, not the inside.
Years ago, an antiseptic cleanser called Phisohex® was used to wash newborn infants. It contained hexachlorophene, an antiseptic skin cleanser that killed bacteria. When used as a body wash, some babies absorbed enough hexachlorophene through their skin to trigger seizures and other life-threatening reactions. 
When treating a diaper rash, wash the area very gently and let it dry completely before applying any cream, ointment or other protectant. Creams or ointments containing zinc oxide protect the skin from contact with irritants like urine and feces without encouraging yeast infection. 
The skin of babies younger than 6 months is particularly sensitive to perfumes; avoid highly scented baby wipes and soaps which can trigger diaper rash. 
 
Dr. Louise Achey, Doctor of Pharmacy, is a 42-year veteran of pharmacology and author of Why Dogs Can’t Eat Chocolate: How Medicines Work and How YOU Can Take Them Safely. Get clear answers to your medication questions at her website and blog TheMedicationInsider.com.®2021 Louise Achey
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