Undecylenic Acid: Your Secret Weapon Against Fungal Infections


At least once in our lifetime, we will develop some sort of fungal infection. It is almost inevitable. Fungi lives in the air, plants, the soil, water and our very own bodies. Like many other microorganisms, there are those that are beneficial to our biological makeup and those that are invasive and cause an array of problems. Whether you are minding your own business at the gym or happen to have a slight imbalance in hormones, fungi can strike at any time. Fortunately, most of these fungal infections can be controlled with the use of undecylenic acid.

What Is Undecylenic Acid

undecylenic acid

Undecylenic acid also known as Undecenoic acid, 10-undecenoic acid, or Undec-10-enoic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid derived from castor bean oil and is naturally found in human sweat. Undecylenic acid has been in use for many years as an inhibitor of yeast and fungus in both the food and medical industries. In fact, the potent antifungal properties of undecylenic acid were used in several studies to treat tinea pedis (aka Athlete’s Foot) during World War II.

In its liquid form, undecylenic acid may cause irritation in the mucous membranes in some people, however, since it is naturally found in small amounts within the body, most are able to tolerate it in liquid form. For those who are sensitive to the potent fatty acid, it can also be administered in salt form (10-Undecenoic acid zinc salt), which research has suggested has over 30 times more fungicide activity than that of caprylic acid. 

Common Fungal Infections Undecylenic Acid Fights Against

Most OTC topical Undecylenic acid can be found in liquid, powder, or ointment form, which are usually prescribed based on the location and severity of the fungal infection. 

Yeast Infections

undecylenic acid

A vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is a common yet easily treatable condition. Three out of four women are likely to develop a yeast infection at least once in their lifetimes.

Yeast infections are classified as an overgrowth of bacteria called Candida, which can be brought on by many factors such as stress, hormone imbalances, antibiotics and poor eating habits. This imbalance of bacteria can cause itching of the tissues at the vaginal opening, discharge and irritation. In some cases, a rash may also appear if it has not been treated in time.

Other symptoms include:

  • Crusting or flaking of the skin around the vaginal opening
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse

While the symptoms may cause some discomfort, if detected early, yeast infections can easily be managed and treated at home with the use of Undecylenic acid.

In one study conducted in China, researchers found that even in low doses Undecylenic acid had a significant effect on the candida bacteria. Results showed that the fatty acid reduced the enzymatic activity which allows candida bacteria cells to become pathogenic. In addition to that, both fat degrading enzymes and protein degrading enzymes were affected as well. Both these enzymes are responsible for increasing the candida’s virulence, or in other words, increasing the pathogen’s ability to damage or infect the host. 

Nail Fungus 

Onychomycosis, also known as a fungal infection of the nails, is another common infection most people are likely to contract. While most people are susceptible to developing a nail fungus, it is usually seen in mature adults. As we age, the nail becomes brittle and starts to crack. These cracks are where fungi enter and start to multiply. Symptoms usually begin when a white or yellow spot appears on the nail. As the fungus starts to spread and penetrate deeper, it can cause the nail to thicken, discolor and crumble at the free edge. The infection can be localized to one nail or spread to the rest of the nails depending on the severity. In most cases, much like candida, onychomycosis can be treated at home if it has been detected early enough. 

undecylenic acid

There are a few types of fungi that cause onychomycosis, but the most common and prevalent is dermatophyte fungus. In one publication, scientists revealed that Undecylenic acid acts as an exfoliant to remove any dead infected skin from the stratum corneum layer of skin. It also showed that it helps to prevent dermatophyte from spreading or worsening. 

The same microbe that causes yeast infections, candida, can also cause nail infections. As we previously discussed, undecylenic acid is beneficial for inhibiting enzymatic activity and fat biosynthesis of the candida infection.

Ringworm And Athlete’s Foot

While the name may suggest that ringworm is caused by a parasite or worm, it is actually caused by a dermatophyte fungus much like the one that causes nail fungus. Ringworm or tinea corporis causes a ring-shaped rash, which is exactly what gives this infection its name. Symptoms often include red, itchy, scaly patches that may blister or ooze depending on how advanced the infection is. The skin in the center of the ring may also appear darker or lighter than the rest of your body. 

Athlete’s foot is also a type of tinea that only affects the feet and does not leave a circular rash. Symptoms usually begin in between the toes and can spread to the rest of the foot if it hasn’t been treated in time. Symptoms include a burning sensation between the toes and red scaly patches of skin that sometimes give off an unpleasant odor. 

These types of tinea are highly contagious and can be contracted from skin contact on damp surfaces such as public showers and swimming pools. They can also be contracted by contact with another infected human or animal. 

Since both of these infections are caused by fungi like that of yeast infections and nail fungus infections, Undecylenic acid is also effective at inhibiting the fungi from spreading and causing further damage to the host and skin. Some OTC ringworm and athlete’s foot formulas use a common antifungal ingredient called tolnaftate, however, studies show that Undecylenic acid has a quicker ‘killing time” and appears to be more effective against microbes. 

The Best Antifungal Topical Formulas

While Undecylenic acid is a potent antifungal, there also needs to be additional beneficial ingredients in a formula to help relieve symptoms such as itchiness and irritation. Supporting ingredients should also be added to help heal any oozing wounds and broken skin. 

If you suspect you have contracted a fungal infection, these are a few products you can count on to address symptoms as well as the underlying causes:

Yeast Infections – Candidar

Candidar is specifically formulated to fight fungus and balance PH levels within the body in order to make it a more hostile environment for candida to grow in. With a combination of Undecylenic acid (USP 25% – the strongest concentration available for topical use), four strains of natural probiotics, and other supporting ingredients, Candidar can help eliminate symptoms and prevent the overgrowth of candida bacteria during an infection and prevent it from developing again in the future. 

The Supporting Ingredients

undecylenic acid
  • Undecylenic Acid (USP 25%)
  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) B2 (Riboflavin) and B6

Why Does It Work?

The ingredients make all the difference when combating the cause as well as the symptoms of yeast infections. You may be wondering why a formula that is supposed to combat fungi contains bacteria, well it is simple. There are two forms of bacteria, those that are harmful to us and those that we need in order to survive. Bacillus coagulans, which is also known as a probiotic (live microorganisms) helps to boost immunity and stave off infections in the respiratory tract, gut, and vagina. In one study, 10 healthy men and women were given B. coagulans for a period of 30 days. After the bacteria was administered for the full 30-day term, participants were exposed to influenza A (the flu virus) and adenovirus (responsible for respiratory illnesses). The results showed that B. coagulans increased cell production of Tumour Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF alpha), which is a cell-signaling protein that helps to build up the body’s resistance to infections.

Bacillus subtilis is another beneficial bacteria that has the ability to produce and secrete antibiotics. The spores are extremely resilient and can survive under very hot and volatile conditions for up to six years. Bacillus subtilis has potent antioxidant and DNA protective properties that are beneficial for inducing heat shock proteins to protect cells against tissue damage. This fascinating strain of bacteria also helps to restore natural gut flora and inhibits the growth of various pathogenic bacteria such as candida. 

In addition to undecylenic acid and beneficial probiotic strains in this formula, various C and B vitamins have also been included to fight candida by regulating Ph levels, promoting the release of stomach acids, boosting the immune system, and providing support to the adrenal glands.

Nail And Toenail Fungus – Fungix

Fungix ™ combines the power of antifungal, hydration, and healing all in a single bottle. The clinically supported ingredients help to address the issue of invasive pathogens by fighting them at the root cause and preventing further outbreaks by sealing the cracks in nails and skin, making it more difficult for fungi to enter. 

undecylenic acid

The Supporting Ingredients

  • Undecylenic Acid (USP 25%)
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Aloe Vera
  • Juglans nigra
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Menthol
  • Camphor Oil
  • Clove Bud Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Manuka Oil
  • Essential Oil Blend

Why Does It Work?

The effectiveness of this formula all boils down to the 100% natural ingredients. 

Tea Tree oil has been in use for centuries thanks to its wide range of therapeutic and antifungal benefits. In one study researchers found that tea tree oil had a significant impact on inhibiting the growth of nail infection-causing fungus. These results were seen in as little as 14 days. Tea tree oil is also an anti-inflammatory, which helps to soothe any irritation and pain in the nail bed and cuticles. Much like tea tree oil, aloe barbadensis also contains powerful antibacterial properties and helps to soothe discomfort, irritation, and itchiness. 

Juglans nigra or black walnut oil has been shown in several studies to inhibit the enzymatic activity of candida. In fact, one study, in particular, showed that black walnut had more effect on fungi than most commercial antifungal agents. Another key benefit of black walnut is that it also has anti-parasitic properties. This is due to the walnut’s juglone and tannin content. Juglone is a natural herbicide that has an inhibitory effect on metabolic enzymes. Tannins, which are a natural compound commonly found in grape skins help to enhance immunity against parasites.

Among the many beneficial ingredients, another key ingredient in this undecylenic acid nail fungus formula is manuka oil. This essential oil is a common ingredient in most cosmetic skincare products because of it’s incredible ability to relieve skin irritations and fight off acne-causing bacteria. In addition to these remarkable properties, manuka oil also contains triketone compounds, which encourage cellular proliferation for rapid wound healing.

Ringworm – Ringwex™

As we discussed previously, ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection that can spread to the rest of the body or another human via contact if it has not been seen to. Ringworm causes the infected area to become itchy and when an individual scratches it and does not wash their hands immediately after, it can cause the fungi to spread quickly. A product like Ringwex™ is specifically formulated to prevent spreading by addressing the symptoms as well as eliminating the root cause of the infection.

The Supporting Ingredients

undecylenic acid
  • Undecylenic Acid (USP 25%)
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Melaleuca Oil
  • Aloe Barbadensis
  • Black Walnut Oil
  • Cymbopogon Citratus Oil
  • Propolis
  • Vitamin E
  • Menthol
  • Camphor Oil
  • Chia Oil
  • Eugenia Caryophyllus Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Manuka Oil
  • Mineral Oil
  • Canola Oil

Why Does It Work?

Ringwex uses a combination of undecylenic acid and other natural ingredients to alleviate itchiness, reduce swelling, promote rapid healing, and restore the natural structure of the skin. Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that are found in both flaxseed and chia oil have been found to reduce skin sensitivity, scaling, and skin roughness. These fatty acids also help to induce the skin’s natural ability to secrete oil in order to speed up the healing of cracks and blisters caused by fungi.  

Eugenia Caryophyllus or clove oil, which is another key fungus fighting ingredient found in this formula is a potent natural pain killer that also contains antiseptic properties. For centuries, people have been using raw cloves and clove oil to relieve dental pain, which many studies have found it to be more effective than most over the counter oral anesthetics.

Cymbopogon Citratus or lemongrass oil is and its antifungal activity is a fairly new topic of interest in the natural fungicide field. Research has shown that this essential oil helps to inhibit the growth and survival of fungi such as aspergillus niger, penicillium roqueforti, fusarium oxysporum, saccharomyces uvarum, and candida albicans to name a few.  

Athlete’s Foot – Athletol™

Most athlete’s foot remedies on the market today contain very few ingredients that only address the fungi and not the symptoms. The downside to this is that most of these ointments and creams usually contain chemical-based ingredients such as Triethanolamine, which is a byproduct of ethylene oxide and ammonia, Terbinafine hydrochloride, a synthetic antifungal, or clotrimazole, which is known for causing side effects such as rashes, swelling, burning, and irritation. Formulations such as Athletol™ contain 100% natural and clinically proven ingredients that not only address the fungi but also help to alleviate symptoms and restore the original structure of the epidermis. 

The Supporting Ingredients

undecylenic acid for athlete's foot
  • Undecylenic Acid (USP 25%)
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Aloe Barbadensis
  • Juglans Nigra
  • Propolis
  • Essential Oil Blend
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Menthol
  • Camphor
  • Clove Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Manuka Oil

Why Does It Work?

We already know that Undecylenic Acid effectively inhibits tinea causing fungi and drastically increases “killing time” in comparison to ingredients such as tolnaftate, but what really makes this formula unique? Well, the potent antifungal compounds like tea tree, clove, and aloe combined with a blend of camphor, menthol, essential oils, lavender, and propolis leave the skin feeling soothed and hydrated overall. Camphor, which is derived from the bark of the Cinnamomum camphora tree has been used for its therapeutic properties over the past few centuries. Camphor helps to reduce swelling and acts as a topical anesthetic by numbing nerve endings, which helps to relieve pain and inflammation. The potent oil is also beneficial for fighting fungi such as trichophyton mentagrophytes and Candida parapsilosis, which usually affect the feet. 

Menthol has also been added to the formula to maximize healing and recovery time. This minty ingredient helps to relieve the pain, burning, and itching caused by fungal infections. When applied to the skin, menthol has a cooling effect which helps to soothe inflammation. 

lavender oil

Another beneficial ingredient in this unique athlete’s foot formula is propolis. Propolis is a resin-like substance that is made by bees, which is used to build and seal their hives. For hundreds of years, man has been using propolis for its medicinal properties. Many studies have found that this resin material acts as a natural antibiotic against dermatophyte fungi with little to no side effects. The 300 plus polyphenol compounds found in propolis contain powerful antioxidant properties that help to combat damage in the body and speed up epidermal healing. Research also suggests that the topical healing properties of propolis are more effective in reducing mast cells in surgery wounds than steroid-based topical creams.  

Lavender oil is lethal to many pathogenic species that affect the skin such as candida and dermatophytes. Studies reveal that lavender oil has a highly potent antifungal activity which helps to eradicate fungal cells by damaging their cellular membranes. This sweet-smelling essential oil also plays a crucial role in alleviating symptoms of athlete’s foot as well as keeping the infected areas sterilized and clean. 

As a wide-spectrum antifungal, lavender oil together with undecylenic acid is why this product outshines many of its competitors.

Undecylenic Acid – An End To Fungal Infections

undecylenic acid

Undecylenic acid is nothing new in the world of medicine and continues to be the main ingredient in some of the most effective antifungal formulas on the market today. It has astounding antifungal activity and healing properties that help to eradicate fungi such as candida and dermatophytes, both of which are responsible for causing ringworm, yeast infections, nail fungal infections, and athlete’s foot.

Undecylenic acid is naturally found in human sweat and most individuals are not likely to suffer from any side effects. For those individuals who may have a sensitivity to Undecylenic acid, it’s best to speak to your health care provider before applying or ingesting any supplements or creams that contain the potent fatty acid.

If you are in the market for a potent antifungal product, look for formulas like the ones listed above, which contain a well-balanced list of ingredients that inhibit the growth and spread of fungi and also help to alleviate the symptoms and damage caused by these infections. 




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