Your Guide to Treating Toenail Fungus by an RN

Toenail Fungus

Home Remedies for Toenail Fungal Infections

Many of us think of home remedies as some ancient form of hillbilly medicine that Grandma Betty Jo passed down from her Grandma, who passed it down from her Grandma, and so on. Many of the home remedies we as a culture perform today have been passed down from our grandparents simply because they grew up in a different time era where running to the doctor for a cut, or runny nose, was clearly out of the question! Times were much harder and making due with what they had in the medicine cabinet, and sometimes under the kitchen sink, was they only treatment available. I have heard it said that home remedies are experimental medicine at its finest, that I am not so sure of, but what I am sure of is some of these remedies truly work!

Home remedies for toenail fungal infections are very popular, and many individuals report on there effectiveness. These remedies range from soaking your feet in Listerine, and vinegar, to rubbing your feet with Vicks vapor rub, or applying bleach, peroxide, alcohol, or various oils to your toes. Obviously I am not going to tell you that applying bleach to your skin or toes is a good idea, but there are several forums that speak of this.

home_remedy

The logic behind the vinegar soaks is that fungi need a specific Ph to grow in; soaking your feet in highly acidic vinegar disrupts the normal Ph of the skin, thus preventing the growth of the fungi. Keep in mind that while it may rid your toes of the fungus, it will also rid your skin of moisture. A wonderful alternative to actually submerging your feet in a basin full of vinegar is saturating a cotton ball in vinegar, and placing the cotton balls on each affected toe for 15-20 minutes. This still gives your toes the vinegar treatment while sparing the rest of your feet the acidity. This is the recommended technique for the Listerine as well.

Honestly, I am not sure what the logic is behind the Vicks vapor rub, maybe it is the eucalyptus, but the comments are unanimous…it works, and it works rather quickly! You must ensure you cover the entire surface of the nail and the surrounding areas, rubbing it in very well. Every report I have read states that the fungal infection starts showing visible improvements in a matter of days. Many people trust the old reliable remedies as well, alcohol and peroxide applied directly to the nail surface and under the nail bed if possible. These will no doubt produce a noticeable amount of burning, and stinging.

All of these remedies mentioned here have the potential to slow the growth, or kill the fungus; however, you must use common sense when trusting your health to home remedies. If the infection persists or shows signs of worsening you must seek medical intervention immediately. Also, these remedies tend to be more effective when applied at an early stage in the infection process, it is not recommended that you try any home remedies or natural treatments if your toe is noticeably infected, separated from the nail bed, or oozing any type of fluid or pus. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, it is imperative you contact your doctor immediately!

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29 Comments

  1. tony says:

    Do you have any information on the use of ultraviolet or infrared light treatments for T. fungus?
    I’ve heard UV is effective, but haven’t seen proof yet.
    Thanks!

  2. Donald DaCosta says:

    I’ve been using the Listerine/cotton ball treatment on two of my infected toes for 4 months. Two 1/2 hour treatments per day. There are effects but far from a cure. The big toenail is now almost gone but what’s left and the surrounding tissue is pink with little encrustation and there’s never been any sign of bacterial infection.

    I’ve had this condition for over ten years starting with the big toe and now spread to four of the nails on my right foot. Left foot is perfectly normal. I’m reluctant to accept the claims and the hype for Fungisil, ZetaClear, etc. I had the nail on my big toe surgically removed (but not the root) by a podiatrist some years back; painful but no cure. I’ve tried tea tree oil; no effect.

    I wear flip flops and sandals all summer long, no socks. This causes me no embarrassment. Despite the appearance (not too bad actually) it’s obvious that my feet are immaculately clean and well taken care of. But it’s unsightly and it’s annoying and frustrating that I’ve yet to find something that works. Based on the above article I will try the Vicks Vapor Rub. It was the “comments are unanimous….it works,” that convinced me to give it a try. We’ll see.

  3. kamal says:

    Hi Donald DaCosta, your comments have aroused fear within me. I have been stall doctors visit for my toe infection. I never thought it can get that serious.

    How-come advance medicine cant cure such a simple looking infection. I shall visit a doctor in the first appointment I get, it wold be much helpful if you could detail out how you reached to this stage. Is this infection so incurable or delayed treatment can cause serious trouble.

    Thanks

  4. Linda says:

    I have a question. May a diabetic person use tree tea oil to
    help cure toe fungus?

  5. Kat says:

    I have been reading about the home remedies. I have not had a fungal infection. But I resently did some volunteer work and was suppose to wrk it from beginning to end. I couldn’t. 6 hrs into volunteering my toe nails hurt so bad I could not walk, they were red and almost black and blue. I tried cutting the nail shorter because the fabric of my clothes would feel like they were being ripped off. I found out though I accidently got some of the skin and I mean for more than 12 hrs, I’ve had a clear liquid pouring out. My husband said it is an infection but IT looks like a big blister under my toenails??? If you have a suggestion of what it is please let me know!!!! ASAP!!!!

  6. marcin says:

    I have fantastic news for everybody with fungal infections.The only product avalible that works is
    is ORUNGAL (tablets) ,because your infection is in your system ,you have to fight from the inside for 6 months ,costly 600-700$ but effective 100%, you gonna kill fungi in your system but nothing is for free ,

      you gonna damage your liver and stomach

    .The choice is yours.Good luck

  7. eli says:

    I have had a small black area on my toe beside the baby toe for about 2 months now. It hasn’t gotten any worse and there’s no pain or anything, but it had me concerned so I checked out the web and found this in addition to other sites. I keep hearing about Listerine and other home remedies, so I figured where my problem is small just yet, I will start with something easy. I just happened to have a packet of Listerine Pocket Paks here beside me and thought hmmm…I wet my toe and wrapped one of the little sheets around my toe. I think I will do this everyday and see what happens. I will let you all know if anything has changed in a couple of weeks to a month :) If this works, this could not be an easier treatment method :)

  8. Dan says:

    I have type 2 Diabetes, recently at my Dr. I asked for someting for my toe nail fungus. He told me the meds for the fungus is very damaging to the kidneys. Being a diabetic I have decide to try some less agressive. I think I will try the vinegar for a while and see if I have any success. Thanks for all your inputs.. I will check back and let you know how it is working in a few weeks.

  9. jia says:

    i have toenail fungus pls tell me homwremedies pls soon.

  10. Brandy says:

    There is a med you can get from your Dr. that will treat the fungus that is very inexpensive. It comes in a clear nail polish that you put on the infected nail several times a day. I have no insurance and was able to ask the free clinic doc for it. I went in to the clinic expecting them to give me pills for the toenail fungus, but I already have heart and kidney failure so he said I couldn’t take the pills. Instead he prescribed clear polish that has the medicine in it. Works good. You just have to remember to put it on 4 or 5 times a day for several weeks. Better than taking bad pills. And it was very cheap. Just thought y’all might want to know something like that is out there! Just ask for it!

  11. Don Paul says:

    Gentain violet the only way to go!!!!

  12. Tricey says:

    Hi. For the last 2 years I have had an fungus on my toenails and one of my big toenails is turning a little black and ive tried things in the past i want to try an home cure thing if it doesnt work I want to try the nail removal I have one Ques. Do the nails grow back. Whats the cost of toenail removal? Thank you

  13. Kris says:

    I found this article last night and decided to use the Vics Vapor Rub because I have it in my medical cabinet. I was also encouraged by the reports. I rubbed it onto the nail and the surrounding tissue and went to bed. This morning, I had VERY obvious improvement. Honestly, at this rate, I expect this issue to be resolved by the end of the week.

    However, I have only had this issue for about 6 months and have not seen a doctor. I don’t know for sure that it is fungus vs other medical issues. All I know is Vics rocks and I highly recommend it.

  14. Jodi says:

    I used the Vics on my finger nail and it worked 100% ! I cut the nail as short as I could encluding the part that was not attached under the nail. I rubbed Vics on 2 times a day and kept a band aid on it . Mostly to hide my finger nail (it looked pretty nasty with the nail cut down so far) My nail started to grow back and it was attached underneath with out the fungus ! And now my nail is long and healthy ! Now I have a fungus under my thumb nail so I will be finding my Vics ASAP ! I highly recommend Vics !!

  15. mike says:

    I tried just about everything over the counter and a couple of
    home remedies with no success. Still looking and just checked
    out your assesement of the laser treatment, less then hopefull
    after reading the feedback. I’ll try sticking them in the toilet
    if there’s a chance of success. Where there’s life there’s hope!

  16. olha says:

    ive used Orungal for 3 month and cured my toenail/but 6 month after re-infected.
    Need to use everyday new socks and wash all shoes.

  17. Vinegar toenail fungus says:

    I used the Vics on my finger nail and it worked 100% !
    I tried just about everything over the counter and a couple of
    home remedies with no success

  18. vicsisit says:

    I have had this fungus on and off for a few years. It seems to get better in the summer, when I don’t wear socks as much. After visiting this website, I tried some vicks (generic, even), and this morning my toenails looked totally different. I was shocked. I had read about and even tried this before, but I didn’t use it on the surrounding area or anything. I think that was my mistake. This time I used a generous amount all over the top half of my toe, and rubbed it in as well as I could. I could feel it working immediately. If you haven’t tried this metho
    d, I would HIGHLY recommend it.

  19. Lulu says:

    Anyone tried Methylene Blue? (Antifugal for fish tanks) Cheap, used for Malaria treatment.

  20. Jessica says:

    Ive had fungus in my toes,since I was 15… Im now 25… Almost 26… I hate my toes… Ive covered them even with fake nails but in august 2011 it started to spread to my other nails… I guess ill try the vicks remedy… Im also breastfeeding my three month old so orungal is out of the question…. Abd I have hyperthyroidism… Its so frustrating having to hife,my toes from everyone even my significant other
    =( HELP!!

  21. Tiffany says:

    I’ve tried alot of remedies and the best one for me was the bleach remedy. Immediate results with reattaching the nail to my skin but not with coloration. Actually, my nail is stronger now than it has been for the last 15 years. I havent tried the Vicks yet so I will keep you posted.

  22. John Wallstrom says:

    Tea tree oil worked for me, but I did not like the smell.

    I have used Original Listerine Mouth Wash with excellent result. I apply it
    with an Eye Dropper every morning after the shower.

    My nails used to be discolored fractured and pitted. Now, my nails are
    perfect and my wife is jealous. No need for me to feel embarrassed at the swimming pool.

    My fungus is long gone, but I still apply the mouthwash with an eyedropper
    every morning. I don’t want the fungus back!

    Be patient, after about 3 months you will see the deformed nail slowly being replaced with a beautiful nail.

    Another plus, my shoes don’t smell anymore!

  23. liz says:

    My mother killeed her liver using that medicine you take orally for toe fungus . Are your toes worth it. Killing your liver I don’t think so . So dose my mother. Now

  24. James Purvis says:

    Soaking Toenails for toenail fungus treatment is Very often recommended, but interestingly, no such device was made to do Just that! My wife is a treatment nurse at a health facility and she requested that I buy a toenail soaking tray (especially made for toenails) What? …No such thing existed! To make a long story short; with the help and support of many friends and professionals, such a tray is now available. It’s called the Toenail Soaking Tray (what else?) I recommend it highly . It can be used with all topical and internal toenail fungus treatments! It is now used at the facility where my wife works and many have been sold in the united states internationally. I would add a note; I have found the treatment and cure for toenail fungus requires strong determination. But I also believe that virtually all cases can be successfully treated and cured. best of success with your treatments!!! —”toenailfix.com”

  25. kandie says:

    i developed my first toenail fungus when i was about 14 just before summer, i was scared my toenail turned green an was just eating away by itself. I visited the doctor, what a waste of time and money. I was a frequent swimmer, so i guess the sea water cured my fungus. but it came back about two yrs later from wearing acrylic nails on my big toe, it eventually grew out. now I’m 23 it’s back again, I am doing some research on what types of home remedies to use if none of these work with in three months I’ll just head back to the sea water and soak my feet every morning.

  26. Laura Pritchard says:

    It’s the thyme in Vicks Vapo-rub that makes it work on toe fungus!

  27. Nathan Audsley says:

    the UV treatment, swimming in the sea, and the soaking in various liquids makes since, you have to remember this is still simply a fungus. Any conditions that fungus have a tough time living in will also kill it. as it’s on our feet, it’s going to be warm and usually dark and moist though. After having toenail fungus return over and over again for over 15 years now, one thing I’m convinced of is that consistency is the real key. If you find something that seems to be working, keep using it until well after you think the infection is dead, maybe in terms of years. I believe stopping treatment when symptoms disappear is why so many, myself included, cannot ever seem to be rid of the fungus. This makes sense to me because as I said before, we are dealing with fungus here which as I recall can live a really long time, through a hell of a lot.

  28. Perico says:

    To confine topical creams, liquids, medicines, intimately contacting the nail under treatment, use a party balloon, cut-off the ring end to the proper size and wear it as a condom. No soaking trays, messy smears or wasting time.

  29. Sarah says:

    my right foot always stays dry and the a skin begins to peel. My big toenailis dry and partially dead and it is spreading to my other four toenails. but my lef foot is totally normal and pretty. i have had this for as long as i can remember!! it will not go away!! Any suggestions??

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