Your Guide to Treating Toenail Fungus by an RN

Nail Fungus

Nail Fungus Home Remedies – Do They Actually Work?

The oral prescription treatments for onychomycosis (nail fungus or toenail fungus) are associated with several and potentially severe side effects (Liver Damage).  As a result many people turn to natural, alternative,  home remedies to treat their onychomycosis. Do any of these remedies work? If so, which ones? Are they safe?

remedies

There are a number of home remedies that have been tried over the years to treat onychomycosis and fungal nail infections. The problem with all of them and even with topical prescription medicines is that the remedy is not always able to penetrate the nail to the site of the infection. This keeps many home remedies from being very effective on onychomycosis. Also, there are no clinical trials that have looked at the various home remedies in the treatment of nail fungus. On the other hand, there is very little risk associated with the popular home remedies and most are inexpensive. Also there is some anecdotal evidence that they could work for some people.

Just as with prescription onychomycosis treatments, if the nail bed and lunula are affected, topical, over-the-counter, home remedies will not be effective. An oral medication is required and, currently, these medications are only available with a prescription.

listerine

One of the popular, inexpensive treatments that has been tried is to soak fingernails or toenails in Listerine. Listerine contains ethanol, thymol, eucalyptol, and benzoic acid. Listerine is known to kill bacteria and has recently been shown to have antifungal properties. In fact, this treatment was potent against Candida infections which cause one of the four main types of onychomycosis. Therefore, Listerine could theoretically eradicate a nail fungus infection if it could penetrate to the site of the fungus.

No clinical trials have been performed looking at Listerine and onychomycosis but proponents of the treatment suggest soaking fingernails or toenails in Listerine for 10 minutes each night. Listerine’s ability to kill dermatophytes is less impressive and less well known. Since most onychomycoses are caused by dermatophytes, Listerine may not be universally effective.

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vinager

Another onychomycosis along these same lines is vinegar. Vinegar, also known as acetic acid, can potentially destroy the dermatophytes that cause onychomycosis. The process is the same for Listerine—people that would like to try this remedy should soak their fingers or toes in one part vinegar and two parts water for 20 minutes per day. Treatment should be continued until symptoms resolve or the skin around the nail becomes irritated. There is no advantage to using apple cider vinegar versus other vinegar types since they all contain acetic acid primarily. Also, over-the-counter preparations that contain acetic acid as their primary ingredient are not more or less special than plain vinegar.

vicks

One of the more promising home remedies for onychomycosis is Vicks VapoRub. Again, there are no clinical trials supporting this treatment, however physicians have witnessed improvements in some people using this ointment. Why might this home remedy work where others fail? In the case of Vicks VapoRub it is as much about the carrier as it is about the active ingredient. The oils and petroleum jelly in Vicks can dissolve and soften the nail when used repeatedly over time. This allows the active ingredients like menthol to penetrate the nail and fight the fungal infection.

The only really way to use Vicks VapoRub is topically; the precise “dose” and duration of therapy is anyone’s guess. Many people apply it to their affected toenails or fingernails at night and wear a sock or glove to keep the Vicks VapoRub next to the nail. Unfortunately this also tends to hold moisture next to the nail and moisture promotes fungus growth. If you are going to use Vicks VapoRub and a sock or glove, make sure the covering is 100 % cotton and “breathes” to prevent moisture accumulation.

herbal-oil

One natural product that has fairly impressive antifungal activity is tea tree oil or Melaleuca alternifolia. When used in vitro (meaning in a dish), tea tree oil was able to kill or inhibit all of the major causes of onychomycosis including Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Candida species. There have been two clinical trials of tea tree oil on onychomycosis one showing a 20% cure rate and the other showing a 0% cure rate. Apparently 100% tea tree oil needs to be used to see an effect. While cure was only achieved in a fraction of patients (or none) nail appearance improved in many more.
Interestingly tea tree oil was very effective in treating tinea pedis, a superficial fungal infection of the foot. In this case the topical agent can easily reach the offending fungus.

One topical treatment that contains Tea Tree Oil is Zetaclear.

Another herbal preparation that has some antifungal activity is Camellia sinensis or green tea extract. In a dish, this herb was able to kill Candida glabrata. It is affect on dermatophytes is unknown and there have been no clinical trials to determine if it has an effect on patients with onychomycosis.

References
Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV. In vitro activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil against dermatophytes and other filamentous fungi. J Antimicrob Chemother 2002;50:195-199.
Hart R, Bell-Syer SE, Crawford F, Torgerson DJ, Young P, Russell I. Systematic review of topical treatments for fungal infections of the skin and nails of the feet. BMJ 1999;319:79-82.
Turchetti B, Pinelli P, Buzzini P et al. In vitro antimycotic activity of some plant extracts towards yeast and yeast-like strains. Phytother Res 2005;19:44-49.

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102 Comments

  1. what does really work.

  2. Dave says:

    Thank you for the information about home remedies. I was surprised that mild bleach solution was not mentioned. I have have a foot nail infection and have had good success with using a mild bleach solution when taking a shower.

  3. admin says:

    Dave,

    We will research mild bleaching to see what effect this home remedy has on treating Onychomycosis.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Bruce says:

    I’ve been on the same road as dave. I’ve used Clorox bleach
    mixed in about about 2 gallons of water for foot baths for a while
    now. It has really done a job on fungus and about any other foot
    problem i have had. I’ve never measured the amount of Clorox
    exactly though. Usually i mix it strong enough so that a 30 to
    40 minute foot bath is all i can stand. It will sure itch! Your
    feet will come out looking rosy and as soft as new borns. If you
    use a rough wash-rag or a foot scrubber all the loose foot scale
    will come off (No need for a foot file).I’ve also noticed that if
    you add some Ajax with bleach alternative Ruby red grapefruit
    they will be exceptionally soft. If you can’t keep your feet in
    there for 30 min you’ve mixed it to strong. (Sounds

    sincerely

    BWB

  5. Future MD says:

    Actually, fungal diseases are not curable. We may only treat them, but we have no control of their re appearance. This is due to the extensive branching and networking within the fungal cell walls.

  6. Jose says:

    I have had this nail fungus problem in my big toe nail for years. I’m 17
    and as far as I can remember I have had this since i was maybe 10 or 9.
    the fungus is only on the left side of my toe nail and its been there for
    years, I do not know why it has not spread to the rest of the nail or to
    other nails. That part of the nail with the fungus is expanded and it does
    not hurt only when it gets hit hard like when I kick something.
    I really want to get this thing out so I can have a healthy foot and I
    also thing i have athlete’s foot. My other foot the left one is very
    healthy, there is no fungus and my skin is soft and not hard at all unlike
    my other foot.
    Well i just felt like sharing this story with you guys. Hopefully i get
    this thing out soon, i will try bleach i have seen this treatment work for
    people and I’ll see the results.

  7. James says:

    I have also heard that soaking the affected areas using a brew of Pau D’Oro tea is also helpful for curing nail fungal problems.

  8. Joe says:

    What about hydrogen peroxide?

  9. Nora says:

    I have toenail fungus for years, but it is only on my left foot on. It didn’t spread on the rest of my toenails, I will try all, starting with the the bleach, and soon you guys will hear from me, thank you.

  10. Nora says:

    send me more information.

  11. mike says:

    Just started the bleach treatments and will report back. I too am curious as to effectiveness of Hydrogen Peroxide.

  12. Erika says:

    I’ve heard if you brush your toenails with Ajax or Comet it should help with nail infections.

  13. Jo Ann A says:

    I have tried every one of these (including the Hydrogen Peroxide). None of them work. It’s best to keep filing down the nail. Try to keep the nail exposed after applying Vicks Petroleum Jelly. I’m tempted to try the laser treatment but it’s awfully expensive ($1,000.00) for one toe!

  14. Amy says:

    i also have some kind of fungus…my question is…do the toenails ever go back to looking normal and healthy with just using listerine or some other home remedy treatment? or will my nails stay ugly like this forever?

  15. Tony says:

    Acid and wild oregano oil worked for me. Finding the right acid is kinda tricky; vinegar was too weak, hydrochloric acid was too strong. Pepsi, Coco-cola (phosphoric acid) might be just right, don’t know yet, still experimenting. It softens the bone. But a Mongolian study found 80 percent success when mixing tea-tree oil together with a Broad Spectrum topical medicine to deliver the “punch”. I bought some Re-Clear AF ANTIMICROBIAL, not antifungal, at Walmart and Walgreens, which contains Benzalkonium Chloride. Colloidal Silver Salve might work in there as well, not sure yet. Tea-tree, wild oregano, and olive leaf oil extract all work to penetrate the nail. Mix them together with the nail topical ointment to deliver a fateful blow where it counts. I’ve noticed that when I’m working my hands in a base such as latex paint or concrete/tile/stucco, the fungus goes wild and out of control. Acids seem to kill it, bases seem to aggrivate it.

  16. Gunar says:

    Hydrogen peroxide worked for me

  17. mercedes says:

    i have fungus in 3 fingers of my right foot.i had this for 1 year now and i don`t like it .im going to try the bleach remedy to see if it works on me.

  18. Mariloli says:

    uhhhm??? Someone mentioned laser treatment!!!I have NEVER heard about it? Has anyone dones and can share their results??? even though they mentioned it is awfully expensive ($1,000) for one toe…I would definitely go for it after YEARS of suffering too.Several doctor treatments. My own Dr. will NOT prescribe me any more treatments because of the liver danger!I am reading about home remedies but….it seems so FOREVER!!!

  19. Leo says:

    Vinegar definitely worked for me. No need to soak in it for 20 minutes, though, just putting drops on the infected nail cuticle and rubbing it in does the trick.

  20. Deb says:

    I have fungus in four toes – two on each foot. Although the following
    “remedy” doesn’t cure it (it comes back if I stop), I find that it helps
    keep my toenails from getting severely infected. I combine half vinegar
    and half peroxide and soak my feet for about ten to 15 minutes followed
    by another soak in a solution of 3 parts water and one part bleach (again,
    soaking for about 10 to 15 minutes). I do this once or twice a month. As
    long as I keep this regime up, my toes look OK but I think the source of
    fungus is still active.

  21. Trisha says:

    I have had fungal problems for years. Vinegar finally worked for me
    I soak as often and as long as I can. If I stop for an extended period
    the black comes back. My nails are still thick and yellow though.
    Haven’t figured out how to fix that yet. I will try filing them and
    using a product I recently found in the pharmacy that says it gets the
    yellow out.

  22. PaleRaven says:

    Dr., has me on pill form of Lamisil along w/Vick’s Vapor Rub ~ after less than a month on these meds I can ‘finally’ cut certain toenails, and have added tea tree oil 2 the treatment ~ am optimistic ’bout the results ~ will include re: ‘common sense’ : bleach n/or peroxide if need be ~ why’d this hafta happen 2 me ~ dontcha all ask !!!

  23. pamela brule says:

    I will try the remedies cited (vinegar/Vicks), but I also have an appointment next week for laser procedure and the cost is $800 for all ten toes, which sounds somewhat reasonable, I guess. I want it zapped permanently versus a temporary topical solution that I must continue intermittently for the rest of my days!

  24. Victoria says:

    I have fungus in 2 toe nails. then I soked the cotton rounds in clorox mixed with water, put this on the toe nail and over put the finger protector rubber covering. I dont need to soak my feet but the clorox do the job and let this for long time, But I know this treatment is for 6 or 7 months if I want good result.

  25. Tom says:

    Pamela,
    Where did you find the laser treatment at?
    Was it a specific national clinic or podiatrist, etc.?
    Thanks for the info,
    Tom

  26. B says:

    Bleach does not get rid of nail fungus. You are just bleaching the color so they may look better but you are not killing the fungus. Same thing with your tub. The fungus is still there. You just turned it white.

  27. K says:

    Just went to my dr. for toenail fungus, told him i was using hydrogen peroxide and vicks. he was mad! told me to stop, take my polish off and go to walgreens and get antifungal cream and rub it in twice a day while filing the nail to get to the infection. trying it now!! anyone had success w otc antifungal?

  28. Deanna says:

    I had my toenail removed 18 years ago and the fungus stayed gone for 15 years. Then I got it again and I can’t find a podiatrist or anyone to remove the toenail again. I would be happy for it to be gone again for 15 years. I have been going to the podiatrist this time for 3 years with no success. I have taken Lamisil and used topical prescription medications. I have had no luck with any over the counter meds. I am beginning to try the home remedies to see how that goes. I am soaking in vinegar first.

  29. sam says:

    my toe nail is also infectad with fungus… so guys plz help me tell
    me which 1 bleach i can use 4 my toe nail?????

  30. wp says:

    This has just happened to me-I saw where most of you are posting a yellow color, mine looks black, is this norma.? I started with vics tonight. Interest in knowing more about bleach. Thanks.

  31. Jack Strawman says:

    I’m definitely going to try the natural tea trea oil idea. I really don’t want to take prescription drugs unless I absolutely have to. Thank you.

  32. cmd says:

    My dr. prescribed Ciclopirox. Am trying it now. But, my toenails are very painful. Guess until results are in I’ll take advil. Does anyone know if I shouldn’t use nail polish during this process? I hate the way my toenails look. And, I totally agree about going to get a pedicure. A lot of the employees at nail salons won’t stop and will continue to spread the fungus to others through the use of polish. Have you ever seen them clean one of those brushes? I won’t even use one of the “clean” brushes on my fingernails as I doubt they have really been cleaned.

  33. B says:

    You shouldn’t be wearing polish if you have fungus. Your nails need to breath. I have been alternating hydrogen peroxide, 70% rubbing alcohol, and apple cider vinegar baths. So far I am having good results. I do this twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes.

  34. DIANE DAVIS says:

    I have used white (clear) iodine & it really works. Some drugustores do not carry but might order it for you but you can order it online.

  35. Acee says:

    I had some limited success using tea tree oil and Lotrimin topically.
    First I removed the nail which had already detached from the bed due
    to the infection. This was painless. Then I filed what was left down
    as far as I could removing anything left.
    When I thought I was down to ‘skin’ I started the topical twice a day.
    This worked on a thumbnail and in a couple of months time it looked like
    new. I have tried this method since on other fingers and toes but have
    not had any other success. I damaged the thumb again while working on
    my car and re-infected it as a result of the trauma! Still trying.

  36. Helen says:

    When I was in rehab after hip surgery, they cut my toenails, and I didn’t want to
    criticize the fact they went from one toe to the next after trimming the
    big toe nail that had the terrible fungus. It didn’t take long for every
    nail to show that fungus infection had started. That was 4 yrs ago and
    I’ve battled it ever since…..until 2 weeks ago, when I rubbed Vicks
    Vaporub under and over every nail. I am so pleased with the outcome.
    They look sooooo much better now. They aren’t totally clear, but, it’s
    improving everyday. Please try it and report your findings on here
    in about two weeks. Good luck.

  37. B says:

    For about 3 wks I have soaked my toes in hydrogen peroxide for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes twice a day and can report back that all the yellowish color is

  38. frank says:

    suffered with nail fungus for over 20 years.Mix 1/2 peroxide and 1/2 water soak everynight for 4 weeks after 4 weeks start soak of this mixture. Mix 1 cup of sea salt 1 cup of epsom salt and 2 cups of baking soda mix well in container.Fill up foot bath with as hot as you can stand water and mix 1 cup from container. soak every night for 1 week after 1 week go back to the peroxide soak and keep doing this procedure after 3 month now i can not tell you how well this is working. good luck

  39. S says:

    I’ve heard that Cornmeal soaks will help. Old time agriculture and vet treatment for fungal problems. About 1/2″ of cornmeal in container to fit feet (like bath basins in hospitals), cold water to cver, let cornmeal soak about an hour, add (Warm/hot) water to enough to cover feet, then soak for 20-60 minutes. (read, take care of mail etc). Do weekly or as able. Those with Diabetes should not soak feet. (May not feel problems) And be aware that nails can take 9 months to a year to grow out.

  40. Tony says:

    I’ve been using lamasil topical cream for my big toenail infection, while using a nail file to push the cream under the nail, 2 month later and once a day application, nail is clear color and no more curving and burrowing in the skin, also been using iodine and pushing it under the nail,since all the topical solutions do penetrate the nail, so lift the nail up a bit with a file and push the iodine or lamasil in ther, hope it works for u also

  41. Doctor P says:

    Something not mentioned in this article that I thought I would
    share. Apple Cider Vinegar actually changes the pH balance of the
    foot,this creates an environment that the fungus can not survive
    in. Think of a human surviving in an environment without oxygen.
    Same thing.

    Spores can and will survive waiting for the right conditions to
    exist however, so this pH balance will have to be maintained or
    the fungus will once again come to life. Like eggs waiting to
    hatch.

  42. Sheri says:

    I have had toenail fungus for about 4 yrs on my left toe also. I have soaked in
    black tea for months it went away but came back. I also swim in a chlorine pool
    like someone said all it did was bleach it. I was trying to correct the yeast in
    my body which causes athletes foot and toenail fungus. It has taken care of the
    fungus in my toe. I don’t know if I can mention a brand name but I have been
    taking ThreeLac bought in a health store (you can check out their website also).
    I originally took it for sugar
    cravings. It has helped both.

  43. robert says:

    Well I could tell you that clorox does work to cure toe nail fungusi had fungus on my left toe and I asked my friends who work in a hair and nail salon I asked them how do I get rid of toe nail fungus and they all told me to soak my feet in clorox with water and since i.’ve did that I haven’t had any fungus on my nail and is all cleared now .you have to start by clipping the hard yellow fungus nail away then clean out your nail then soak it in some warm water with a little bit of clorox for 30 minutes then take your feet out and dry them if you can’t stand the smell of the clorox wash your feet with soap and water except your toe or toes.you have to do this twice a day once in the morning and once before bedtime and remember as your nail grows keep cleaning it and clipping the hard and yellow nail out and all that white dead skin that accumulates under the nail in a couple of weeks your fungus will be gone for good and got this advice from profesinal people who work in the hair and nail industry.I thank them for that advice now I could wear sandals as before I wouldn’t dare with the toe nail fungus.

  44. Kristina says:

    If you are using tea tree oil, please make sure to keep it away from your pets. I was using it on my toe and thought it might help repel fleas, so I put some on my dog. Bad idea, found out the next morning it can be TOXIC. Took her to the vet, and she is fine now, but we had a very scary day while she was being treated.

  45. Barbara says:

    Attention wp (#30) A black nail can be the symptom of a very serious condition and needs immediate dermatological help. I have assisted an MD for 8 years and have seen this happen. Please follow through!

  46. sam says:

    i’ve used vicks and it cleared up some what. been filing down with a dremel tool and nail polish. helps for a while. nothing cosmetic is woth takin pills that can potentially cause liver damage.

  47. CB says:

    I wish I have gotten onto vinegar baths WAY sooner. I let my big toe get worse and worse, just covered it with nail polish until it was just hollow with fungus underneath, and then turned black with bacterial infection. Then I tried a holistic remedy that included oregano extracts and a lot of other agents that dried it out a lot and now it has cracked in half down the middle. Finally I read up and discovered most chat rooms promote vinegar. I have been soaking my foot twice a day for about a month, and the three affected nails are (slowly)growing in smooth and pink. But the big toe has just a fraction of a nail right now – with the two sides of the old nail flapping over it like shutters. I am keeping it there, and tape it closed with a band-aid during the day just to protect the nail bed. My advice: soak with vinegar, forget the rest.

  48. harry says:

    I really liked what I read about your concerns and remedies to the dreaded, under toe fungii,
    who I found out is not letting me be a fun guy:)
    I need a oppinion on what to do with my situation— Last week I got stung by a stingray while at the beach,in san diego,ca.—This week I went to see a doctor to help me with the infection and swelling.—As it turned out,the doctor(cool guy) noticed my good foot and told me the news of
    having a toe nail fugus. He told me to buy a separate pair of clippers for my finger nails, which
    at this time are not affected yet,,,Thank God.
    He also said to do my research on line and wished me well.
    So, here I am checking in and checking out, but not forever,not yet, not until
    I whip this thing. Thanks :)

  49. chris says:

    Hey everybody, in case you don’t know, you can scrape away all the gunk under the affected nail, and get rid of that gunk. I’m just now looking up home remedies (don’t want liver damage) but I think the fact that my affected nails don’t have a build-up of gunk will help the remedies take hold.

    I just wanted to share, that you might want to use a fingernail clipper’s little nail file to dig under the nail and dig out the gunk. It doesn’t hurt, the fungus has already separated the nail from the nail bed. But get that gunk out of there so the remedy can work better… hopefully!

  50. YONAR says:

    HEY GUYS IM DONT WANT LIVER DAMRGE SO STARDED THE VICK VINAGER N GETTING TREA OIL N OIL OF OREGANO

  51. Leeland French says:

    I’ve had toenail fungus for 25 years. My wife asked her Dr. to prescribe oral Lamisil but an assistant mentioned he was doing a study on Vicks Vapor Rub. She took the Lamisil and I decided to try Vicks. She totally cleared up in 3 months and so did I! I got complacent and stopped Vicks after 6 months and the fungus returned in 6 weeks. Hers did not return. So Vicks it requires a lifetime commitment. I apply twice a day. First wash feet very well. Then exfoliate any dead skin from under and around the nails, where possible. Apply Vicks under the nail where possible and slather on top of nails. Whenever possible go barefoot, but the Vicks can leave grease stains, so be careful. Don’t stop for a day. Be committed and scientific about the process and I’m sure some of you will have the same results.

  52. Neal says:

    I have had toe nail fungas for 6 years on my left toe, I have tried the otc of anti fungas,and none of them work, have tried a variety, I am using the wall green vicks vapor rub and in 2 months of toes look much better and have been able to clipp most of of the fungas out,it does work but its a sslow process, I use a qtip and run the stuff on the toes every day, I do think by Summer time my toes will finally look as good as new.

  53. Jennifer says:

    I am currently using Tea Tree Oil and have been for about 2 months. I see a small improvement. I use it twice a day (once in the AM and once in PM). Every week, I clip and clean under my toenail so that the oil will be absorbed better. I plan on continuing for months or until I am satisfied with the results.

  54. Chicanacubana says:

    Thank you for sharing this.. I have more faith in your array of medicines
    thank in any FDA “approved” prescription. Can you do research on Candida,
    and fungal infections that get in the bloodstream and thus into your
    hair follicles.Something better than Nizoral. This type of blood borne
    fungus gets into your eyelashes, hair and skin pores.

  55. Loretta says:

    I have had difficulty with my feet and toenails since taking swimming for fitness
    in college…for over four years now. I have been working on educating myself and
    am certainly open to experimentation with topical, safe methods. Lately, with good
    hygiene, I have seen improvement using Anti Fungal over-the-counter topical
    which is a combination of tolnaftate and tea tree oil. I also believe, to
    counteract the re-occurrence of fungal growth once my nails are trimmed, it helps to briefly
    cover or soak my toenails in 3% hydrogen peroxide solution . I find it strange that I have not
    found any information about using this to help control toenail fungus.

  56. Venice Scherer says:

    I read all the sites and info. I have had my fungus since 2007. I was finally successful! :) It is gone! I think it occurred when I had to take some medicine for a bad bacterial infection from shallow lake water in late fall. The medicine caused a fungus to grow in my big toe. Some doctors said that it was injured others gave me perscription topical medication. I don’t know what cured my foot because I did a few things at the same time. 1. cut my nail down as far as I could with nail clippers, then filed the top too. I used a metal file to clean under the nail after ever shower. I then put tree tea oil from a bottle (zetaclear) with a brush in it. I begain taking probiotics and I think this is what did the trick. It is a very expensive bottle $60 for a small bottle, but after 3 months it is gone!

  57. Loree says:

    well i got a pedicure like 7 months now….and a few weeks after that
    i notice that my right toe was starting to get yellow and now its worse
    i notice its getting black now-_- … i’m freaking out …. someone please i need
    some advice…. I’m going to try what Venice did hopefully it helps me..

  58. MarcQ says:

    Got toe fungus infection about two years ago when I banged
    my big toe on a rock,after the shock, part of my nail was white, no
    biggie I was saying to myself but it stayed white. Only recently have
    I discovered that it was fungus infection when my other big toe
    started changing color and getting deform.

    After reading a lot on the subject I decided to give vinegar a try.
    Soaking my feet in part vinegar/water everyday for 30 min, after the
    soak I would take a miniature flat screw driver and clean the underside
    of my nails to allow the solution to penetrate even more. Right away
    I started to see an improvement, specially the look of my nail, BUT I
    also noticed that my feet were getting way to dry for my taste.

    Now, I use straight vinegar with a Qtip with my feet in the up position
    and put a few drops on top of my nail and make it go inside the nail
    with the help of my miniature screw driver, works like a charm and
    a lot less messy. I do this in the morning, takes five minutes

    Before going to bed I do the same thing but with Listerine.

    It’s been a month since I started this regime and it’s looking good.

    But whatever you use, you have to be consistent

    Marc..

  59. Larry says:

    I used a magnifying glass and concentrated the sunlight around all of my toenails for about 30 seconds. I did this about three times within an hour for two days. It has been a week and I am seeing the black area in one of my toenails beginning to vanish. I also used a over the counter anti-fungal liquid to ensure that I do not contract it again from my shoes or socks. I am going to hit my nails with the magnifying glass about once a week (permitting I have sunlight). I suggest that people get a smaller magnifying glass rather than a large one. I bought one that was about four inches by 3 inches and the focal point of the sun light was too large and too intense. I was thankful the magnifying glass had a smaller bifocal section, about one inch in diameter, that I used. I also want to add that I did use the larger glass on my nails, but I did not focus it to the point where it burned. I focused the light to a point where I felt heat but did not burn me.

  60. Lauren Wolfe says:

    Thanks for this insightful post. There are indeed multiple home remedies that one
    can use to address toenail fungus. Oregano oil and grapefruit extract work as
    alternatives for tea tree oil. Garlic, on the other hand, can be applied as a
    topical cure. However, it should be taken into consideration that these home
    remedies won’t be effective unless proper foot hygiene is practiced. If home
    remedies aren’t an option, there are many different otc treatments for toenail
    fungus such as zetaclear. It’s just a matter of picking the cure that
    you feel comfortable with and combine it with healthy foot hygiene.

  61. AmyD says:

    When it comes to toenail fungus, natural treatments are the most ideal remedies to use
    because they are safer compared to treatments that are teeming with chemicals. Essential
    oils such as tea tree, lemon, and thyme contain natural antifungal properties that fight
    off the main cause of fungal infection. Echinacea can help increase the immunity of a
    person against fungus, while garlic does likewise as well as having direct antifungal
    effect. For busy people who cannot concoct their own natural home remedies, settling for
    a natural otc remedy is the most ideal way to go (my mom is currently using zetaclear), as it can be purchased over the counter and it contains natural antifungal ingredients, making it safe to use.

  62. walt harmon says:

    Has anyone tried Tineacide? Google it, and see what you think, amazon com, wallgreens, cvs, walmart, sell it.

  63. Matthew says:

    Been dealing w/ an infection in my two big toe nails for years now. . . I can’t remember the last time I wore flip-flops or sandals of any type. About 4 yrs ago, my toe nail was crushed / ripped off in a warehouse / pallet jack accident. Now the infection is really bad – my toe nail is only held on by the cuticle. It’s starting to turn black, is too thick to cut w/ any regular clippers and all sorts of disformed (growing sideways). Anyways, I finally busted out a pair of “snips” from the tool box and started clippin away, got it down as far aa possible w/out experiencing too much pain. I’m starting a vinegar regiment twice a day and applying straight tea tree oil afterwards. I saved this page under favs and will report back w/ updates soon.

  64. JenRN says:

    I have had toenail fungus in my right toe for about 4 months. Started using over the counter anti-ungal . It seems to have worked well. I have new healthy nail growing. I will start the Vick’s treatment tonight and let everyone know what happens in about 2 weeks. I keep my nail trimmed and clean underneath. I picked the fungus up at a cheap nail salon instead of going to my regular salon ( I was out of town and in a hurry). If you get mani-pedi’s take your own files adn nail tools never ever let them use the salon tools on you.

  65. Amalia says:

    I’m confused whith so many home remedies out in this page, I will like for a really doctor to let me know if age have anything to do with this problem, is’t harder to get ratable or is’t the same. And which one is the best. I got fungus and it’s not as bad as others peddle say (I’m taking about my own nail)on my right toe nail about 2 months agoe in a spa really take your on tools!! Please help me it’s staring to look yellow and black. I will try the vicks n the vinegar with a garlic tablet that’s really good from Hearbalife. I will let you know if it works, but Dr, if you know something better let me know.
    Than you

  66. Tiffini says:

    JenRN Thank you for your post because i get my nails done all the time I just noticed that my Left big toe is growing away from the skin and i’m freaking out because i always have good looking feet I thought maybe it was from the Gyms showers which I probably got it from that or the nail salon but i’m going to try your remedy and i’m going to see my Dr. also and start bringing my own files to the nail salons and wearing flip flops in the showers this is horrible and I feel nasty….but anyways thank you because i was clueless.

  67. Jack says:

    I’ve been soaking my fingernails in diluted bleach almost every night for several months, and I am beginning to see positive results. My nails are much clearer, but I can see the fungus is still there when viewed under strong sun light. It sounds like this is a life long committment, which is better than having funky looking nails. I tried Vicks but it stains what ever it touches. I use a 50/50 mix of Listerine and vinegar when the bleach mix starts to irritate my skin. I also apply the Listerine/vinegar or alternatively tea tree oil to my nails during the day time and before bed.

  68. Steve says:

    Having had toe nail fungus for over three years, I have tried many natural remedies to stop the spread and destroy the fungus. These remedies include tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, witch hazel, hydrogen peroxide (3%), chlorine bleach (undiluted) , Calendulla, Vicks Vapor Rub, Epson salts, apple cider vinegar (as well as combined multiple variations of these treatments) and finally betadine (iodine). The fungus spread to the point of affecting up to 2/3rds of each nail bed, forcing the nail to separate, exposing the nail bed and leaving me with 1/3 of the original nail intact. I would apply a treatment everyday and give it 90 days to show some sign of improvement and if not, then move to another remedy. My method of treatment included clipping the newly formed nail back to the point of contact with the nail bed as well as file down the top surface of the nail to thin it and trim away any excess tissue then apply the liquid with a Q-Tip. Make sure that you place a couple of layers of old towels under your feet so as to avoid staining any carpet/rugs due to any splashing or dripping. Within 4 weeks of beginning use of the iodine, I noticed that the nail was beginning to adhere to the nail bed. By 6 weeks, about 80% of the nail adhered to the bed. The one negative side effect has been that the iodine appears to have caused cracking in each nail, which has indicated to me that its work is done. I filed the top of the nail to smooth the crack edges so as not to catch on socks. I now have a natural looking pink appearance with a white ring at the base of each nail. I can only hope that this remedy will work for some people that have this very unpleasant condition. Good luck. Update: It has been 10 weeks since I began treatment with the iodine (4 weeks since ending the treatment) and I continue to have healthy, naturally looking nails.

  69. Ana says:

    My nail is completely off…it grew back again but not stuck to the nail bed like it should so I took it out again . All I see is cuticles and a very thin layer on the nail bed… Does any one knows what it means ? IS IT FUNGUS ?

    IT ALL STARTED ALMOST 2 YEARS AGO W/SHARP PAIN IN THE MIDDLE. NAIL STARTED COMING OF FROM BOTTOM PART (WHERE CUTICLE IS) UP ..IF THAT WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH I HIT MY NAIL WHEN CARRYING THE COMPUTER DESK IT WAS METAL … NOW I’M TO THE POINT WHERE I’VE DESCRIBED UP THERE.. 2 TIME TAKING NAIL OFF AND WHEN IT DOES GROW BACK… IT WONT GROW IN THE NAIL BED.. AND TODAY IS MYTHIRD TIME . TOOK IT OFF AND NOW BACK AGAIN WITH THE VERY THIN LAYER AND IT LOOKS SO UGLY….I’LL TRY IODINE THOUGH

  70. lisa k bell says:

    hi;-

    Toenail rot Cure, neat bleach, (undiluted)

    dipped in x2 daily for 2-5 minutes, about

    ready to go in a week.

    this cure works for me, no reoccurrence

    within 12 months or more.

    Thank you for listening.

    lisa

  71. Erin says:

    I have tried the cornmeal soak – it worked for me.

  72. Erin says:

    Hi, try soaking in cornmeal for an hour for 7-10 days. Worked for me!

  73. Saylor says:

    I’m 33 and have had toenail fungus since I was 10 years old and
    nothing that I have tried has worked until I’ve tried Peroxide and
    crushed garlic. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in my right big
    toenail. Before I started it my big toenail was completely creased
    and overlapping and only 2 weeks after my nail has went back to
    having no ridges and at the base of the nail it is completely clear.

  74. Maggiemae1 says:

    How about odor with the nail fungus problems? It is a problem for me. I wore panty hose all the time,while working , and didn’t have such a bad fungus problem, even with tennis shoes.
    .Now that I don’t wear them and am retired, the odor is much worse. I’ve tried Vicks
    for ingrown toenail pain, but never as a daily thing. I really appreciate all of your
    of your ideas, and I am sure that these options that have been put out there, will
    help my feet smell a whole lot better! A new pair of tennis shoes, and home treatment,
    , I am going to be a happy camper!! It is a good thing that I don’t live with humans,
    and my dear dog doesn’t care about my feet! ;-)

  75. magni says:

    Try….. Campho Phenique It mayb slow but it seems to be working!! :) at last!

  76. nish says:

    Thanks for all the info. I have a rather small infection in my big toe nail on left foot. Vicks vapour rub sounds easiest to do, will try it out, will post results. Wish me luck.

  77. Muffy says:

    I started noticing nail fungus in two toes on the left foot four years ago. After using Lamisil off and on for two years, I saw an ad for laser treatment by a podiatrist I decided to try it out. It sounded promising. The podiatrist treated all my toes several times, then changed laser equipment with the same result: little or no change in appearence. All this cost $1,000, which now seems expensive for no real result.

    I mentioned this to an advanced nurse practitioner a couple weeks ago, who advised I try Vicks. The jury is still out on that remedy, but so far Vicks has done more good than the high priced treatment. I am convinced I have to find the right formula combination to get at the problem. I theorize the body will heal itself given the correct topical catalyst. It just may be different for each person.

  78. alexis says:

    i had a nail deformed after i removed the white discoloration inside my nail.. but then i had a difficult time treating it because my nail did not came back to its original form.. only half of my finger nail is not growing back.. i tried to apply fucidin ointment, flammazine cream… but there’s no positive outcome.. am sure that it is not a fingus but i will try this alternatives… thank you!

  79. Jack says:

    I continue to see positive results from a daily 15 minute soak in diluted bleach (strong enough to feel slippery, but not so strong that it burns), and an occasional soak in 50/50 vinegar/listerine for 20 minutes when the bleach dries my skin. I also place a small saucer of the vinegar/listerine solution at strategically placed locations in the house and at work, which I often dip my nails into for a couple seconds just to keep them in an acidic environment. I’ve been doing this for almost a year and my nails are much better, but still not fully cured. I can now allow people to see my nails without being embarassed by the yellow, crumbly mess I once had. Completely worth the time and effort…..

  80. mr. C says:

    I am as I type soaking my tumbs in listerine straight out of the bottle. It works great on my gums so I will try for a while and get back to you. This affliction has caused my left thumb nail to lift and turn my nail inward as to be ingrown and causing some pain.

  81. mr. C says:

    I am soaking my thumb nail as I type using listerine. It works wonders on my gums so worth a try. Will keep you posted on results.

  82. Jack says:

    I heard decolorized or white iodine works, but be careful that you don’t soak your nails in water-diluted bleach any time soon after you use it! The bleach somehow burns away the properties that make the white iodine colorless, and you end up with stained fingers and toes!!!!!

  83. Tabitha says:

    I have this on my toe and it is very painfull.just try to cut ny nail and put peroxide on my nail with a qtip hope this help.don;t want to go to the doc and pay 60.oo to tell the about my toe and what they give won’t work

  84. Ana says:

    I know, most of those remedies don’t work as quickly and effectively that one would like! Here is one that worked for me:

    and though it takes some time to see a new nail starting to grow out, it is still much faster than any other natural remedy I tried, and I’ve tried them ALL!

    Good luck! :)

  85. Harriet says:

    I’ve got fungus on my big toe. It cracked off about half way down the nail about 6 months ago and I thought it would be gone. Wore only sandals and got direct sunlight as often as possible. Then winter came along. No more sandals and applied polish. when I removed polish for several days I noticed ITS BACK. Yuck. I am trying oregano oil applied daily to the nails and also internally in capsules with 510 mg. Oregano oil. I’m taking 1- 3 per day. I have heard that the fungal infections can be systemic so I hope it helps. I am also treating all my nails with a magnifying glass in the sun. I am giving this a try before I do the laser. There is a risk of burning yourself but mostly your reflexes will prevent this. I treat the area of skin below the nail as well because the fungus seems to have grown there too, under the skin. I am doing this daily as long as it is sunny out. I also wear polarized sunglasses while doing this because the concentrated pinpoint of light is very bright. Making sure to cover the entire nail and sides of nail to the point of feeling a hot sensation.

  86. dave says:

    You can extract the toenail without pain using a Dremel Moto Tool and the proper shaped bit. It will not bleed or hurt. It is risky for those who are not dexterous. YOU MUST USE THE PROPER BIT SHAPE OR IT WILL CUT YOU BADLY. I would publish the bit # but I’m afraid it will drive the price sky high. Ask some acquaintances about which works. The proper bit can also remove callouses with no pain or bleeding. The wrong bit can shred you. SOME BITS DIG IN, OTHERS DON’T. It is the least (actually no pain just heat if held in same spot too long). When you find the proper bit it will be less painful (actually none) than any other method. Also wear a dust mask to prevent inhaling infected skin dust. You don’t want that stuff in your lungs. If you extract the rotten part of the nail then the above remedies have a chance to work. Easy does it. Do a lotta talking to folks who are familiar with the Moto tool or similar (buncha mfgrs. make em) to find the right bit. It’s all about THE BIT and your dexterity. Hope it improves you life and destroys this headache.

  87. Mark says:

    Plain vinegar applied with an eye dropper like cleareyes. file top of nail as much as possible then apply several times a day. Got mine while a survival instructor running around the woods in maine all the time. Now its almost gone and it’s only been a few months. I figured what the heh, couldnt hurt to try and wont cost much at all and now it is almost gone.

  88. just me says:

    I have heard that using bleach on skin, and your skin absorbs it, can cause problems for your liver…..ok, im having problems with thick skin around my toe nail, and my toe nails are a yellowish color, and ive been recently having issues with both feet where my toe nails on the sides are curling inwards. On my two big toe nails, i have dug and cut so much skin off, and made myself bleed trying to get this thick skin to go away. Does this sound like a fungus, or infection?? I usually wear flip flops most all the time, i have tried vicks on them, but not consistant. It also seems on my two big toes, that either the nail is growing too far over into the skin on the sides, or maybe the skin is becoming so thick that its causeing me issue. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appericated. Thank you

  89. John says:

    Success story
    I had fungus under both big toes for 6 years.
    I had all the proprietary treatments and the potentially liver damaging tablets with no success. Then one of the doctors that I had not seen before in my surgery suggested I try applying Canesten thrush cream just wiped under the nail and then put a smear of tea tree oil in the surface of the nail. Well unbelievably the white fungas went black in one day. I continued to apply this treatment twice a day morning and night for about 3 weeks and by then it was clear that it was dead. My nails have now grown out and look normal again. I think the canesten may work on its own but I just did what I was told. The doctor had said that other patients had found it cured them too.

  90. Rose says:

    Just went to podiatrist today for fungus on my big toe nail. Told me about the pill that can damage your liver. Laser surgery that cost $182.00 a toe! Or if toenail hurts to bad, I could have it removed. I think not! lol Then he told me to use Soft Soap with Bleach and Vicks. Said to put Soft Soap on my toe and scrub with a nail brush about 10 seconds then just get in the shower as usual and just let the shower water wash off the Soft Soap. When I dry off, I am to rub Vicks salve onto the toe and nail bed. After everything I have read online, it sounds good to me.

  91. Max says:

    I have fungus in all 10 of my toenails. I had also the ringworm in the sole feet and sides. Soaking in diluted bleach (about 10-fold) for only 3 minutes, NOT MORE, helped to get rid of the infection in the skin area, but the nail infection was not removed. This process took about 5 months, almost daily soaking, or 4-5 days per week. You need to rinse your feet extensively after bleach. Bleach is corrosive: DANGER!
    I will try the vinegar (actually, acetic acid at 1%) method for toenails, putting a cotton soaked with acetic acid in the toenails for 5-10 minutes, then I will apply Tea tree oil, and will see what happens. Seems that higher concentration of acetic acid could damage your toes, so be very careful.

  92. Colleen says:

    I have a toe nail fungus on my big toe. I was watching Dr. Oz and he recommended putting a 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of mouthwash (listerine) in a spray bottle and spraying your toes twice a day. He said it will kill the fungus. I’m trying that…

  93. Nia says:

    I have had this fungus in both my big toe nails for many years. I had the laser removal done twice & it did not work for me. I have very thick nails on both toes. I will try the vicks & see if it works.
    Thanks for all of the remedies.

  94. Scott says:

    If you are unwilling to take oral medicine, owing to the health risks, you MUST remove the part of the nail over the affected area, remove the junk below it, then apply a topical daily (home and over-the-counter). If one doesn’t work, try another, and another. Expect no less than 3 months to clear it up. If you leave the nail in place, you are fighting a loosing battle.

  95. D Jones says:

    Well I am a 41 year old woman and over the years especially when I started running, my toenails started to yellow, blacken and thicken. I assumed that it was a toenail fungus but everyone assured me that this was normal because I was running. Then I noticed that my fingernails were also affected. Both my toenails and fingernails were bedded all the way back to the very back of my nail bed (like I had no nail). I had to do something, but I was not willing to take the perscription lamosil because it was so hard on my body.

    I have done alot of research on line and tried all of the remedies, like tea tree oil, viniger and many other options. They ALL did not work. I then came upon the CLOROX remedy. I thought, there is no way that this could work. But when I really thought about it I realized that no fungus likes CLOROX, especially in my bathrooms. So I tried it.

    Mind you, I was very aggressive about getting rid of this fungus (and I am not very sesitive skin wise) so instead of using a capful of bleach I used a 50/50 method.*********THIS IS NOT RECOMENDED IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN*********** It was very itchy but by feet never looked so good. I did this probably twice a week for month and it totally worked. I also in the beginning used a cotton swab with straight CLOROX on the nail bed that were most affected twice a day as well.

    I have told all of my running friends and family about this and they are also really happy with the results.

    The funny thing is that this remedy will also get rid of rough skin on your feet and hands.

    In any case, I thought I would write this blog to save you from the time and misery I spent looking for something that would work!

    Let me know if you have any questions….

  96. Tamara says:

    I’ve received a fungal infection with my pedicure twice now…that place is officially off of my list now…I tried the OTC treatments and got no where fast, but being in the health industry (industrial hygienist), I too reasoned, like Jones, that Bleach does wonders to molds, fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc. So, I used my foot bath and 10% Bleach solution and heat, soak and bubble (helps get under the nails)…a couple of treatments and they look immediately better…Bleach also helps whiten up the discolorization. If your feet start itching or burning, your Bleach solution is too strong…add another gallon of water. I caught mine pretty quickly, so I only needed to soak my feet a couple times and the fungus was gone.

    Tamara

  97. Mike says:

    I have had toenail fungus for years and tried many things to no avail; I am now on to something though and I think I will recover; I wanted to share what seems to be working for me. First of all buy a pair of shoes that fit; get a wide if necessary or double wide; if you can walk fast in your shoes they don’t fit you right; they are too tight; I ended up with the Cameron by Nunn Bush at Kohl’s; it has a true round toe; no moc toe; I did not need a wide fit in this shoe due to design; buy a size bigger if necessary; wear flip flops after work and whenever possible; go out to the garage in the winter with your flip flops on once in a while. Avoid running, I dance occasionally only because I cannot refuse my wife, but it is not the best for the nails. You can do the treadmill but again only with flip flops, don’t lace up with socks, and don’t listen to your wife about safety. When you shower close the drain so your nails get daily moisture to keep them soft; but keep the bathroom door(s) open with the exhaust fan on to keep any kind of humidity away. Twice a day apply Lamisil cream on the nails and anti fungal spray on the under side of feet and soles; there is a generic at Walmart for the Lamisil ingredient at less than half the cost. The second you apply the Lamisil you will feel the therapeutic penetration. Do not listen to those that tell you that the Lamisil cream is not for nails; it works. Best of luck my friends

  98. Teri says:

    Have had toenail fungus for about 7 yrs or so.. never tried anything to kill or fight the infection. I would just hide my toes everywhere I would go, or tried painting them a dark polish color. I really really want to make my nails pretty or at least normal… I’m def going to try a few of the home remedies.. I have been trying the Vicks VapoRub, and peroxide directly on the nail.. Crossing my fingers hope it works… Ohhh and how much vinegar or peroxide or bleach or listerine do I use with the water mix? Like a cap full or so?? Please someone let me know!!! =)

  99. LeeLee says:

    I started treating my toenail fungal infection 6 months ago. My two big toes were both badly infected and I had another toe which was worse. I use Scholl’s nail fungal treatment for six months and It has completely cleared up my two big toes but made no difference to the other one. In addition, I’ve notived over the past 2 months 2 other toes have become infected. ANYWAY, I’ve started using teatree oil in the last three weeks. I apply pure teatree oil every evening and tea tree ointment every morning. So far the “new” infections are looking better but I guess itwilll be a while before i see any change in the establoshed infection. I am filing this nail every few days before I add the teatree oil. I’ll keep you posted on the progress – It’s great to read I am not on my own with this wretched stuff!!

  100. Jack says:

    I suffered through nail infections for over 15 years, but learned that it can be overcome with patience and perseverance. First, soak your nails in diluted bleach for 15 minutes every night. The bleach shoul be diluted to the point of feeling slightly slippery. If the soak makes your fingers itch, add more water! Do this until nails are less thick and less discolored. Then, soak your nails in a 50/50 vinegar and Listerine solution for 20 minutes every night. Use the bleach mix for a couple days until nails feel too brittle, and then switch to the vinegar/Listerine solution. Bleach is rough on your fingers and nails, so give yourself a break by using the other, milder solution. Youwill see results if you are persistent and patient! My nails are still brittle from the bleach, but I am not at all embarassed to show them in public. You will have to modify the treatment to fit your skin sensitivity, but keep with it and you will be pleased!

  101. Adam Evenson says:

    I am not an MD, but I have lived long enough to know a few things pretty well. I would be cautious about using too strong a bleach solution to soak feet in. Bleach is a strong poison that can soak into the skin and destroy nerves. Too strong a solution can cause feet to become permanently numb, such as balls of feet behind the big toe and over the calcanius (heel.) It may cause protracted tingling in the feet. I would begin with just one or two tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. Never use a solution strong enough to coat the feet with bleach and make them feel slippery or cause a burning sensation. There may be people that are immune to bleach toxicity and this would not apply to them. I have a friend that is immune to hydrochloric acid, but I am not. Therefore, I don’t object when he reaches into a vat of acid without rubber gloves, but I don’t do it myself.

  102. Helen says:

    I just tried Fungi-Nail….supposedly recommended by pharmacists…..it made my problem worse. Back to the Vicks jar.

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