3% Hydrogen Peroxide OTC + a cuticle pusher + Tea Tree essential oil = MEANINGFUL RESULTS are in, FINALLY! (*after 20+ years of struggling with embarrassing black toe nails) Blessings and peace to everyone. This is my first post. I am sharing with you guys and gals (my fellow sufferers) what has finally made a difference in my 25+ year struggle with black striped toe nails. I have posted a photo of the stripes (now only on my right pinky toe) that have "haunted" me ever since my tween years (I am 41 now).
Like many of you, my unsightly, discolored and funkified toe nail issue has been part of my identity for far longer than I would like to remember. To make matters worse, I wore toe nail polish to hide behind. For most of the time. Until the past couple of years. I finally had had enough of the ordeal. Or I got lazy. Or got smart. Who knows. With few exceptions (e.g., occasional sandal wear), I started going barefoot natural. I had tried many of the popular remedies, including 70% Isopropyl alcohol, white vinegar, apple cider (ACV), OTC fungus targeting oils and creams, essential oils like oregano and tea tree... even household disinfectant bleach solution for mold and mildew (not my wisest or safest decision ever made, so not recommending you try this one). Until one day. One day it dawned on me that I might combine two approaches combined - the everyday household 3% hydrogen peroxide plus diligent nail hygiene using this one beauty product tool my niece gave to me years ago: a professional quality heavy duty cuticle pusher.
Technique: 1. Use the cuticle tool!
*When my toenails were still soft from my bath/shower, or even many times when I was in the process of taking my bath/shower, I would push my cuticles back and scrape away any excess skin surrounding the nail bed. I always exercised extreme caution bc it was all too easy to get carried away (thus, accidentally scraping so deeply that my toe nail would start to bleed). I read in another person's post about sanding the top layers of the nail bed to get rid of the fungus stuff. I think this is the same type of idea, only I used a professional manicurists tool.
2. Spray the 3% hydrogen peroxide onto the effected nails and let dry without ever rinsing it off.
*I discovered a small spray bottle version of the peroxide that cost like $2 at the supermarket. This helped with aseptic technique, plus was just downright quicker than unscrewing a cap and having to fiddle with a qtip or cotton ball or the like. 3. Apply an essential oil (appropriate to my particular pathogen blasting plan) onto the sprayed nail(s). I tried a few different ones, but ended up settling on tea tree (or melaleuca) because of its multi purpose fullness.
*I repeated this as often as I could remember to, like whenever I showered. Three? Four? Five times per week? (though ideally would have been daily, even if it meant foot bathing on non shower days, since this probably would have speeded up the results, I would imagine). Last year at least 4 other nails (in addition to my pinky toe seen in the photos) were partially black, if I remember correctly. Now my only discolored nail of concern is that right pinky toe (which was always the worst, though my left pinky toe was about as bad).
Please don't give up, everyone. Have hope!