Toenail Fungus
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Nail Fungus

Hydrogen Peroxide, Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Jen (Or) on 05/14/2016
5 out of 5 stars

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!

UV Light
Posted by Veronicac (Texas, USA) on 07/18/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Two years ago, at the start of summer, the big toe of my left foot became red, swollen and began throbbing. It was so painful, and I had no idea what the deal was. Then I noticed the toenail was getting yellow, crusty and thick. About a week later the two next to it began doing the same thing. Along with the ugly, disfigured nails came the horrible throbbing pain.

I tried: bleach soaks, vinegar soaks, 4 OTC medicines, prescription penlac (that one helped one toe), peroxide, mouthwash, urine (pure desperation), powders, yeast infection medication, tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol, epsom salts and vicks vapor rub. The middle toe of the three got better. The fungus on the other two laughed and made my toes throb with pain to show me who was boss.

Then I read about laser treatment, but the cost was ridiculous and many people complained it didn't work. So, understanding light was what I really needed, I ordered 36 watt, UV nail light off Amazon for less than $30-the kind salons use to dry finger nail polish. When it arrived I filed my nails down with emery boards as much as possible. Two of the nails were already 3/4 gone. Every day while I was on the computer I put my foot in the nail light for 10 min. - 45 min. I didn't really have a schedule, just daily, whenever I remembered. Also, every time I bathed, I made sure to clip/dig out as much of the crumbly nail as I could.

Within a week the throbbing was gone. A month later my big toe is pink and half grown out, with no fungus, the toe that was getting better is pink and just a tad short, and the other toe is about 1/3 grown out, and also has no sign of fungus. And didn't even bother using any kind remedy after the first two weeks. The only drawback is my left foot has a nice tan, while my right is kind of pale. Now I make sure both feet take a turn under the nail light. Also, I go barefoot or wear sandals as much as possible to expose my feet to as much light as possible.

Hydrogen Peroxide, Iodine
Posted by Paul (Tulsa, Ok) on 01/17/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I found the best way to cure nail fungus:

1) start by trimming your nails back and filing

2) pour hydrogen peroxide over the infected area and tiny bubbles will start appearing

3) wait a minute or two for the hydrogen peroxide to start working, then put iodine on the nails and under the nails. The peroxide will pull the iodine under the nails and kill all fungus.

4) after 5 minutes or so wash your feet and nails with antibacterial soap.

Afterwards, my nails never felt good or looked this good. It was almost instantaneous.


Posted by Jolene (San Diego, Ca) on 03/19/2013

My husband been suffering with embarrassment from disfigured thick distorted fungal nails for over ten years even though he faithfully applies over the counter creams every night with no results. We came across this post two days ago as a final attempt to treat it before resorting to dangerous oral medication. After reading your encouraging posts we hurried to the drug store to get supplies and try listerine and vicks for fungus ourselves. We took a nail file and filed down the thickest parts of the toenails to make it smoother and thin as possible then filled two Sandwhich baggies with a little bit of the yellow listerine and submerged his toes in it. We duct taped the bags to his feet so they can stay soaked during the duration of a movie. Took them off and let them airdry. For good measure we rubbed Vicks vapor rub in all the nails applied with q-tips before going to bed. To our disbelief the nails showed significant clarity to them the next morning!!!! Day 2 we repeated the above and saw even more improvement! His worse nails (the big toe ones) are about 70% clearer. We are on just our third day now and really excited to continue the treatment until he has clear nails. I'm too excited after the results of just two days that I had to share now! I hope everyone else will see results that we are experiencing. Thank you earth clinic for an amazing website and to everyone who shares!!!

Distilled Vinegar
Posted by Golfer/fisherman (Aiken, Sc) on 10/20/2011
5 out of 5 stars

After trying many otc products for nail fungus with no success, I came across several articles about using vinegar, sometimes with other additives, to cure their nail fungus. After having tried many other things and seeing several people had tried this with success, I decided to give it a try.

I bought a plastic shoe box, put undiluted white vinegar in it and soaked my foot twice a day for about 3 weeks. (I only change the vinegar solution every few weeks and keep a lid on the plastic box when not being used. ) The vinegar was a bit too strong and started creating a few sores on the top and sides of a few toes. Wanting to continue, I put a salve on those spots while soaking my foot and that cleared up that problem.

After about 3 weeks, I decided to dilute the vinegar, about half white vinegar and half water. That was much more gentle on my foot and no longer have my skin get irritated by the vinegar. I also started soaking my foot only once a day for about 30 minutes each day. I have now been doing this for a little over 3 months. (During this time, I also kept clipping my toenails back as far as I could to expose as much of the fungus under the nails as possible. ) Three of my little toes that had fungus now have been cured and the nails are slowly growing back with no signs of fungus. My big toe is also responding, but because of the size of the nail, is taking much longer to grow out and get rid of the remaining fungus under the nail, but it too seems to be responding. The nail growing from the base seems to be free and clear of any fungus. Hopefully in a few more months, my big toenail will be totally free from the fungus.

I don't know if this works for everyone, but it seems to have worked for me.

Zinc Oxide
Posted by Maria (Silver Spring, Maryland) on 08/06/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Zinc Oxide for nail fungus

I have been fighting toenail fungus for over 50 years, and of course tried everything. The most promising was oil of oregano, which worked well provided my feet were not exposed to the hot sun (walking in the street). As soon as that happened all the gains I had made vanished and had to start over again. Then I discovered zinc oxide and it cured my nail fungus: my big toenails are now clear after 8 months of consistently using zinc oxide every day. This is what I have done: every morning at the end of my shower I use Zinc Oxide shampoo to wash my feet. Then I dry my feet and nails very well with a paper towel (not a cloth towel) and dispose of the paper towel. Then I clean the nails with a pointed tooth pic (one for every infected nail) and then I dry the nails again with a cotton ball. After that I dry the feet with a hair dryier. Then I apply a zinc oxide cream (found in diaper rash ointment) and rub my feet together to make it penetrate. At night I apply more ointment and also dash zinc oxide powder (also used for babies diaper rash) on my toenals. (I use the cream and powder all day if I am wearing socks). The cream and powder keep the feet dry at all times and no fungus can survive. I suspect that the oregano oil may work in the summer if used in combination with the zinc oxide approach.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Jane (Worcester, Massachsetts/usa) on 08/31/2010
5 out of 5 stars

About 10 mos. ago I developed a fungus in one of my large toenails. I never had that before so I didn't know what it was. My nail started turning yellowish brown in color and it spread across most of the nail. I was freaking out. I went to see a podiatrist who told me the bad news and told me this might never go away and could spread to my other nails! He sold me an expensive tube of cream. I saw him a few more times and he basically did nothing to help the problem. I applied the cream for 7 months and saw no improvement. I spent the summer trying to hide my feet and avoiding the beach and pools. I love wearing pretty sandals in the summer. The doctor told me not to try home remedies that I might read about because they don't work. But I didn't listen to him. I decided to try the apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide solution I read about. I mixed it half and half in a small bottle and started applying it on and under my toenail at least twice a day. I keep my toes exposed to the air as much as possible at home and only cover up when I go out. It's been less than a week and it's like a miracle! I noticed improvement the very next day! The fungus has stopped spreading and the new growth looks nice and healthy! Hopefully it continues that way and by next Spring I can wear pretty sandals again and end the embarrassment! So for those of you who are ready to give up.... There is hope! Maybe this will work for you!

Alcohol, GFSE, Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Mountaingirl (Asheville, Nc) on 09/25/2009
5 out of 5 stars

This is my post from several years ago.

05/30/2006: Melissa from Asheville, NC: "I developed toenail fungus while working in Athens, GA about 6 years ago. I would work 12 hours a day in the same shoes for over a year and used regular dress socks. The summers are very moist and humid and perfect conditions for toenail fungus. It is on both "pinky" toes but started developing on other nails though not as bad. 2 years ago it seemed to get worse and I kept my toenails manicured and polished to hide the nails. I believe, as others do, this made things even worse though my feet did look a lot prettier. This year, I got tired of trying to hide my nails and decided to try a natural remedy (Grateful Body Fungal Rx). It contains a day and night formula in convenient tubes so I could carry them with me and use discreetly. They recommend each to use at least 1x per day for at least 6 weeks. I've been using for several months and noticed a little improvement but not much. I found this site and started throwing everything I had at this issue (I figured if I didn't do it now, I'd live with it forever). My grandmother had both large toenails removed and I did not want the same to happen. My pinky toenails seemed like they were almost fused to the nail bed. They are very thick and yellow and starting to look deformed though still attached to my nail bed. I started this regimen last week and I am seeing good results. The nail seems no longer fused to the nail bed. and I can actually push the cuticle back (impossible before). The nails seem to be growing in cleaner, no ridges, normal thickness and no red streaks through the nail (as in the infected part). I am so psyched but trying no to get too hopeful. This is what I've been doing in morning AND evening, everyday: I keep a clean toothbrush for scrubbing my nails. I use a natural bar soap and scrub my nails (I use the sink because it's easier for me) with warm water. dry. I then keep a little bottle of pre mixed 3% H2O2 and ACV (5% acidity) 1/2 and 1/2 under the sink and pour this over all my toe nails (over toilet). I let this sit while I brush teeth (different toothbrush ;), wash face etc. I may add more and let sit again for a little while. I don't get much fizzing...sometimes more than others. Sometimes I get a little "pinched" feeling, but not usually. rinse. dry. I also keep a little bottle (old tincture bottle with dropper) with 25% clorox and water mixed. I then add this to nails and let sit 30 seconds or so on each foot. rinse. dry. I follow with Red Tyme oil (night) or Fungal Rx in the morning. I may add the night formula again if I go to bed late. Some people are sensitive to Red Thyme. I have very thick, oily skin and it does not bother me to use it neat. I wear sandals to work (never did before) and apply Fungal Rx several times a day while at my desk. Like I said, this really seems to be working and I am very hopeful. Once cleared up, I plan to buy more Fungal Rx and use daily for a year or so. I don't want this to come back. Also, I'll work on internal Candida... I know it runs in my family and I need to knock it out too. Thanks to this site and all the comments/feedback!!! I'll write back later in a few months to let you know if results continued."

I wanted to follow up and tell you that I was never able to fully get progess against the toe nail fungus until recently. I was able to spend most of my summer outdoors (albeit a lot of time at the pool w/moisture!) but I wore sandals all summer and allowed my feet to get full sun a good portion of the day. I also did hydrogen peroxide/cider vinegar soaks about 1x per month. The BIG difference has come from using a old glass spray bottle filled with:

2 Tbs. alcohol
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
20 drops tea tree oil

I apply this 2x per day and after getting my feet wet. At one point, my nails got very brittle and I started an application of coconut oil every once in a while. My nails are growing back completely normal and seem to be growing faster so I am able to trim them more often. There is only about 1/4 inch of "yellowed" nail reamining...which I should be able to trim off in the next 2 months. I will continue this all winter and give any updates. Good luck, don't give up!

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Bruno (Houston, Texas, USA) on 03/20/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have tried several remedies that would work for short periods of time and then, they didn't seem to be as effective. I didn't just do it for a day or two, but for a week or more at a time. Someone told me about [food grade hydrogen peroxide]. I read all about it and thought that it would not be wise to use it but they insisted that it would work and fast. I didn't want to go through another couple of months of testing, so I gave it a try. You only put it on the nail with a Q-tip - don't let it touch the skin. It dries in a minute and reapply. I did this every day, twice a day, and within 3 days it was greatly improving. I dug the gunk out from under the dead part of the nail and the new nail is growing back beautifully. The old nail is still on but as it grows out I'm cutting the gross part off. I'll bet that within a 2 week period of time, the nail will be completely new and the fungus completely gone. It's cheap and fast.

Baking Soda
Posted by Jessyka (Memphis, TN, USA) on 02/21/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had the horrid nail fungus many years ago and took Lamasil to clear it up. When my father failed to do the same, the fungus returned years later, both pinky toenails now fully infected. Without the money for the medicine and the will to again risk its side-effects, I lived with it. 11 days ago, I adopted a baking soda regimine for other reasons (cancer preventative). Today, my right pinky nail simply fell off when I was drying after my morning shower. Beneath, a new nail - a perfect nail - was found growing in. Nothing else in my diet or lifestyle has changed other than the baking soda addition to my routine. Most Americans' lifestyles and diets leave our bodies too acidic for good health. Baking soda balances the bodies Ph, creating a more alkaline system. I mix 1 teaspoon in a glass of water at bedtime. Ideally, it's recommended taken in the morning with no food or drink for 1 hour before or after; however, as I'm hypoglycemic, I have to have my Coca-Cola (others have coffee) first thing each morning, so I don't drop dead. Regardless, I've noticed a number of improvements since adopting the baking soda routine (which is terribly easy to do - quick and simple). I'm sleeping better, my skin is clearing up, and, lo and behold, my toenail fungus is obviously dead... in eleven days!!! [Insert delighted giggle here] I couldn't believe it when I discovered the old infected nail barely holding on and falling away with the first touch and a shiny new healthy nail beneath (even if it is small yet). Now, I'm watching the still-infected nail on the left, and yes, it's got a line of "disconnection" appearing. I recommend giving the baking soda a try and do so for more reasons than defeated nail fungus. Go ahead, google "baking soda" and see how much you discover. In some European country (think it was Italy or Germany), a doctor is actually curing cancer with baking soda therapy, even in serious cases where changing the bodies Ph to one more alkaline is making all other treatments (as chemo) doubly effective. Cancer cells cannot thrive or spread in an alkaline environment. And consider this - it's in your kitchen. You cook with it. You eat it. It's non-toxic, has no ill side-effects, costs almost nothing, and even whitens teeth. I can't say everyone will have the astounding all-around results I have so quickly encountered, but I'd have to encourage them to give it a shot. It's too easy to implement not to try. That's one teaspoon baking soda stirred into one glass of water, once a day, preferably in the morning (but it doesn't seem to matter), with no food or drink for an hour before or after. Good luck.

Baking Soda
Posted by Heather (Los Angeles) on 01/17/2016

What?! You're taking alkaline water to prevent cancer - but you drink Coca-Cola daily???

Coke causes major diseases, possibly even cancer. Please research, you need to drink something different (orange juice?) for your hypo-glycemia.

Posted by Edward (San Juan, Pr) on 01/19/2010
5 out of 5 stars

If this is so effective, why isn't it out there? so said I 2 weeks ago. Nothing to lose; here we go.

Took pictures (closeups) of toe nails, that were covered white with fungus. Started Listerine in AM with metal nail file, midday and before bedtime. Fungus is gone. KAPUT! A little trace on big toe. The other toes all have 1/2 new mail growth and are a real nice pink. YEAH! Will continue routine until ALL toes have new growth. Could be 2 months for the big toes.

Well worth the FREE and effortless process. Used an eye dropper and poured some Listerine in a small discarded pill vial to make it easier and travel with it for midday application. 5 minutes in the rest room and good to go.

Asked a doctor what would he recommend for nail fungus and his look of "Oh boy" said it all. 6 month treatment, dangerous drug with side effects, etc. So I asked him: "What would you say if I got rid of it in 2 weeks?"
"No way. How?"
"Nay. Never mind. You won't believe me. Would have to show you the pictures I took before because if I show you my toes right now, you will not believe I had nail fungus 2 weeks ago."
"OK. With Listerine."
"NO WAY! Listerine? The stuff to kill...oh...wait a minute...yeah, that sort of makes sense. Really? In two weeks?"
Had to take my shoes and socks off to show him and then emailed the before photos. He is stupefied.

For the Folks here that may believe this is nonsense, try it. You have nothing to lose; no contribution, no email, nothing...just the nail fungus.

I did.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Mad Al (Great Britain) on 09/05/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Toe Nail Fungus. Tried many things for five years with no results, my big toenails were almost completely black. Soaked a cotton pad in ACV and taped it on to the toes and left it on for a few hours. Before bed I soaked the toenails in tea tree oil. After two weeks the black has all gone and the toenils are starting to look normal again after five years, amazing.

How to Self-Test for Internal Fungus
Posted by Robert Henry (Ten Mile, Tn) on 11/06/2017

HI U OLE PATOOTS DOIN,,,,,,,, as all know ISJS. Anyways, on reflecting how the sight of my fungus shook me, I think you can test yourself at home.

Take two Q tips and swab one side of your mouth and the other side with the second Q tip. Store in a sterile glass jar and observe weekly for a month. If you have growth, the amount should tell you how severe your problem is. If you have no growth, I don't think you can say that you have no fungus. I am going to use the technique to ascertain my treatment progress.

My natural doctor told me the VF of my fungus and I was not impressed, but when he showed me the growth on my two swabs, it scared my mule. I think the visual result will tell you something too.


Oregano Oil
Posted by Cathy (Adelaide, Sa) on 09/26/2017
5 out of 5 stars

After trying over the counter options and some other natural remedies I finally gave wild oregano oil a go. My big toe nail was an awful yellow-white colour and almost all of it had lifted away from the nail bed. I started rubbing in a tiny amount of the oil onto the cuticle and nail and a drop under the nail ( where it had lifted) each day. It takes at least a month to notice but you will start to notice the nail near the cuticle improve. My nail is about 75% there, just the tip needs to grow out. I now have a nice pink nail growing that is attached to the nail bed. HAPPY DAYS!!! I haven't used nail polish the whole winter either, so looking forward too lovely painted nails during summer. Thanks for sharing this cheap and easy remedy.

Caprylic Acid
Posted by Suzanne (Norman, Ok) on 09/21/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I went to the health food store and found a product containing caprylic acid that was supposed to cleanse yeast from the body. I took half the dose recommended on the bottle daily and the nail fungus was gone in a week.

Posted by Pr (Texas, Usa) on 01/07/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Had my toe nails done in salon 3 times in a row and ended up with a horrible case of toe nail fungus on both big toes. So of course did my research and was using a combination of essential oils to kill the fungus. It was a very slow kill and turned my toe nails an ugly brown. Oh and I also used Grapefruit seed extract. I will have to say these were not working so well so went to doctor. He prescribed the toxic cream and also recommend getting aloe Vera leaf, real whole leaf, not in a bottle or tube. He said to wrap a piece of it around each toe and sleep with it. I will have to say this worked. I was very amazed at how quickly too. After the first initial sleeping with the leaf on toes I applied the gel from the leaf twice a day a.m. and p.m. It has been a month now and I am still applying the aloe Vera mainly because I have it growing in my yard abundantly and for precaution. Really don't need to. While I am at it I put some on my face and complexion is looking very nice. I hadn't realized how hard it was to get rid of toe nail fungus if it really set in. I had always dealt with it when it was just starting and easy to get rid of with essential oils. So grateful for the aloe Vera leaf and the doctor who recommended it.

Sugar-Free Diet
Posted by Tee (Chicago, Il, Usa) on 09/25/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I had fungus in one of my big toes for about 15 years. During that time I tried strict regimens of both OTC and prescribed topical medications, as well as tea tree oil. Had the nail removed twice so I could get whatever medication onto the infection site, which was at the base of the nail.

Twice the infection appreared to be gone, but later my heart sank as I saw the fungus returning.

Finally I ended up getting a prescription for an antifungal to be taken orally for 90 days. Expensive stuff, about $1000 USD. It did the trick... for three months! I decided to go it again. I got a second prescription, same stuff, thinking it might finish off the fungus 100% this time since it was a smaller infection than the first time. Well it worked... For three years. When I saw the infection returning, I almost cried.

I got online and started searching madly for causes of the fungus. That's when I first learned of the concept of candida, and intuitively felt there was something to it for me. I adhered to a strict diet (Google Candida diet), most importantly NO SUGAR. Worked like a charm; I saw results with my toe in a couple of months.

Over the following ten years fungus reappeared three more times... But at the top of the toenail, whereas before it was the base of the nail. The good news about that was that now I could get a topical medication to it without removing my nail.

The medication I used was bleach. I used the bleach pen, applying a line of it twice a day under the toenail. All three times this killed the fungus within a week. I realize this would not be a popular remedy with naturalists, but stubborn infections call for desperate measures.

Everytime it had appeared I had realized my sugar consumption had gradually increased over time, resulting in another fungus outbreak. So along with the bleach, I also cut out sugar during the treatment phase.

Finally I accepted that I am more sensitive to sugar than most people, and adopted a low sugar diet as a lifestyle.

I have been fungi-free for four years now! My toenail looks normal, as if it had never suffered 15 years of infection.

Hang in there! You have no choice but to be patient with the process, and you too will soon be fungi-free.

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