Q. I think I remember reading about some simple remedies for nail fungus in your column. At the time I didn’t need the information but now my toenails are discolored and ugly.
They want to remove the nails, but that sounds scary. Now that it is spring, I want to wear sandals, but the fungus is unsightly. What can you suggest?
A. A physician can prescribe oral antifungal medicine such as Lamisil or Sporanox. These drugs are very pricey and have some serious side effects.
Readers report that they have gotten good results by applying Vicks VapoRub to the infected nails. Others tell us that soaking nails in a Listerine or dilute vinegar footbath can also help. Someone else found that spraying a half-and-half mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide on the nails twice daily helps clear the fungus.
If the affected nail must be removed, it can be dissolved with a prescription urea paste under medical supervision. Surgical intervention can be painful and can pose a risk of infection.
We are sending you our Guides to Nail Care, Vicks VapoRub and Home Remedies for more information on nondrug approaches to treating nail fungus and nonsurgical nail removal. Anyone who would like copies, please send $4 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (58 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons' People's Pharmacy, No. HRV-3176, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.