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Home Remedies Help Nail Fungus

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Q. I have battled toenail fungus off and on for the past 25 years. I have been on Lamisil three times and tried all sorts of OTC and prescription topical medicines.

I decided to try two of the remedies I read about in your articles. I apply hydrogen peroxide with a cotton ball to my toenails after I bathe daily. Then I apply VapoRub to my feet and toenails and put on socks to sleep in.

Within a month, I had no more toenail fungus. I have the most beautiful toenails I have ever had in 25 years. I also like the fact that I can polish my toenails and still use these remedies. Thank you!

A. Toenail fungus can be tough to treat. Prescription medicines like Lamisil are expensive and require medical monitoring for liver problems and other potential side effects.

Success with home remedies like the ones you are using requires patience and persistence. Not everyone will benefit, but we are pleased that the remedies are working for you.

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32 Comments

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Two of my friends have successfully treated toenail fungus with vinegar foot baths. (half a cup of ordinary vinegar to a small basin of water - soak for 5 - 10 mins. Repeat a few times.)
I don't have any more friends with this problem, so this is a very small sample.

I completly cured toe nail fungus with a soak in Lapacho Tea, Pau de Arco (spelling)I soaked my feet daily for several weeks with warm (almost hot) water. I broke up 4 capsules in a pan of water and the fungus eventually went away. Pick a time wher you can do this everyday. It worked for my mother-in-law as well.

I am 69 years old and have battled toenail fungus off and on for more years than I care to remember. I have tried the vinegar soak and nightly applications of VapoRub several times over the years and have not experienced a long term cure of the fungus.

Several times my toenails have begun to grow out normally during the year long treatment periods, but ultimately they fail to permanently eliminate the fungas caused distortion and discolorment of the toe nails.
I am unwilling to try the Lamisal treatment because of the cost and potentinal damage to the liver and other side effects. I've not yet tried the hydrogen peroxide treatment, but plan to do so. I've also heard about the cornmeal paste treatment but wonder how and whether it actually works.

Are there any other home remedies I could try? Thanks!


I spray my toes with cider vinegar and water while in the shower to prevent fungus.

I have a couple problems with this original 'testimony'.What does the writer mean by 'three times'? Three one month treatments? How far apart? Three THREE month treatments? At what point did she start the hydrogen peroxide/Vicks treatment? There is NO WAY she could have 'NO MORE" toenail fungus in one month. The nail would have had to completely grow out. Perhaps it was already 'cured' by the Lamisil, but that was not apparent until the nail grew out coincidentally at the time of the end of the peroxide/Vicks treatment. It seems you'd have covered these possibilities. I would expect better of Peoples' Pharmacy!

I have had good luck with tea tree oil. I apply it to the affected toenail twice a day, and the affected area will grow out with the nail.

I've battled fungus and purple toes on both large toes for probably 25 years. I tried Penlac for at least 2 or 3 years, to no avail. Running/jogging exacerbates it. Two years ago, my wonderful podiatrist in Chapel Hill, Dr. Anderson, suggested I'd increase my odds of success if I removed the nails (leaving the nail bed so they'd grow back). I had her do so immediately. (It really wasn't painful, though it sounds awful). I then treated the naked beds with the Naftin ointment and with penlac as the nails grew out. This was 100% successful for one nail, and probably 60%-70% successful for the other historically more damaged nail (it cured the awful purple, but it's thicker, yellow, and detached midway). The best part -- both now appear to be normal, so I can wear open toed sandles without band-aids or embarassment.

I'm now trying to cure the stubborn 2nd nail. We're trying a mixture of listerine and vinegar, twice a day. Dr Anderson has a patient who did so for a year and cured her fungus. I've also 'doubled up' by putting Naftin on it as well. When the prescription only Naftin runs out, I think I'll add in the vapor rub treatment nightly. Although I have some penlac remaining, I've abandoned that as a cure. It's just too expensive, and the odds of success are too low.

Other advice -- I'm very careful to buy synthetic socks (sweaty cotton encourages fungus) (you can find them readily in running stores; the discount stores, and golf, haven't figured it out yet), to change my socks quickly after running, to use orthodic supports in my running shoes (minimize crushing impact damage), and to generally avoid nail polish (to let them breathe). I also take biotin as one of my daily vitamins, which nourishes hair and nails.

Net-if you're really determined, try removing the nails, then 'piling up' on the other home remedies. With persistence and several years of patience, it WILL work.

To find a "cure" seems questionable from reading many, many sites on this subject. I have been using Penlac everyday for 6 months on two toenails. The baby toenail, which was the worse of the two, is now normal in color and no longer thick, but doesn't look perfect yet. The big toe is worse. Although, only half the toe is affected and does not penetrate to the bottom, it has thickened. I was able to cut most of the baby toenail off without any pain, but not the big toenail.

I'm really not sure what I should try, and if I should try all of the home remedies together at one time. One reads that Vicks works, and then in the next statement, that it doesn't work. This is quite confusing.

After reading a great deal, I wonder if it might make sense to try hydrogen peroxide, lamsil cream, vicks, and Penlac all together. Has anyone ever tried that?

My husband and I have tried successfully Tea Tree Oil for nail fungus and athlete's foot. The secret is that you have to be persistent.

Tea tree oil successfully eliminated my toenail fungus. I applied it with a cotton swab at least once a day (at bedtime) and twice a day if I could remember. It took a few months for the fungus to totally disappear, as the toenails grow so slowly, but the new nails came in beautifully. A few months after I stopped using the oil, the fungus has reappeared slightly, so I'll start again.

I used the Vicks (greaseless version, not as messy) every night for three weeks. My big toe nail was almost all black and another toe was very thick.

After 3 weeks, the black area on the big toe is noticeably smaller and the thick toenail has not gotten thicker. I also used the hydrogen peroxide every morning. I'm hooked and will keep this up until I wear no polish on my nails!

Did I not hear on Peoples' Pharmacy to simply pee on your toes? I tried it and it worked. First on athlete's foot and then on a fungus caused by a salon manicurist.

I have heard from friends who have used the vapo rub with great success. That is why i am using it on my 8yr old son. i have filled the thick top layer of his fingernail down to an "almost normal" density, if you will, and apply the vicks vapo rub nightly and cover with a band aid. After 3 or 4 nights it is almost completely gone. I had done this with my small toenails at one time yrs ago and it has never returned.

I think nail polish aggravates the problem... I also wonder about the use of rubbing alcohol... a question about urinating on it... how often is the recommendation?

I'm 19 years old and I'm (currently) battling this fungus. It's horrible and looks horrible, and I'm going to try the vicks and the peroxide remedies, so I'm hoping they work.

Peroxide works!! I've had nail fungus on my big toes for yrs but never nevet got the nerve to see a doctor about it... I was emabarrased... Well one day I had an ingrown toenail infecton and poured peroxide for the infection/swelling for a few days... and in about 2 months that toe was growing in healthy and clear!! I kept trying to think what I must have eaten for it to grow in like that--I was happy and amazed! Then I came across an article about the common uses of peroxide... and there it was, nail fungus!!!!! The infected part of the nail is almost all grown out and I've started to treat the other toe in peroxide soak 30 mins a day this month .. =) so we'll see =)

I am 27 years old and I have battled with toe nail fungus for 12 years now its embarrasing because I cant go without nail polish I tried oral medication and I gave up on it by simply filing them down and putting polish on them I even passed this on to my husband but he still doesnt know.

Anyways after covering up the problem for 12 years I decided to fix it. I bought NONYX and it seems to be working I had thick yellow bumpy, crumbly nails and NONYX is getting rid of the thick nails you just have to file the nails down every two days and apply it 2 times a day my nails will take a while to grow out but I have already noticed a difference in how they look.

I know it will take persistance and time but I am willing to do anything so that by next year I can go and get a pedicure with my Sister-in-Law which she has been begging me to do for the last 8 years I just have been to ashamed to tell her why I cant go.

My toenails have to be the worst in the world. I almost have to use a bolt cutter to cut them. I even tried a Dremel tool to grind them until I hit raw skin a couple times and that was it. I've been trying Vapo and it doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere. I might get a bottle of peroxide and try that awhile. It's just awful. Grrr. Thanks for the tips here..

My daughter and I have both had problems with toe nail fungus. I took the pills prescribed by the podiatrist for 3 months and it worked.
My daughter (being as young as she was at the time) used NONYX gel.

I would file down her toe nails with this great electric hand held nail filer, soak her toes in warm water, apply NONYX, then put bandages over each nail. I did that every night and every morning- so twice a day for 4 months- and it worked.

Just a year ago I went to get a pedicure and the fungus has returned after 4 years of clear nails and for my daughter also (she has it so bad)! So I'm going to try some of these remedies on both of us and we'll be staying away from the salons!!

I found success with hydrogen peroxide. I soaked my toes in it for a few minutes in the morning, watching it bubble. This cleared my left big toe, which I found amazing! The right has been more stubborn.

I am now using plain old tincture of iodine. I paint it on the nail and make sure I get some underneath as well. Of course it discolors, so don't do this and wear sandals! But it is working. I have healthy nail growing in.

In reading all of these comments, I noticed that it appears, if I am reading these right, that many people treat their toenail fungus problems with out removing the nail. Is it possible to treat this way? I also wear toenail polish because the nail (large toe) is so ugly. If I don't remove the nail, and continue using the polish, will any of these home remedies work?

These treatments would work best if you tried to remove as much of the infected nail as possible without damaging the nail bed or causing pain. Make sure you sanitize your instruments before and after use to avoid spreading the fungus to other nails (including your finger nails).

I too have tried everything. I have tried Lamisil -- probably five courses. It worked completely the first time, but the fungus eventually reappeared. It does seem to help, but my doctor says, in view of the number of times I've tried it, it's not worth trying again. I have tried Penlac. Did not seem to work and seemed to halt nail growth completely. I live in the South where open shoes are worn MOST of the year, so I keep working on this. I can't go without polish in the summer months. I am going to try the tea tree oil next; my nails now are not terribly thick, but they are opaque and ugly. I'll report back!

I am battling right now with toe nail fungus and have been taking lamisil and I feel I see it not getting any better. I am going to try the vabo rub and hope that helps!

I have had nail fungus for awhile. It seemed that the hydrogen peroxide cured both of my big toes but now, after going on vacation and being in water, the one toe has lost the nail underneath. Confused why this happened on one toe and not the other. Will continue the peroxide.

I have had this curse for about 8 years. I've tried vinegar, tea tree oil, peroxide, vapo-run and combinations of these things. I was always extremely consistent. None of them worked for me. I started penlac in November with low expectations. But lo and behold, it's working! One toe is completely clear and looks 100% normal. I have two others that are looking way clearer. My big toe, which I've hidden for years is actually presentable. It's not completely cured, but it's getting there. I'm at the 6 month mark with Penlac. Feeling very optimistic.

PEROXIDE DOES WORK, vinegar may also, but I hated the smell....I had read it on a google search and had tried everything recommended on one toenail for a year...everything! Price wasn't the object, just nothing worked. I'm a compulsive groomer and pretty toenails are one thing I love.

I decided to leave off toenail polish as it was winter. I used a different nail file for that toe, filed it thin and used a small sprayer( bought at Sallys, travel size) on my feet immediately out of the shower and in the evening home from work. I bought some thin orange sticks at Sallys and lifted up the nail to clean and spray under the nail, morning and evening. The 3% peroxide can be left on and I used it on the whole foot.

Within 2 weeks the nail was a nice color and started growing back. It's been almost a year completely growing off but it's almost done! I will use peroxide on my feet forever...they are fungus hotbeds, covered most of the time, and sweaty. Try this seriously, it doesn't work overnight, but it's not unpleasant, it's cheap, and your feet feel and smell clean!

I've been trying neem oil, and it seems to be the only thing that's worked. The nails are growing in clearer. What I do is, after showers I put the oil on each nail. Try to get under the nail as much as possible. Also, get around the cuticles well. Then, before I go to bed, I do this again. I try to keep the nails short. I put cotton socks on so that the oil doesn't get everywhere. I wish you all luck. This is very hard and embarrassing to live with.

I went through lamasil treatment twice. Toenails began to grow out clear. Three of the toenails did not clear up. They are very slow growing and very thick. Sometime after stopping treatment (6-12 months), toenails appeared to have the fungus reappear. Toenails began to separate.

This time they did not smell or turn yellow. Diagnostic samples showed no fungus. I was told that it was now toenail stress. I have five toenails growing clear. One big toenail grows out clear then separates back to the cuticle area. I have resigned myself to bad nails. Any suggestions?

I had toenail fungus on my two big toes, and I have been using 100% tea tree oil on the entire toe area of my two big toes. Well, my two nails are growing in normal, and all I have been doing is wearing open toe shoes, keeping the toenail clean in using rubbing alcohol every so often, and using the 100% tea tree oil 2-3 times a day in using a cotton swab. I have been repeating the same steps for two months, and currently continuing to do so until the toenail is fully grown out in its healthy normal state.

Oh, in the beginning, at first, I removed 3/4 of my toenail on the one big toe and I removed 1/4 of my toenail on my other big toe. It is most important to remove as much of the toenail as possible, without hurting yourself. Take care.

have been using "naftin" for nail fungus for over a year, absolutely useless and runs $270.00 per 90 gram tube...found this home treatment...hydrogen peroxide and vicks vapo rub............results are impressive after only one month of use. no more pain in my nails and nails appear stronger and not thin and cracked. my dermotologist was almost ashamed of himself.....zig

I notice that all comments and concerns or experiences are centered around toenails. I have fingernail fungus, will the treatment be the same?

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