Q. I have had bad toenail fungus for YEARS! The toe that is really infected is the one next to my big toe and because it is LONGER than my big toe it gets bruised a lot from my power walking.
I have been on MANY prescription & non-prescription products without much success. Most recently I have been on Ciclopirox 8% topical solution nail lacquer (Penlac) for 5 months with no positive results yet.
I started the 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 generic Listerine foot soaks about 2 weeks ago. How many times a day do you have to soak your feet? Can I reuse the same mixture more than once, or does it have to be fresh each time? I soak about 10-15 min once per day. How long do I need to continue before I see results? What if it doesn’t work?
A. When it comes to toenail fungus there are no rules. Some people get great results from prescription anti-fungal medicine while others find such oral drugs ineffective or too toxic. Others report that a particular home remedy is fabulous while someone else says the exact same treatment is totally worthless.
Visitors to this website sometimes report success with a remedy within several weeks. We also hear from people that it can take several months to begin to see improvement. Given that the fungus often penetrates deep into the nail bed it is understandable that it might take three to six months for the nail to start to grow out pink and healthy.
Here are just a few stories to whet your appetite. You will discover that there are lots more in our Guide to Hair and Nails and hundreds of home remedies for nail fungus and other common ailments in our book The People’s Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies.
Toenail Fungus Success Stories:
“I had toenail fungus that would not go away. I tried Listerine soaks for a week (just rubbed it on) and that did not seem to have any significant effect. Finally, I soaked my foot in hydrogen peroxide from the drugstore for a couple minutes. That got rid of it within 3 days. And it did not come back. Cheap and effective.” Paul
“I used a daily vinegar soak to treat toenail fungus. It works well. At one point my doctor prescribed Ciclopirox Topical 8% Fungicide solution. It does work, but it’s ridiculously priced at $119 for 6.6 milliliters (about $6,000/gallon). This Ciclopirox product is essentially clear nail polish with a fungicidal additive. I wouldn’t pay $119 if I hadn’t had insurance at the time. Medical insurers should stop paying for outrageously priced drugs. Most people with insurance who pick up a prescription at the pharmacy are generally unaware of what the real costs are. No wonder insurance premiums are through the roof.” Bob
“I used Vicks VapoRub successfully for years to deal with nail fungus, but switched to Vagicaine after hearing on the radio show that resorcinol was an anti-fungal. Three out of four nails now look perfect, as opposed to the “etching” that VapoRub made on my nails. I tried Tea Tree oil, but the fungus started coming back.
My dermatologist told me there are 4 types of toenail fungus, so what home remedy works may depend on which type of fungus you have. (She also has recommended Vicks VapoRub to a few other patients after seeing my success.) I remember Joe and Terry reporting on a University of Michigan study testing Vicks VapoRub,. As I recall, the reseaerchers found it actually helped against toenail fungus.” Jim P.
If you would like to learn more about any of these remedies, check out either our Guide or our book from National Geographic, (The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies). You will be amazed at how many low-cost, low-risk treatments are available right from your kitchen cabinet. There are details about cornmeal mush foot soaks, vinegar soaks and tea tree oil applications. You will also find out about natural approaches to arthritis, bursitis, diverticulitis, gout, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, sinusitis and lots more.