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Help with Home Remedy for Nail Fungus

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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. We are offering a 15 percent discount on both publications and everything else in our store for anyone who signs up to become a People's Pharmacy Facebook fan. If you go to facebook and become a fan, you will learn the special discount code so you can get your 15% off these or other products.

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

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"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

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"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.

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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.

And remember, if you sign up as a Facebook fan of The People's Pharmacy, you will get the discount code that will entitle you to a 15% discount!

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I've had a "funky" thumb nail for years with a large bump and also significant dips with ridges. My doctor told me "not to worry" about it - nothing to be done. My husband told me he heard that Dr. Oz recommended tea tree oil as a remedy for nail fungus. I purchased a small bottle of tea tree oil and have been dosing the nail every night before bed.

Amazing! The big bump grew out and now the dips and ridges are growing out too! Black something (fungus?) grows out from under the nail periodically as well with the growth.

After years of having an unsightly nail - after about 2 months my nail is looking much better and I hopefully will soon have a healthy nail.

I apply Vagicaine (or Vagisil) to the affected toe nails every morning after my shower. I rub it all over the nail and especially well into the base of the nail. My dermatologist says I have the mildest form of nail fungus, so this may not work for more severe forms. My fungus takes the form of opaque white discoloration as the nail grows out and then flaking into layers at the end of the nail. Three of four infected nails now look normal, but the fourth one still has a few white spots but no flaking into layers.

If toenail fungus has been there for forty years, can you get rid of it? My husband is not bothered at all by his. His nails do not resemble the picture shown--eaten away. They are just blackened in places and very thick. Should I be concerned and insist that he treat them?

I am 65 yrs of age, had toenail fungus since I was 27 years old on both feet, the oral medication made me feel sick 30 years ago so I never finished it, and decided to live with the fungus. Since retirement, to keep my body weight down, I have been walking, and I use some powder in my socks and shoes lightly when I walk, approximately 2 months ago I changed from talc powder to the powder made of corn products with some zinc mixed in according to the plastic container, and I noticed last week getting in the shower that my nail fungus had DISAPPEARED!!!!!! You pharmacy people might surmise what has done this, the corn starch powder with zinc MUST be it. For many years I have showered daily and washed my feet with bathsoap twice and shampooed my head twice and wear clean cotton socks daily for many years, the only thing different is the corn starch powder with zinc
in it that I purchased at the grocery store off the shelf with the other mainly baby powder products. I had tried the vicks remedy, which did not work for me, soaking my feet in clorox and water which did not work, washing my shoes out with hot water and clorox, nothing worked BUT now the simple easy cornstarch powder with zinc compound is very easy to use and works!!!!!!!!!! Michael M. (ret.)

I have 15 nails infected with the fungus. Funginix. and another (@ $30/tiny bottle) didn't even slow it down.

Vinegar soaks hold the fungus in place but no improvement. I cut and file my infected nails. I pour half a cup of vinegar in each of two 1 gallon and one 1 quart zipper lock bags. My feet are barely small enough (size 9 1/2) that I can put one in each of the large zipper lock bags and the fingers of one hand in the 1 quart bag. The reason for the bags is ... when I have finished my 15 minute to 1 hour soak (whilst I'm working/playing on my computer or watching a video) ... I carefully close the bags almost all the way and then press the air out of the bag, then finish zipping it closed.

I both soak my feet in the bags and store the bags in a 9" x 13" baking pan or a plastic dish pan of the same size only deeper. I think that the vinegar ages rapidly when open to the air; on the other hand, I can use the same vinegar for a week or longer when i store it with air removed. When there is no longer the sharp, acrid acid smell of vinegar, it is time to change to fresh vinegar.

I haven't tried the Vicks VaporRub, I think because I don't particularly like the smell and 15 nails worth of VVR is quite a strong odor, almost all day, every day. Next for me is to use my method of soaking, but add 50% Listerine and see what happens

I had an apparently slow acting fungus and the medication recommended by my dermatologist was ineffective. After my nightly shower, I would spray white vinegar on a paper towel, rub it on all my toes, though only the big toe was troublesome. Then I would apply Vicks Vapor Rub with a Qtip, put on an old sock and go to bed. I felt an improvement the very next day and it took some weeks for the nail to grow and I could detect the fungus free nail by the bump it showed. Hope this helps somebody.

i have 15 nails infected with the fungus. Funginix. and another (@ $30/tiny bottle) didn't even slow it down.

Vinegar soaks hold the fungus in place but no improvement. I cut and file my infected nails. I pour half a cup of vinegar in each of two 1 gallon and one 1 quart zipper lock bags. My feet are barely small enough (size 9 1/2) that i can put one in each of the large zipper lock bags and the fingers of one hand in the 1 quart bag. The reason for the bags is ... when i have finished my 15 minute to 1 hour soak (whilst i'm working/playing on my computer or watching a video) ... i carefully close the bags almost all the way and then press the air out of the bag, then finish zipping it closed. I both soak my feet in the bags and store the bags in a 9" x 13" baking pan or a plastic dish pan of the same size only deeper. I think that the vinegar ages rapidly when open to the air; on the other hand, i can use the same vinegar for a week or longer when i store it with air removed. When there is no longer the sharp, acrid acid smell of vinegar, it is time to change to fresh vinegar.

I haven't tried the Vicks VaporRub, i think because i don't particularly like the smell and 15 nails worth of VVR is quite a strong odor, almost all day, every day. Next for me is to use my method of soaking, but add 50% Listerine and see what happens.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

What a clever way to recycle the vinegar for soaking. Do let us know how you make out with the Listerine addition.

Other options include hydrogen peroxide applications. You will find many more approaches in our book, The People's Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. You can find it in our store and it will come autographed by Joe & Terry.

https://store.peoplespharmacy.com/

We spray our shower with a 50% vinegar 50% amber Listerine mixture after each use and let dry. Gets rid of the fungus that causes athlete's feet to prevent a recurrance.

Also prevents mold and mildew growth in the shower and keeps the shower clean by getting rid of soap scum and lime deposits.

Incidentally, I use the same solution to clean windows, appliances, and spray on the floors before mopping up with a dry mop. Safest most versatile cleaner ever. No harmful chemicals (pthalates etc) added. The smell dissipates quickly and just leaves things clean.

I have two devastating autoimmune diseases which are not curable but require ten prescription medications to mitigate the symptoms. One medication is prednisone. I asked my GP about a suspected toe nail fungus. He looked at it and confirmed that it was a fungus, but said that he could do nothing about it since it was not "bad enough." Once it it progressed to "bad enough" he would prescribe an oral fungicide which he said was very expensive and would need to be taken for a long time (six or more months).

There was no advice given to me about any alternative treatments, about keeping my feet dry, about changing socks frequently - no common sense advice at all. His reflexive advice was to treat me with an expensive systemic fungicide which would have God knows what kind of interactions with the other medications I was taking.

Even a non-medically trained person like me would think twice about this. Lesson: Try the virtually free and benign non-drug treatments first before resorting to prescription pharmaceuticals in non-life threatening situations.

I have heard of almost all of these! For years I have put Epsom Salt in my bath water and it helps a lot with fungus based problems. When my children were babies it even fixed Cradle Cap and diaper rash.

Here is another remedy that I haven't seen in your comments. I went to a podiatrist for toe nail fungus, and he recommended Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream. I applied it twice a day to the affected nail, rubbing it all around and on top of the nail. It took over 6 mos., but my nail looks perfect now. I also, think that it is a matter of trying different remedies to see what works for you.

I have been using Vicks and lamisil in combination for about a year, and my thickened ugly big toe nail is finally looking pretty good. Just brush it on and leave it on under the socks each day.

does anyone know if I can re-use the corn meal (for treating toe fungus) after each use? thanks

I sent in my discovered home cure which was published. Am retired, and discovered that the very finely powered pure corn product in the brand name baby powder that I was using in my socks eradicated nearly all of my nail fungus on my toes. I would say it is not re-useable, the large company producing this product says it is medicated with zinc and is pure cornstarch.

Took it over 1 month to work, but all is gone except some resistant pockets on my big toes.

A bottle of that baby powder cost less than a dollar. I am 67 yrs of age and had had the toe fungus for at least 35 years.

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