make angular cheilitis disappear, hydrogen peroxide

Many people would like a simple, inexpensive way to treat toenail fungus. Fortunately, there are many home remedies that can prove helpful. So far as we know, there is not a single treatment that works in every case. But many people find that if they apply hydrogen peroxide daily to the affected nails they can clear the fungus.

Hydrogen Peroxide Fights Toenail Fungus:

Q. I tried your hydrogen peroxide treatment for toenail fungus and it worked like a charm.

A. The reader who suggested this remedy applied pharmacy strength hydrogen peroxide daily to the nails with a cotton ball after showering. We found relatively few scientific studies of this remedy, but one review of research included H2O2 as a way to make thick toenails more permeable. That might allow antifungal treatments to penetrate more easily (Murdan, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, Nov. 2008).

Other Remedies for Lovely Toes:

Vinegar and Listerine:

Other simple remedies for treating nail fungus include vinegar or old-fashioned amber Listerine mouthwash. Usually people soak their feet in a solution that contains a third to a half vinegar or Listerine and the rest water. Readers trying any of these soaks must be patient. Toenails grow slowly, and the fungus won’t be gone until the nail has grown out completely free of fungus. That could take up to a year.

Sometimes people combine Listerine and vinegar in the same soak. Success still requires patience!

Vicks VapoRub:

Many readers have found that applying Vicks VapoRub to the nails daily or twice a day can overcome toenail fungus. One clinical case series supports this home remedy for toenail fungus (Derby et al, Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, Jan-Feb. 2012). Nurses also report that this treatment is safe and can be effective (Snell et al, Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, Jan-Feb. 2016).

Decolorized Iodine:

We heard from one reader who used “white” iodine to good effect:

Q. I found decolorized iodine works remarkably well for toenail fungus. Applied to the top of the nail and around the cuticle, it dries quickly and does not stain stockings or bedding. Cost: about $2.50.

I used it five times a week starting out. After the nail was once again normal, I started using it about once a week for maintenance and prevention. I don’t want ugly toenails ever again.

A. Iodine has broad-spectrum antibacterial activity that has been recognized since the early 19th century. It also is active against yeast, mold, viruses and fungi. Readers have reported that iodine can be effective against warts and nail fungus.

Decolorized Iodine

Drawback to Tincture of Iodine:

Tincture of iodine stains the skin and nails brown, which is why people prefer decolorized iodine. We discuss this and many other remedies for nail fungus in our Guide to Hair and Nail Care.

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  1. Mike

    Add Borax to the hydrogen peroxide to make it even more effective against fungus. Just under 1/4 c per quart will make a fully saturated solution. That may be too strong for some, so start with less and work up to that.

    You can make your own decolorized iodine by dissolving potassium iodide (Amazon/eBay) in water, or by the label on the bottle above, in alcohol. Keep in a dark bottle.

  2. Larry M
    Raleigh, NC

    I started with laser treatment at a really high level (45 joules). Most people cannot tolerate that much energy. The worst nail actually came off with that treatment–a good thing because then I could apply treatments that actually reached the source. I’m using Undecylenic acid. A bottle costs about $5 and lasts 2-3 months, applied morning and night. I’m on the path to being free of onychomycosis.

    I expect that once the nail fell off, Vicks, Listerine, hydrogen peroxide, or even dilute bleach would have worked as well.

  3. Moike
    North America

    I did several things over a period of about 4 weeks, that worked. The basic idea is to file the infected nail down to make it thinner so that hydrogen peroxide can then be applied every day for a period of time and better reach the infected area. You apply it, leave it on for an hour or so a day, and then wash it off. Use athletes foot creams during the day. The nail grew back slowly and the infection seems to be gone now for the last year or so. I continue to keep a strict regimen of cleaning the toenails, using H.P. periodically, spraying it on, scrubbing and washing off. I use athletes foot creams too. I use powder in my socks to help keep my feet dry and will usually change socks once day. “Diligence” is the key.

    – Rather than soak in hydrogen peroxide, I sprayed it on a 1/2 a cotton ball and taped that to my toe where the nail was, so that it could stay on, under a sock, for an hour or so. This allowed it to soak in. I then removed it and washed and dried the area, and applied an ‘athlete’s foot’ cream.
    – I also used athletes foot cream liberally throughout the entire 6 weeks, after showering, after the h.p. application, after working outside, etc. The idea is to keep it on your feet throughout the day to avoid further infections.
    – Most importantly, I filed the nail with the fungus down, so that it was fairly thin. During the 6 weeks I continued to gently file it as the nail grew, so it would reman thin. This allowed the H.P. to soak through to areas where it could do some good. I had to be careful not to hurt that toe with the nail thin during this period.
    – I also got a small nail scrub brush and used that on all my nails, with soap, during showering.

    The things I used – hydrogen peroxide, soap and water, cotton balls, medical tape (to hold the cotton balls on my toe) nail scrub brush, over the counter athletes foot creams (I used a couple different generic brands that used different active ingredients, you can buy generic inexpensively at pharmacies or department stores).

    • Jessica

      I’m trying it for the first time right now. I mixed it with some water as I read you are supposed to. I really hope it works. If not I’m going to have it surgically removed. Nothing is worse as a woman than this.

      • Donna

        Jessica from Florida darling, you must be very young, very healthy or live quite a sheltered life. There are a multitude of things much worse for a woman than toe nail fungal infection. I pray you never know one of them.

  4. Marc
    Cape Town South Africa

    What works the best for fungus toes nails and is harmless:

    Laser treatment for nail fungus :)

    • Frances
      Chapel Hill NC

      True. Pricey but true, efficient and painless. That’s how I eliminated my extensive toenail fungus after everything else failed. The podiatrist tested the fungus and it turned out to be a rare one, probably the result of a visit to a natural spa in Mexico many years ago.

      After the laser treatment, I used the topical paint-on meds from the laser podiatrist and they kept it under control, though the nails were always on the verge of getting a bit cloudy. On my most recent trip to the podiatrist, I’d been on a three-month candida diet that eliminated all sugar, starch, yeast and mold and my nails were a glorious clear pink. The tech who examined them was astounded.

  5. Sue

    We have used every thing on my husband’s toe fungus. We used peroxide tonight for three first time. Praying it works.

    • Teresa
      Houston TX

      I ended up having nails on both big toes removed by podiatrist and do not recommend this approach. Besides being the MOST PAINFUL of any recoveries, the nails grew back just as they were!

  6. Vanessa

    Has anyone tried hydrogen peroxide on trauma to toenail? I hit my big toe on the bottom of a couch but the nail didn’t fall off but did bleed.

  7. Dieter H
    Cape Town, South Africa

    Information is interesting

  8. George

    I have tried peroxide on (3) occasions over the years. Each time the results have been the same: it looks good, you think you are getting results (not sure if it is because of the bleaching effect), and then it gets worse. Much worse. I am not sure why and can’t help but wonder from my first aid course where they suggested that peroxide can also kill helpful bacteria as well (or something like that) and did not recommend it at all for wound infections.

    In any case, hope it works for you. I would be curious to hear of effects after a few months.

    I have tried olive oil, tea tree oil, etc. Although these did not help much they did not make it worse.

  9. nisha
    Washington, DC

    I must admit I have tried the peroxide but not been as consistent as others. Mostly because I tried the peroxide gel as it sits in place but noticed it was eating away at my cuticles while it sat over night. It also caused skin burning. I will try again with liquid only. Someone questioned if you will still see results with polished toes? I have the same question lol

    • Circus
      Pennsylvania USA

      Vicks Vaporub worked for me, but it is important to keep using even after you think the problem is gone. I suggest using once or twice a day until the affected area looks clear, then use 1-2 times per week after that for maybe 6 months. I use a Q-tip to rub under and around the sides of the nail. Be sure to clean your nail files, clippers, etc. with rubbing alcohol after each use so you don’t spread a problem from one nail to another.

  10. Jennifer L.

    I have recently started using peroxide on my nail fungus and can see a difference already. I keep it handy in a spray bottle and use it several times a day. At night I rub in Vicks.
    I have had the fungus for five years and only now trying the above treatment.

    • Ann

      Has it helped your nail fungus.. going through the same problem

  11. Laura

    Thank you, these are the posts with the most.
    I read this to my hubby and its what really sold him on the idea. He’s had mild issues of toenail fungus from 40 years of steel toes and working in a paper mill. We saw the Dr. just the other day and she was great about explaining just what it was. She also discouraged him from taking any harsh meds for it and played down the effectiveness of the pharmacy style creams and sprays. She also noted in good humor that “No One Ever Died From Toe Fungus” so its totally a vanity issue and he shouldn’t spend tons of money on it.
    The best medical treatment is to remove the nail(s) in a sterile clinic or hospital setting and allow a year for the new nail(s) to grow in complete with no fungus. If all else fails he may opt for a toenail removal but as of this moment we’re giving H202 3% over the counter a try using a small syringe and a wee little spray bottle.
    I will report back to this site as we proceed. Thank you for the info and feedback.

  12. MB

    Hydrogen peroxide is the only thing that has made my 12 year old fungus subside. It’s been two weeks and once every day right before bed I’ve been spraying hydrogen peroxide on my nails and all over my feet. I then take a nail tool and scrape under the nail the dead skin and from around the cuticles. I use an orange stick to push back the cuticle and try to get it under the nail beds. Then I spray with a 50/50 mix of 90+% alcohol and white vinegar and go to bed. This has made a HUGE difference and I know if I could use the dropper method through the day it’s be going faster. But as it is once a day is all I can remember and it’s a quick 5 minute ritual vs. A 20+ minute vinegar foot soak, vapor rub, the nightmare inducing RX the dermatologist have me, the useless and expensive RX fungus cream and powder. I’ve tried it all. This has made all the difference and it the cheapest simplest damn thing.
    I recommend getting new/fresh hydrogen I got two huge bottles for $4 at SAMs club. And really try to get it into the grodiest worst infected parts of your nails in order to get that oxygenation in there and clear the infection try this before any RXs.

  13. Al

    How did you get it between your nail bed? Do you mean you applied around the cuticle? I am having same issue and just started using undiluted 6% h.p. I am just soaking the affected toes in it and want to know if there is a more effective way to do this.

  14. Susann

    I tried the apple cider vinegar soak for almost 2 weeks. Not much difference. Then decided to alternate with hydrogen peroxide and used anti-fungal cream during the day. No changes.
    Then I bought a medicine dropper and started using hydrogen peroxide (non diluted) and applying it between my toenail and nail bed and within one day, the brown spots disappeared on one toe. The big toe was slightly dark in the middle. I applied hydrogen peroxide with a medicine dropper morning, lunch and several times in the evening and added peroxide on top until it air dried and in 3 days, my big toe is almost back to its normal color and pain is subsiding, too.
    Hydrogen peroxide with a medicine dropper and applying it between the toenail and nail bed worked for me in 3 days. I’ve had pain and discoloration for at least 2 months.

  15. A.D.M

    I had fungus… used a cosmetic fungus cure solution and that worked. But the fungus cure solution would make my toenail polish sticky. I started using peroxide. It worked and did not make the polish sticky. Now all I use is peroxide. I keep it under the sink in the bathroom. With my morning visit there I put my foot up on the side of the toilet bowl and pour the peroxide over the concerned nails. They air dry by the time I have to put on my shoes for work. I do the same with my last visit of the day. They dry before I get into bed. This works like a charm. And I haven’t had problems since.

  16. Janet

    My daughter had a fungus on her big toenail and it was at the stage where it looked almost a grey color. I told her about what I had read on this site and the Vicks Vapo Rub. She applied this every night for about a month. Eventually, the toe nail fell off and there was a new nail in its place! Unbelievable!

  17. Elle

    I came across your website as I was searching for antifungal medications. Yesterday, I came quite close to purchasing Lamisil. Fortunately, I did not. I was quite dubious of the person claiming to have cured fungus by way of a “natural cure” in the past. Has anyone heard of using Vicks vapo rub? It appears many others had success, so I am going to give it a go.
    I just have a couple doubts that could use clearing up. I would like to use a combination of the treatment options, most specifically the hydrogen peroxide and tea tree oil. In what order would you recommend? Does it make sense to apply the hydrogen in morning after bathing and then apply the tea tree oil 30 minutes after and so same at bedtime, or would you recommend more time to lapse in between?
    Thank you very much for your assistance as I do not feel like destroying my insides in the process of killing the fungus!!!!

  18. car

    Help! Does this mixture work on toenail fungus through toenail polish or must it be applied to bare nails?

  19. Richard Harrelson

    Where can you buy pharmacy-strength peroxide? I would like to try it on my toenails. I have been fighting fungus on my toenail for years.

  20. Marilyn

    I had toenail fungus for over two years. Had gone to the podiatrist and he prescribed some cream that was expensive and messy. I tried the hydrogen peroxide. Put it in a spray bottle, sprayed it on my toes and let it air dry before I put on my stockings or socks. Worked like a charm!!

  21. D. Hatchel

    My husband has fungus on several of his toenails… (really bad). He was told the only way to take care of it is by taking medication. The doctor said the meds are bad on the liver and will need to be taken for 6 mos. He got Hepatitis when he was in Viet Nam. My question is: Does the hydrgen peroxide really work? I’ll have to show him some proof so he will try it. And what is pharmary proof? Thanks.

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