Learn how to treat nail fungus in this video with Joe Graedon.

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  1. Laura

    About 2 years ago I noticed a black spot in the middle of my big toe. I had no idea it was even there until I removed my toe nail polish one day. My other big toe had little black lines as well as white spots on it too. Of course right away I looked up online what this could be and found a lot of sites saying it could be a sign of melanoma. Even though I was positive it was some kind of toenail fungus, I went to the doctor anyways and she prescribed a medication for treating it as a fungus. I can’t remember what it was, but I don’t think that was what actually got rid of the fungus. ALWAYS consult your doctor before you do anything. Better to be safe than sorry.

    I’ll get right to the point to make this story shorter. I completely got rid of all of the black spots and white spots on both of my toenails. This is how I did it. I did a TON of research online of different methods and sort of combined them into a process.

    First, use the rough side of a nail file and file your toenail horizontally, that is, file down the thickness of your nail. This will allow chemicals you put on your nail to penetrate through the nail and get to the skin underneath the nail. So file it down a lot, but not too much. My toenails were pretty thin.

    Next go out and buy tea tree oil and vinegar. I used just regular white vinegar since that is what I had in the house at the time. A lot of sites say to use Apple Cider Vinegar, either one is fine.

    Then I would dip two cotton balls in the vinegar (don’t soak them, just dab them). Then I placed them on top of my toenails with the vinegar against my nail, and taped them down. This way the vinegar will be able to soak into your nail. I left the cotton balls on my nails for no more than 30 minutes. Go less if it starts to hurt. My toes did hurt a little after I did this, but it went away quickly. The vinegar penetrates through your nail to the skin underneath it, making your nail very soft. Now is a good time to try to clean up underneath your nail. Since I had a fungus, there was dry almost crusty stuff on the sides of my nail and right underneath the tip of my nail. I used a nail file to clean it up a bit. Once I took the cotton balls off, I used a Q-tip to wet my nails with tea tree oil. Since your nail is now soft, the tea tree oil will penetrate the nail all the way to the skin underneath.
    I did this almost every night until I started to see a difference. I would suggest doing this at night when you won’t be walking around a lot the rest of the day. It’s been 2 years since this has happened and I haven’t had any fungus come back. My nails are healthy again. I really think it was the combination of the vinegar and the tea tree oil that made this disappear!
    Good Luck and as always, consult your doctor!

  2. ann s.

    I could only manage the garlic wrapped feet for half a day. I could taste garlic in my mouth. However, when I unwrapped my feet they were well oiled and bits of hardened fungus came off.
    Perhaps the Vicks will penetrate better. The area under the nail/fungus was sensitive to the touch…I will check the results in a day and keep up with the Vicks treatment.

    • Debbie
      Los Angeles

      Thank you so much for putting your comment here. I was wondering how to get the tea tree oil under my nail. This really helps me alot!!

  3. hd

    was that white or cider vinegar?

  4. Jerry Y.

    Vinegar is the solution! I suffered from fungus on my feet, mostly on the bottoms but also between my toes from childhood until I was about 45 years old. Then one day I read something in a pharmacist column in the local Austin newspaper that recommended soaking the feet in a solution of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water.
    I did that repeatedly every few days for a month or so and slowly and naturally peeled off layer after layer of fungus and callouses, and ended up with the most beautiful feet. End of fungus problem! Now twenty five years later my feet are still beautiful because every few months I soak them in the same 50/50 solution and it peels off beginning fungus, callouses and dead skin. It is a very pleasant process.

  5. Ken H

    I used Hydrogen peroxide by soaking my nails in it for around 15 20 minutes every day and it went away. Problem is, it always seems to come back a few weeks later. Has anyone tried UV light?

  6. Lou G

    Reading all the comments above, I have a question for The People’s Pharmacy. I have Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, and having taken Methotrexate for many years, then Enbrel, and now since November, Humira, I have little or no Arthritis pain that I attribute to Grape Juice and Certo that I’ve taken daily for over 3 years.
    But I still have Psoriasis flare-ups, although not severe, on mostly my forearms and scalp and my Dermatologist thinks the TNF blockers mentioned above are keeping the Psoriasis down. About 3 or 4 years ago, I developed a black spot on my right thumbnail, then a smaller on the left thumbnail. On my next visit to Dermatologist I mentioned it and was prescribed Thymol in Alcohol.
    During my followup 4 weeks later, the left nail was ok, but the right one hadn’t hardly cleared. An older doctor looked at it and said it was nail fungus due to the Psoriasis and weakened immune system. He suggested I try soaking in Vinegar or for a lesser time, Clorox. I tried Vinegar for weeks, soaking about 15 minutes a day in a mouthwash cap that was perfect.
    I saw some improvement, but decided to try Clorox instead. After about a week, the spot started to lessen, then was gone. Since, about once a year, I get the spot back in the right nail, and only occasionally in the left. I again tried the Thymol, to no avail, then Vinegar, to very limited success, and am now trying Clorox. I’m concerned soaking in Clorox, even just a few minutes a day, but for many days, might be harmful. Right now, the upper left corner of the nail is black and I’m concerned it might spread. So to People’s Pharmacy and readers, I ask, suggestions?

  7. EA

    After complaining to my orthopedist (I was there for another reason) that I kept getting infections at the sides of my finger nails maybe once a month alternated fingers and hands, he asked his nurse what the concoction she had been using on nail fungus was.
    She had gotten it from her foot Dr. Simple enough soak fingers, toes which ever in a dilute bleach mixture. 1 TBSP bleach to 1 gallon of water. Soak twice a day for 15 min. Hard for a stitcher to sit still long enough to put hand in this bleach bath but in 2 days the little pocket of infection would start to clear up and at about day 3 or four it would no longer hurt and the dead bacteria would drain out and yes my skin in that area peeled back but in days you could not tell where the problem had been. Now if I feel the least bit of soreness I run for the kitchen and mix up a bit of the bleach solution and start soaking. I broke the volume down to smaller batches than a gallon.
    Hope this helps someone. Very easy very inexpensive. ONLY DO NOT soak over the carpet or your good clothes it could possibly damage those.

  8. pa

    I had toe fungus all my life. What’s the best thing to try for that? It’s been 18years, please help me.

  9. Laurie

    Many years ago I read about a toenail fungus cure in a large old book about alternative health by Jethro Kloss, “Back To Eden”, that was the cheapest, easiest one that actually worked. I had never had toenail fungus at the time I read about it, so I only told a friend about it, who said it worked.
    But after joining a gym a few years ago, I came down with a case of it, (even though I used flip-flops in the shower.)
    It isn’t the quickest, but it is the cheapest and easiest.
    You just put a drop of vinegar at the base of the toenail daily, or every other day if it gets irritating.
    I used another method, I put a cup of vinegar into a dish pan of hot water and soaked my feet every few days.
    It works.
    Vinegar kills mold and fungus on surfaces, too. And is a more natural substitute for using bleach if you can’t use bleach. Bleach gives me a headache, so I only use it occasionally when deep cleaning whenever I can have the windows open.
    Vinegar isn’t as effective or quick, but it does kill mold and fungus.
    It seems like everyone wants super-powerful and super-quick for everything. But sometimes stronger isn’t better — its just more risky and toxic. And quicker isn’t better… just convenient. I think, if the end result is the same, why not use the less toxic solution?
    There are a lot of people now who have no health care (I worked on health care reform as an organizer) and I know so many who are living on less income now, that I think it is important to have alternatives to expensive pharmaceuticals. They might work, but who wants to spend more for something when you can fix it at home with stuff you already have?
    I think its important to buy new shoes if you can, if you have toenail fungus since the fungus is now in your shoes, too.
    However, putting them outside in very bright sunlight can help, or I guess you could use an ultra violet light inside the shoe for a while. UV light kills fungus and mold. Once I put my shoes into the dryer on a very hot setting to get them bone dry, and that helped.
    Use bleach or vinegar in your rinse cycle to wash your socks and underwear, and/or hang them out in bright sunlight to dry.
    I have two to three pairs of shoes that I alternate every day.
    This allows one pair to air dry, and it is moisture that causes mold and fungus to grow. I also make sure to change my socks every day, or anytime they get wet or sweaty.
    I also don’t go around in bare feet anymore. I wear clean socks and don’t walk around in my socks on the floor. I put my shoes on right after putting on my socks, so the socks stay very clean. If you do this you never will get the fungus exposure.
    As soon as I wake up, on go clean socks and lace-up New Balance shoes.
    The added benefit of this is I have very lovely feet. After about 6 months of doing this, my feet look better than they did 30 years ago. I also have no problems with foot, ankle or knee pain like I used to, since I always have good support from my lace-up shoes with arch support in them. In the summer I wear Birkenstocks, or any sandals that have really good arch support. I have two pairs and alternate the sandals, too.
    I have to say that Jethro Kloss’s ideas have helped with many friends and families health issues over the last 20 years. I loved reading his personal story of how he got interested in alternative medicine, and I can say that his recommendations for gout did work for a friend’s mother, and also an obscure reference in his book led me to a treatment for Spina Bifida nerve damage that led to research that helped my son learn to walk and be less incontinent.
    Thanks for a great website.

    • TITO
      WILM,DEL 19805

      Does it really work, becuse I have toe nail fungus real bad, thick toe nails. It’s been over 20 yrs like that.

  10. jbw

    I have nail fungus on both my big toe nails, and the two toes next to them. The nails are raised, and bet irritated easily when I walk long distances. I’ve tried both Vick’s and vinegar, but not long term.
    It looks like a new nail is growing under these nails.

  11. Jon D.

    Like Barbara, I also think that Vicks works best.

  12. fvl

    I have had both toe and thumb fungal incidents. You radio program suggest Listerine and Vicks as possible solutions. They worked!!! My finger nail fungus was black in appearance and the nail at the site deteriorated. In this case I used the Listerine several times a day and applied using a q-tip and pressure at the skin/nail interface. At night after allowing to dry I used Vicks before going to bed.
    Thank you for the great and timely information. I thank Listerine and Vicks for the cure.

  13. Anonymous

    I still think Vicks works the best and the easiest to use!!!
    Barbara M.

  14. Sandra K.

    Everyone of the options mentioned foot bath soaking, do these remedies work on the fingernails?

  15. m.e.

    I started using Purell on my big toe nail, put on with a q-tip starting 3 months ago.
    This is working nicely on two thirds of the toe nail being all clear, but it seems the left and right edges aren’t responding.
    I don’t know why.

  16. Anna

    My husband had toenail fungus on nearly all his toes for about 15 years. He has been reluctant to try the Rx medication because of the toxic side effects.
    Last year he decided to try a product he found for sale on the internet that had good “testimonials”, Deggurcide. My husband is a biochemistry research scientist, so I was quite surprised that he would try an internet remedy – but he was at the point he was willing to risk a few dollars, but not his liver.
    He bought two bottles. It is a liquid that is brushed on once daily after an extensive filing of the entire nail top surface (my husband has a night time routine), and the nails are filed daily, too. The liquid lasts quite a long time and has no offensive odor. I bought some inexpensive packs of emory boards and he only uses each one night and then disposes it.
    He also got rid of any shoes that tended to harbor moisture (waterproof linings, etc.)
    The smaller nails began to show healthy growth in a fairly short time, a few months. There is no sign of fungus on those toe nails now. The larger nails have taken much longer (about a year), but the new growth is clear and healthy. He is expecting the remaining parts of fungus-infected nail to be gone in a few months.
    So far so good. He’ll probably continue using the Deggurcide product until the 2nd bottle is finished, even if all signs of the fungus are gone, just to be on the safe side.
    We have no connection to the product, except as a customer.

  17. Sheila H.

    Vick’s Vapo Rub is the greatest thing! My husband began using it. After a few weeks fresh, clean, fungus-free nails grew out. He was amazed. Now, he uses it once in a while for maintenance. He also tells all his friends (when the subject comes up).
    A friend of mine had both of her large toenails removed because of fungus. It was painful and the prescription for the other nails did not work.
    I sent her your website info on Vick’s vaporub. The prescription meds did NOT work; She tried Vick’s on her nails and they cleared up. (She told me.) She was so excited about Vick’s abilities to clear up toenail fungus that when she went to her next follow-up appointment, she was going to pull out her jar of Vick’s and show him what she used to FINALLY got the visible results.

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