logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Fighting Nail Fungus with OTC Solutions

To get rid of nail fungus, soaking the affected nails in hydrogen peroxide or iodine solution twice daily may work.
Fighting Nail Fungus with OTC Solutions

Q. After contracting nail fungus on my left ring finger, I soaked the offending nail and fingertip in hydrogen peroxide for five minutes several times a day. After about a week of this, the fungus disappeared for two years.

When it came back I tried the same treatment, except this time I used Povidone iodine solution.

It seems to be working beautifully. The nail is turning pink, the rough area is disappearing, the tenderness at the affected area is gone and the nail feels normal again.

A. Thank you for sharing your success story. Many readers have found hydrogen peroxide soaks beneficial against nail fungus.

Others have reported that “white iodine” also works. Povidone iodine solution has significant antifungal activity (Oral Diseases, Nov., 2014), but it does stain the skin and nails a dark brown.

Here is a report from Robin on her successful tactic:

“Seems I’ve tried all the procedures for toenail fungus, but my final one is actually working! Here’s the deal:

  1. Using a heavy nail file (kind used with solar nails), file across the nail before showering.
  2. In the shower, using a stiff nail brush and Cetaphil soap (which I understand has anti-fungal properties), scrub toenails well, both up and down and sideways.
  3. Use liberal amount of white iodine several times per day.

I’m getting results with this procedure! There’s obvious new growth at the base and I’m extremely encouraged.

Overcoming toenail fungus takes patience, because the treatment needs to be used until the nail has completely grown out. That can take many months.

People respond differently to various treatments. Some tell us that applications of Vicks VapoRub work. Others do not have the patience (it can take six months or longer of daily use). Many insist that amber-colored Listerine together with white vinegar will do the trick. There are also fans of tea tree oil or corn meal mush foot soaks.

To learn about these and many more simple remedies for nail fungus, we suggest our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. We have a special Holiday Bundle where you get Quick & Handy plus 50% off Recipes and Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. It’s makes a fabulous holiday gift package. Here is a link to the special offer.


Rate this article
4.1- 38 ratings
About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
Get the latest health news right in your inbox

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

Screenshots of The People's Pharmacy website on mobile devices of various sizes
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.