The People's Perspective on Medicine

Listerine, Vicks & Vinegar Curing Nail Fungus

Common drugstore items like Vicks and Listerine are the key ingredients to home remedies that may prove helpful for getting rid of nasty nail fungus.

Q. Hi, I am a 21-year-old college student, and I have not had a “normal” big toenail on my left foot since I was 14. It came off when I was a freshman in high school as I was removing nail polish. Since then, the toenail has grown back (with fungus) over and over and then repeatedly fallen back off.

I went to a podiatrist once, who prescribed me paint-on medication that did not make any difference at all.  The toenail continued to grow back rough and a yellow-brown color.  It was unsightly and embarrassing, especially in high school. In the summers I kept it covered with a bandaid. As I got older I discovered that I could buy fake nails from Wal-mart and glue them over my ugly toenail.  To say the least, my toenail was annoying and bothersome.  I often said if I could change anything, I would just want pretty feet.

About a year ago, a friend’s mom told me that she had heard of someone using tea tree oil on fungus.  I tried this for a few months. Again, I thought the toenail was growing in clear but then it would just fall off again. I gave up on the tea tree oil.

However, I thought maybe there were other suggestions that might really work, so I got online and found many websites like this one.  I was skeptical, but I thought anything was worth a try. I went out the next day and bought Listerine, Vicks VapoRub, and white vinegar (the off-brand of all 3).  This was 4 months ago.  Since then, I have soaked my toenails for thirty minutes a day in a mixture of equal amounts of Listerine and vinegar.

I use the same mixture for several nights before discarding.  At night I put the Vicks on my toenails and put socks on to sleep (the Vicks does stain your socks!).  Because I have been using the Vicks and the Listerine, I don’t know which is actually curing my toenail, but something is working!

My big toenail is almost completely grown out and it is completely healthy. (Although it did take a while for it to start growing in like that.)  I cannot believe that it has worked so well.  I honestly thought that I would never have a pretty toenail again.  Thank you to the ones who have posted about this. I hope this post will help someone.  Feel free to ask me questions, and I’ll tell you what I know from my experience.

A. Thanks so much for sharing your story. We find it fascinating that many visitors to our website expect nail fungus remedies to work within a few weeks. Many give up and assume that their foot soaks are a waste of time.

It takes a long time for nails to grow out. Even powerful oral anti-fungal drugs can take many months to work. We’re glad your patience was rewarded. Here are some other stories that support your experience:

“I’ve been soaking my toes in a 50%/50% solution of Listerine (use Original formula — the Freshmint made my feet green) and apple cider vinegar for 20 minutes each day, faithfully. I clip my toenails once a week. I make just enough to cover my toes in a small plastic container. I put plastic wrap on the surface of the solution when I’m not using it to keep the air out, and I change the solution every two weeks.

“In six weeks, I’ve seen a REMARKABLE difference. The fungus stopped spreading and the solution actually seems to be repairing the damage, it that’s possible. My nails are growing in healthy and they look great. I’ll probably continue to use the solution periodically to prevent this embarrassing fungus from ever coming back. I wish I could tell everyone about this inexpensive and effective solution.” Suzy

“Got that old toe fungus. Read here over a year ago – soak toe in amber Listerine 20 minutes/day, every day. The sender said to do it at the same time every day, which I was not able to do.

“Did the soak for a few weeks, got busy, stopped daily but did 2-3 x /week. OH MY GOSH—-had this for 30-40 years, but nail now turned black! After the soak nail growing out nicely. Dr. never wanted to give me an RX, and I agreed, so was just living with it…. embarrassing, no sandals in summer, etc. It has about 1/4 inch to go.

“But please note this: Hiking a few years ago, my feet became terribly hot so I took a break to cool them. Guess I switched socks, cuz the fungus started on the other toe.
Be very wary, and yes spray every shoe, slipper, everything you put on your feet.
I had thought of the lazer treatment, but it was $900.00 per toe or foot–who cares–too much!

“It really pays to check back to this site, as I totally forgot the Vicks! Need reminding on many things AND need the new experiments explained.

“Easier, and good to add at nite, what could be easier. Also thinking adding the apple cider vinegar to the Listerine. I have a sad feeling the fungus may be returning as my toe HURTS– and I have not been diligent.

“As always Graedons—most grateful” Char

Not everyone benefits from Listerine, vinegar or Vicks. If you check out our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, you will learn about cornmeal mush (foot soaks), Pert Plus, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, urine as well as more details about Vicks & Vinegar. In addition you will find some cool remedies for dealing with allergies, arthritis, bug bites, insomnia, plantar fasciitis, and dozens of other common conditions.

Tell us what remedies have helped you in curing nail fungus and which have not in the comment section below.

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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.” .
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I need help with toe nail fungs and fungus between the toes.

Back story: I had a fungus infection in my pinky and ring finger 20 years ago. I worked with filthy money and sponges at a bank. I eventually cured it by filing down the nails very fine and soaking in 100% bleach at least 4x a week. Took about a year of treating my nails that way to help cure it. The bleach burned my skin, and I wouldn’t recommend! However: The fungus never returned to those nails!

Current Story with Clove oil:
Cut to 8 years later, my thumb and forefinger suddenly became 98% fungal and separated from the nail bed OVERNIGHT. I have no idea why. I was heartbroken. Caused me extreme anxiety. I didn’t have the time to soak so I covered with fake nails and soaked in bleach when I could. No luck. Lived this way for 10 long years: hiding my hands, never leaving home without nail glue and an extra fake. Ugh. It’s just a menace of a disease.

I tried laser, ($400 down the drain) Vicks, vinegar, tea tree oil, bleach, oil of oregano…nothing. Combed the internet once more, desperately. My everlasting thanks to a wonderful person who suggested CLOVE OIL. I found some from an inexpensive and popular company online in a large bottle for about $9 or less. I filed the 2 nails down to the skin and dropped a drop of Clove oil on the affected skin and nails every day. I wore a rubber glove to keep the oil on the nails for about an hour afterward or as long as I could stand it. Washed off with soap and water later. Kept nails dry and didn’t cover them up. I had lost all vanity at this point.

And it worked for me. Unbelievable.

(I have tears in my eyes remembering those awful years that stole so much from my life- my doctor said it was cosmetic and to get over it- it’s a matter of feminine pride not to have missing or fungal nails- can’t imagine telling someone to ‘get over it’)

Anyhow, it only took about a month of treatments to notice that my nails were growing in attached. I stopped treatment, and the nails separated a bit again, so I filed them down to the skin again and repeated treating with clove oil daily.
One more month and the fungus was GONE. Pink nails, fully attached grew in. 2 months stinky and burning work but it is 3 years gone now. Not a trace. I cannot tell you how grateful I am happy to have happened upon that person’s post, and I hope and pray my experience with clove oil can help you, too.

Please note, Clove oil BURNS and is very strong smelling. You must be VERY careful not to touch other skin or eyes or mouth with this stuff. It burned the webbing between my fingers but it went away quickly. I couldn’t care less because IT WORKED. It is an extremely potent anti-fungal oil, and I hope someone else can benefit from my story!

Been having problems with an infected nail for two years, expensive nail treatments not working, so I asked a hospital pharmacist for advice. She advised all treatment would need 6 months plus of use as the infected nail needs to grow out and replaced with the new uninfected nail. Interestingly she advised against ‘wasting’ money on branded treatments, using Vicks vapour rub or even an unbranded vapour rub. Two months into using just a generic vapour rub, new nail growth without any fungal infections is appearing. After wasting about £75 ($100), a £3 tub of rub is now curing my nails!!!! I hope this advice is useful to anyone else

Forgot to mention have been soaking for half an hour each night.

I’ve had bad toenail fungus on four of my toenails for about 20 years. I’ve been soaking daily in white vinegar full-strength 5% for a month.

So far half the nail is now growing out healthy from the base, it’s looking very good so far.

Any one please tel me whether synthetic vinegar(glad.acetic acid) be used for this

Have used pills, paint-on treatment, and creams. My friend said the cream he used was for the military, and that worked for him. It did not work for me. What did work is the Vicks. I noticed the yellow color gone in a week. Then was told by my foot Dr that it won’t completely eradicate the fungus. I then would dab my nails with cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar/Listerine. Or soak my whole foot in it for 5min to ten, then dry. It can be a skin irritant so you can dilute with water. Yippee! It does work. My foot Dr said my feet have looked the best so far. Also try an anti-Candida diet. Someone also told me to use YOGURT on my feet. Has anyone else heard of this?

I had a really bad toe nail fungus. I tried many things but it did not work. I figured that if laser therapy works that is because fungus does not like the light, so I devised my own poor man’s laser. I used a magnifying lens to shine concentrated sunshine on my toe nail every day, then I pulled the nail back and squeezed in some deodorized iodine in the space.

I had tried the iodine only before, but it had not worked. This combination worked, healthy nail started growing in and eventually the discolored nail was grown out and I had healthy looking nail. When shining the sunlight on nail you move the concentrated light around to make sure you do not burn the flesh underneath the nail.

It takes long time because the new nail takes long time to grow. I asked the laser treatment place how long had to do the laser and it was same as my sunlight. For a while I was thinking of making a business out of my discovery, but gave up. After afte a few months without treatment, the fungus came back, so you need to do this for ever to keep the fungus out.

So, if you are considering Laser treatment, you may want to try the natural sunlight as I did. Whatever treatment you use if discontinued the thing comes back, I am looking for a less time consuming treatment, no pills, like my liver more than my nail.

I had one nail that was hopeless as the infected nail was 3 times the natural thickness all brittle, so I had it removed, which has been the better solution, I might do that with the damn toe nail.

Does anyone know if you just use vinegar and listerine alone or mix in water

You just use vinegar and listerine – no water needed. You have to be patient it “won’t happen over night.” I’ve been using this mixture for almost a year and the fungus that was in four toe nails is only left in one nail (very slight).

I have white places on multiple toes will any of these remedies work on painted toes?

After soaking your feet, do you towel dry or just air dry your feet

So when using vinegar or a 50/50 solution with listerine, do you mix hot water too?

so is it better just to soak in vinegar or mix it with listerine? And why vicks vapor rub instead og an antifungal creal like lotramin? My doc prescribed me ketoconazole. I am wondering which antifungal gream is best for toenail fungus, and most are for athlete’s foot, sometimes jock itch and ringworm.. mostly those are powders. So what about a mix of listerine and vinegar and soak my feet( I read it didnt have to be white vinegar) then put antifungal powder in my socks. But first clip mu nails short. So after the soaking and my feet dry, I put antifungal cream on my tornails ans work the crean in ubder the nails good, plus put cream in between the toes and all over them. Then I put in the socks I dumped antifungal powder in. I am thibking I want to create an envirinment that fungus cannot thrive in. My worst toenail is my right big one that gets blacker towards the base and looks like it might come off. And yes toenail fungus can really warp and do wierd things as a nail grows out. I once read to cut the nail off as far as you can because it is no longer connected to the toe, then soak in vinegar. It was growing out better but I didn’t stick to it. I am also reading I need white socks or something open toed like sandals. I havework dark brown, blue or black socks. I can see wearing open toed sandals but it looks gross. I think powdered socks with a cream would give a negative environment just like moisture in socks are a posative environment.

I had toenail fungus for 10 years! It’s been horrible. I’ve finally cured it in three steps!! Here’s what I did. First, I cut the nail back as absolute far as I could. Second, I took white vinegar and soaked a cotton ball with it. Then I put the cotton ball over the nail and used athletic tape to tie the cotton ball in place. I would wear it during the day and take it off every night for bed. Third, I repeated this daily for two months. I’m cured!! It works!!

Now for the warning: this WILL irritate the skin around your nail. It will also irritate the skin of the toe next to the one you’re treating. I think this is because of the tape more than the vinegar but it’s hard to be sure. I tried using neosporin on the skin and covering exposed flesh with bandaides before using the sports tape. It helped but it was trial and error. All that said, IT WAS WORTH IT!! The skin has totally healed from the irritation and for the first time in 10 freaking years, the toenail fungus is gone!! It was a really bad case of fungus too, but now it’s better! I can hardly believe it. Two months, ever day. Give it a try!!

I’ve been plagued with toenail fungus for almost 20 years. I’ve tried various remedies over the years, including Lamisil, which worked well until I stopped using it. My biggest problem is lack of follow- through with any of the natural remedies. I usually throw in the towel, so to speak, after a couple of weeks. I appreciate all the suggestions and success stories from my fellow posters. You’ve given me the courage to renew my efforts against this formidable foe. Wish me luck!

Started using iodine on my husband’s toe fungus. Had his nails cut back then painted iodine on them and we are seeing a difference.

Use white vinegar twice a day, and you will see improvement. I tried everything else including organic acv.

I had a toenail fungus on my big toes for about 3 years. I tried everything…. well almost. I read about vinegar. Went and bought a bottle of cheap black and gold white vinegar. I cut back my toenail as far as I could and drenched a cotton ball in it. Stuck it on my toe (without wringing it out) with some tape, Left it on for about 45min (stung like buggery) then dID it again later on that night. My nail has now grown back in about a month and yay! No fungus!!

I have had fungus on 3 to 4 toes for 5 years. I have tried everything to no avail. I will not do laser or pills. By accident I tried this and it has worked but I have been very diligent!!! #1. I keep my nails very short. #2. I keep the nail bed of affected toes filed so they are very thin with a nail file so nightly cream will absorb through the nail.
#3 I shower every evening and carefully dry my toes.
#4 IMPORTANT….After showering, I further dry all toes with a hairdryer while pushing back the skin so every part dries. This is a biggie!
#5 I put Lamisil extra strength cream on EVERY toe being careful to get it under the nail as well. I use less on non-affected toes. #6 I keep sandals in my car and I slip off my shoes whenever possible so toes stay as dry and cool as possible. So far so good for a year. Nails have grown back and are clear. I know summer will be a battle as temperatures and humidity rise. I will add medicated foot powder in my shoes during the summer to reduce moisture.
Give the listerine & vinegar a try, if that does not work give my treatment a go. Sadly I think this is a problem I will have to stay on top of every day for the rest of my life…and so I will. I would say I had a moderate case. My nails were moderately yellow and crusty and a little thickened and hurt.
Oh yes, I only put toe nail polish on for special occasions, but I take it off immediately because to stay on treatment. Small price to pay.
Sorry to say but diligence is critical. Once my nails were healthy
I still continue the exact routine, every night, I just use less lamisil cream. I think this is a long term problem but at least I
can live with this routine, not that bad. I buy the name brand at the drug store. not taking any chances.

It gets very hot here….really bad for fungus!!!

dont waste your money and time on any laser clinic. i spent $700 doing the laser toenail fungus removal for one feet and bought about $90 antifungi medicine from the same doctor, all paid out of pocket. She told me to wait for 6 months to notice the clear nail growing. I patiently waited and waited, nothing changed. The nail kept growing thick and yellow. 9 months later, I went to the laser clinic and spent another $100 doing a repeat treatment, waited 6 months, nothing changed, till now over a year past, nothing changed.
I have just started trying the vinegar. Someone also mentioned you can soak a small cotton with vinegar and use regular tap over your infected nail and sleep on it over night.

Please state the exact amount used for Listerine, vinegar and Vicks. Thank you.

I have fingernail fungus I have had it for 3 yrs .Found out about listerine. So I have been using listerine didn’t know about vicks so will start using it .Thank you for all the information.

I am a diabetic and I have toenail fungus. My doctor suggested
( 1 ) that I try soaking my feet in vinegar and water.
He did not recommend medication for me.
( 2 ) that I g t the lazer removal which insurance doesn’t cover for $300.00. Along with that I would get a cream and something else made of all natural stuff. This would be a 3 month treatment. I do not find $300.00 a lot of money if it cures the fungus. However, I came home and started soaking my feet in white vinegar and water and have already seen a big difference. I am still going to try the listerine and Vicks first chance I go to the store. I will see the foot doc again in 3 months for a good nail trimming along with the dermal.

I do want to know what I should buy to spray in my shoes as others have mentioned should be done?

Could you please address the underlying causes of Nail Fungus? I find it hard to believe that it is not also systemic, and that it may be a result of internal Candida, and overconsumption of sugar, starch, carbohydrates, alcohol. I do realize it can be picked up in gyms/showers etc. I just don’t see anyone talking about the long term effect on the body of dealing with a chronic fungal infection.
My husband’s Doctor says if you’ve tried the drugs and it comes back afterwards, you just have to live with it! That is very helpful. (not)

I have had Nail Fungus for around 10 years. I have been using cold laser therapy (I have my own/hubby is veterinarian) along with Vicks and things are looking a lot better.

Would like to try this home remadie

I was removing nail polish off my toes one day, and there it was, this disgusting yellowish discoloration. As I began cleaning under the right big toe nail, I noticed a lot of “gunk” for lack of better word, and It had a mild smell to it. I knew exactly what it was, and it extended to almost my cuticle. And then I noticed it on the other big toe, and the toe next to that one.
Fortunately found this site. Began soaking toes in apple cider vinegar, and applying vapor rub every night. It stunged/burned a bit at first.after a month half the nails fail off, and i cut the edges so it wouldn’t get stuck on my socks. But after 2 months, completely cured. I should have taken before and after pictures.

Hi there.. Gonna try what you did for me to get of nail fungus.. So just apple cider vinegar and vicks daily? Soaking it once a day and applying vicks everynight? Do you have to rinse off using water after you soaked your feet on apple cider vinegar? Thank you

I’ve heard this remedy, although this is the first time I’ve heard about the Vicksburg rub. Here’s my question : Mt nail on both of my big toes,are so thick in takes a dremel to cut them, and my right foot. The nail curls into a ingrown nail. Will this remedy work for me? I’ve had it removed 3 times by doctors, used creams, and oral pills. NOTHING has worked.

Big Jim, did these suggestions help? I have really thick nails, too, and would love to know if it works. Thanks.

If you can get a dremel wheel and gently “sand” the top area of your thick toenail, it will weaken the structure of the curve that is allowing it to dig into your skin. It’s as though thinning the center area will allow the outer areas to lift up a bit. In fact, you can also thin those areas. I’ve found this to work well for me, and it is something I have to maintain.

Did you have to throw away your shoes? Do you spray them with anything?

A valuable public service.

Will it be ok to wear nail polish while doing the treatment?

Re: Toe fungus. Most use socks hen going to bed after soaking but the moisture could soak through the socks. It is possible that the use of ‘Finger Cots’ would be as effective and could hold the treatment in. I do not know if the cots would fit the big toes but possibly non-lubricated condoms would also work.

Developed fungus on top half of 1 big toe 2 years ago. Podiatrist prescribed a cream, to no effect. Then he suggested medication for 1 year that could affect liver, so no thanks. Dermatologist prescribed a med to paint on the nail, but it just stayed sticky. Family doctor said to do daily 20 minute vinegar soaks of entire BOTH feet, followed by vapor rub — making sure to work it under the nail. That was the only thing that worked and nail has grown out beautifully after 6 months of treatment. I sometimes paint on tea tree oil for good measure. I now do vinegar soaks 3 times weekly, and I use vapor rub on ALL toenails every night as preventative. I don’t bother with sox in bed.

Thanks gonna try this. Hope it’ll work for me too

It seems like different treatments work for different people. About four different home- remedy approaches didn’t work for me, but a few months ago I read about Epsom salts. I put about one cup of water in a pan, added a lot of Epsom salt, kept stirring, until it would accept no more (saturated). It turned into crystals then into a white mixture. I now keep this snow-looking stuff in a plastic container. When mixing a new batch for my toes, I put some of this into water and warm it up. Then I add some tea tree oil, since I reuse the mixture until it evaporates too much. I soak the toes at least thirty minutes a day, more if I’m able. For three months now I have done this, and my nails are half-way clear – that is, normal nail color. The other thing I do is to apply straight tea tree oil under the top of the nail and on the nail, then drop a pinch of dry Epsom salt to the cuticle area, let it all soak in some, then put on socks and go to bed. This treatment has really worked for my toenail fungus.

(By the way, I bought a small finger-mitt type silicone oven mitt from Walmart (looks like the letter C), cut it in half at the hinge, and put it at the end of a plastic dish pan, the rest of it filled with towels to keep the two halves upright. Then I put the Epsom water/tea tree oil in there. This makes it more portable if you have to move it and less likely to spill.)

Thanks to all for sharing your techniques.

I too used 3 bottles of Lamisil and lots of Tea Tree Oil but with no good results. I started using Grapefruit Seed Extract three times a day and it cleared up VERY SLOWLY but cleared up completely. SO glad it was suggested to me.

Nail fungus on my toes – my solution was to use Vicks Vapo Rub and I do it ‘after’ getting out of the pool (3X week 45 minute water acrobatics class) when my nails have soften due to the water. Then what is left on my fingers, I rub into my finger nails which are looking good. Works and worked quickly. . . around two weeks.

I had nail fungus on both big toes and one pinkie, Two of the nails were detaching. A woman that works at a nail salon told me to soak no more than 10 minutes per day using one tablespoon of sea salt to just enough water to dissolve it. I am happy to report that it is all gone. Of course it took a while for them to grow out, but I highly recommend this cure. Wanted to get the word out because I know how uncomfortable and ugly nail fungus is.

I started getting white fungus on my pinkie finger when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had no clue what was going on. I was 23 at the time a year later my pinkie finger was halfway white and lifting, went to the Dr who prescribed lamisol . That did not work. Did 3 runs of it. I tried everything and then I suddenly got it on my other pinkie finger, one big toe and my thumb. I read about vicks and decided to give it a shot. Just trimmed all the nails as short as possible and then applied vicks daily to all my nails and toe nails. 2 weeks later saw such an improvement. Then once it was clear I stopped and I always wear nail polish. Well it all came back. So I started again. It’s almost completely gone again but I have noticed that you should not wear any nail polish if you have fungus since not wearing polish my nails seem much healthier and they are even healing much quicker. Have not tried the soak , but I will most definitely recommend the vicks, that alone works for me.

I’ve been using listerine and Vix on a toenail fungal infection I’ve had for about 20 years … doctors have prescribed me with pills to take for 6 months that are so liver toxic that you are not meant to drink while taking them – I could never justify taking such toxic medication – and, this home remedy works really well! I have done a couple of 6 day juice fasts over the past couple of years, and I noticed that the fungus reduced with each fast, the listerine and vix have almost entirely healed my toes, I thin they should be completely healed in another month of treatment!

I have fungus in most of my toe nails. I’ve been doing a ton of research, like most of you, and I’m doing the listerine/vinegar soak, plus putting coconut oil mixed with oregano oil and grapefruit seed extract on my nails (I don’t have any Vicks and can’t find it where I live). The other thing I’m doing is using a urea cream of 40% potency (which I actually got for cracked heels – works great). This debrides the nails and makes it easier for the treatments to reach the affected areas, along with regular trimming. I’ve only been doing it for a few days but can see a real change in my nails. Not as in they are fungus-free (I know it will take months), but the color and texture is changing. I highly suggest adding the urea cream to your regimen.

I also read a controlled study where they had patients use the urea cream for 2 weeks, then apply 2% butenafine and tea tree oil. After 4 weeks 80% were cured of their fungus. If you google those key words I am sure you can find the study. (those that were given a placebo saw no change) 2% butenafine is prescription only but 1% is available in the drug store.

The 40% urea cream is available on Amazon.

I’ll definitely update if my current regimen works!

RE: Toenail Fungus. Being in the field, I went to Podiatrist. Gave me 2 choices, Lamisil ( free with health plan ) or Laser $ 900. Knowing meds ( they won’t tell you ) Lamisil destroys Liver, and only allowed 3 doses ( F.D.A. ) Did Laser ignorantly without doing research. $900. Specialist admit, Does NOT a treatment for Toenail Fungus. Tried the combo of Listerine, Vinegar soaks. At night Vicks Vapor, cover with socks. ( Mayo-Clinic ) confirms this for treatment. YES, after only 4 days I see extremely positive results. Thank You.

I have had toe nail fungus on both big toes for 2 yrs. It is caused by tinea pedis ( A. foot. ). Saw Podiatrist, he had it cultured to confirm diagnosis. Gave me two choices, Lamisil tabs at no cost, Health plan covered. However it is extremely toxic to Liver. Laser treatment which cost $ 900.00. Did not work. Being angry I did research which I do well. I was shocked when a prominent facility, Mayo-Clinic suggested a “non-medical” treatment. Vicks vapor rub at night. Also mentioned listerene & white vinegar. I hold utmost respect to Mayo-Clinic for not following “medical protocol” and instead being honest for Patients benefit. Never encountered that in all my years.

Any updates from those who posted in the last few months or last year? I was also recommended this remedy but someone said use Listerine Whitening and Apple Cider Vinegar. The Vicks was consistent. I’m thinking of doing the routine at opposite times though due to schedules – Vicks in am after shower and the soak before bed-force me to read. To the ? about the spray – I think they meant Lotrimin or Athlete’s Foot spray to protect shoe soles from spreading it, or onto sandals if you’re wearing them. They also recommend from wearing socks as much as possible to keep it contained. Also clean and sanitize your clippers. Any feedback is much appreciated.

I tried soaking, Vicks, tea tree oil, vinegar, mouthwash, Lamisil cream, brush-on, changing socks, spraying shoes and every suggestion on the Internet for 18 years. I tried everything except the $1,000 laser treatment. The 3 month prescription was starting to work and the bottom of the toenail was growing in clear, but the insurance company doesn’t not authorize another refill. No way was I paying $1,000 dollars for more pills, so it got bad again in 3 months.

I have been fighting toenail fungus for so many years. I have used prescription medications you paint on, sprays, oils and every brand made of fungal treatment solutions. I even took Lamisil prescription by mouth for two months. Then my liver function tests came back lots higher, my doctor wouldn’t prescribe another month. He told me that it was only allowed to be prescribed for a three month time period, once in a lifetime. I have used home remedies like vinegar but no good, longterm results. A friend told me about her success with vicks. I started that night, put it on, slept in socks. Within three weeks things started changing. In a two day period, my nail humped up into a u shape, turned black and was sore from the pressure, I think. I tried to keep nails trimmed and filed the surface, regularly. One day while trimming, my nail moved from the pressure of my hand against it. It scared me silly. I did some screaming and jumping around. Quite funny, I am!!! I started pulling up on it, it started coming away from the cuticle. I kept thinking it was going to hurt, it never did. The nail came off completely. Some new healthy nail, just barely noticeable, was growing in. I was thrilled. Now for a question: the skin on the tip of my toe has turned black. Today while trimming, a great big chunk of flesh came off. There’s still black on some skin, but under part that came off, it’s pink. A surgeon told me one time that skin cancers can start under toenails along the same line as skin cancers, and look like a bruise or freckle. I want to know if anyone else has had skin turn black. It kind of relieved my mind a little today, my big toe on my right foot is turning black, also. I think for some reason the fungus must be in my skin, too. Please, if anyone has had this happen, post.

Any updates on progress?

Can I wear nail polish while doing this process?

Don’t wear nail polish. It will make things worse.

I will try this out. Make sure to throw out all of your old nail polishes that were used when you had nail fungus.

I’ve been using a prescribed medication and have not seen results. I am researching home remedies and have come across several. But this particular one seems what I want to start. I’m so frustrated with having to hide my nails. I will post results after I’ve started on it.

I’ve had to fungus toe nails for years and I’m very embarrassed to wear sandals. But I am going to start using the vinegar and vapor rub and hopefully the is going to help me.

Someone said to spray all your shoes and slippers, etc. What do you use to spray them with, and how often should it be done? Thank you.

I think they mean anti-fungal powder. They can be bought over the counter.

Used to listen to you on the radio on my way home from the night shift as an RN. Lived in Fl at the time. Haven’t found you on any station in Mi. since moving ten years ago. I’m going to try tx for toe nail fungus I’ve been plagued with for at least 30 years. Wish me luck.

I am giving this program a try, just started with the Vicks last night, and the soak this morning. My question is this – what do you do during the day? do you put more vicks on with saran, then a sock? or do you just let the toe(s) breathe and put on clean socks? Right now I’ve treated my toe again with the vicks and covered with plastic wrap, but I’m not sure if that’s too much, or the right thing to do. look forward to hearing back.

Have been using Lotrimin Ultra cream (for athletes foot) on my nails/nail beds for years but not consistently. When I stop and the fungus starts spreading under the nail I start up again and it basically halts spreading and slowly reverses it. Although I assume Vicks is much less expensive, so I’m considering switching to that if I can manage to do the vinegar regiment daily.

My experience so far. Cut nail back as far as you can then file down as fas as you can. Use a plastic bag with white vinegar and soak only the toe nails. After every soak clean under your nails with a pick but make sure it is sterilized. To grow nails faster use vitamins that help growth. Also push cuticle back every day.
TIP: For encouragement measure your nail the day you start. From the skin to the closest infected part. Then DO NOT measure till one month later. This should be helpful in the long run.

I use vinegar soak (15 Mins) every a.m. and p.m. plus I put thin layer of coconut oil on nails. This has sped up the growth. They are looking great.

hi all, I haven’t read about anyone who had their nail unattach from their nail bed. I have the same symptoms as most people on this site and am so happy to read about some success stories and incorporate these treatments into my daily routine. Has anyone had a nail re-attach? I’m assuming that can’t happen when the skin grows apart, but still hopeful. thanks,

I have also had this happen to my fingernail, I’m hoping this is my answer :/

I had toe nail fungus on both big toes but instead of a 20 minute soak, I mixed the white vinegar & listerine (both generic) 50/50 and put it in a empty water bottle which makes it easy to soak a cotton ball. Before going to bed, I put the soaked cotton ball on my toe(s) and taped it on with two bandaids.
I could see improvement after one night. If you prefer to soak your feet you will need to throw out the used mixture and use fresh mixture every time. That would require a lot of vinegar & listerine. I also starting putting vicks vapor rub on my toe nails in the mornings and that helps even more. One toe nail is already well & clean. (If soaking, don’t use the colored listerine – it will turn your feet (or toe) blue).
Also, if you prefer to soak, you can purchase a painter’s tray (which has a low end & a high end) and you will not have to use as much of the mixture. A painter’s tray can be purchased at any hardware store or anywhere they sell paint.

thanks so much for sharing… day and night treatment.. YEA!

Damaged one toenail 30+ years ago and it has always been thick and painful since. I currently have a couple of other toenails that have fungus. I have used vinegar before to get rid of fungus.
One issue I have is working 12 hour shifts in a very hot environment with heavy steel toed boots. Great environment to grow fungus with not much chance to fight it. I am going to try the Vicks while I am at work and the combo soak after my shower when I get home. Every couple of months I need to file down the nails with nail file or rotary tool to keep the nails thin. Hopefully I can keep on this regimen.

Do I have to use Apple Cider Vinegar? Can I just use regular white vinegar?

Hi! I have got a problem of nail fungus. I hope the vinegar and vicks will help me.

I’m a podiatrist doing some research on this at the moment. Although there is little strong evidence on the topic clinically I recommend white vinegar undiluted to my patients with fungal nail infections, either soaking, rubbing on with a cotton ball or for my older less mobile pt in a spray bottle. I advise this once a day for at least 6 months maybe more depending on speed of nail growth and severity of the infection. We also offer laser therapy but I prefer the natural therapy first as it is much much cheaper.
I will make a note many people think they have fungal nail infections were they may actually have onycholysis or onychoghyphotic nails so if your treatments aren’t responding pop in and see a podiatrist who should be able to let you know!
Another handy tip is massaging olive oil into your nails if you find them lifting and detaching at the sides :)

I buy cheap Lipton tea bags–steep one in hot water–squeeze the hot tea on the ugly toenail every night before bed–let the toe air dry, and after weeks of regular application, healthy nail grows in. Haven’t tried making big batch of strong tea, and taking from that every night with eyedropper.

Well. Try soaking your fee, nails, and or hands in green tea then moisturizing them with coconut oil (coconut cooking oil bought at a health food store). This fixed my sons nail fungus and peeling skin on his hands and feet.!!

I’ve had problems with my toe nail fungus for about 3-4years now. They did got worse that I needed to have them remove for about two times. (once with anesthesia the second one without!) It was so awful and disgusting that I don’t trust no one! I’m only 16. My doc gave me this pills to take but I’ve not taking them just because I think it wont help.
I’m thinking on doing the Vicks remedy but too afraid of what people said that their nail pop off! Someone please suggest me something my next doc visit is on February! Thanks, in advance! But please help!

Thanks for all the postings and suggestions. I too have been dealing with this for over 20 years and have tried several home self remedies and taken 2 courses Itraconazole with minimal at best results. But these suggestions and personal experiences have given me hope that this fight is not over yet. Today is day 1 of my new regime. In addition to the suggestions above I am going to add some type of detoxifying program in my plan and attack this internally and externally.
Will keep you posted.

Thanks ! Love the Peoples Pharmacy!

My toenails are awful, and my insurance will not cover removal of them because it’s considered ‘cosmetic.’ Are they kidding? I can barely walk due to the curling of them. I can’t cut them at all because they are so thick and brown with fungus. They curl, they twist, they’re about a quarter inch thick on some of my toes. It’s utterly disgusting. I am at a loss what to do!

(I write my comments 16 weeks into my home treatment of the toenail fungus.)
I’ve gotta say that this young lady who wrote the lead commentary is on to something. I finally started using the regimen of soaking my feet about 3 times a week in a square Rubbermaid dish bucket of hot bath water, Epsom Salt and White Vinegar. I evolved within the first two months into creating a blend from the hot water, a big bottle of generic Apple Cider Vinegar (buy AC at your local grocer, NOT Bragg’s, because I don’t have much money). Then I began to incorporate the hot water and ACV with original Listerine (I would use rough equivalents to a cup of ACV and a cup of Listerine). Also, I throw out my mixture after every use, I don’t keep it around for a week. My reasoning for throwing out my foot soak blend every time is not based on science, it is based on my phobia of germs associated with the feet.
With respect to how long I would soak my feet, I probably began with 30 minutes once I changed to using ACV and Listerine as a combo-blend (made this change after reading reader remarks on the People’s Pharmacy website). The time of soaking has since been lengthened to 40 minute soaks, and now I am pretty regularly soaking for a target of 50 minutes in the hot water/ACV/original formula Listerine blend. Have recently soaked for one hour increments in the past week. Soak for however long you feel works for you and your schedule.
Progress? I write this on July 15, 2013. I know I started in the first week of March 2013. It has now been a pretty disciplined four months of treatment. I have seen good progress. I am not cured, just as yet, but I think I am on a path to having regular looking big toe nails. My toe nails began to develop the fungus back around 1999. In my mind, I am done with living with this fungus any longer. I feel like I am getting my feet back again!
Two further notes to consider. In the third month of my treatment (I didn’t intentionally time this), after reading other success stories on treating toe fungus without using Lamisil, I began to take a Q-Tip and began applying copious amounts of Vicks Vapo Rub (specifically use this brand) to my infected toe nails, before putting on socks. I usually only wear socks when I absolutely have to wear shoes in the summer (to work, or when exercising, or to go to a function that requires shoes, etc.). I am trying to go barefoot as much as possible to prevent moisture build-up under the nails. As well, in May 2013 I picked up a bottle of Tea Tree Oil (I think any brand will do just fine).
I don’t have an austere regimen for treating my toes, but when I do have 20 minutes I can set aside I put a little rag under my feet as I sit with my laptop on my desk to do e-mails, etc. I take an eye dropper and simply drop droplets of Tea Tree Oil onto my infected toe nails and typically reapply after ten minutes. I keep my feet in place on the rag for those 20 minutes and let the oil disinfect away (the toenails marinade in the oil), if in fact what I have read is true about Tea Tree Oil, that it is anti-fungal/disinfectant.
All Ingredients Used during self-treatment:
– Hot Water soaks
– Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for the hot water soaks
– Original formula Listerine for the hot water soaks
– Vick’s Vapo Rub to apply topically to my toe nails (use a Q-Tip), before putting on socks. (I only use Vick’s before putting on socks, never w/o).
– Tea Tree Oil (use an eye dropper to drop whatever amount you prefer topically onto the nail and surrounding area.
– Epsom Salt (used this in my early hot water soak blend). Haven’t used since incorporating Listerine and ACV as a blend.
Progress? Yes, I have considerable progress to report. I think the process is working (it takes much patience and lots of time. LOTS of time). I also think I need a few more months to get to a complete healing of the nails.
Thanks for the post. I actually never thought of going to sleep with the Vick’s on my toes with socks, but I think that is one more practice that I will incorporate into this healing process.
Keep it up!

I am going to guess the nail polish MIGHT not inhibit the solution. It will, after-all, be entering through the skin and cuticle also. I would try it WITH painted nails, and of course, to be fair, come back and let us know if it was as effective, or if you felt it would be better done with “nekkid nails” lol.

Is white vinegar just as good as the Apple Cider Vinegar (organic w/the Mother) is $6.00 for a small bottle. White vinegar is dirt cheap…

Hey Kathleen
Actually Apple Cider Vinegar is something that bacteria really dread. It’s got really good anti-fungal properties. If you are still concerned about trying that, a few alternatives include crushed garlic (another alternative with anti-fungal properties) and tea tree oil (good for skin care).
Hope that helps.

I have suffered for years from tinnitus. Recently I have been doing neck loosening exercises, rolling the neck, etc. with great result. My tinnitus condition has greatly improved. I do these exercises at least once a day.

hi, I had a nail fungus problem and dr. gave me tablet to take everyday for a month…. had some breaks in between but I did finish the pills… since that, the nails grows clear again but the skin around the nails is still a little loose…. can I do anything to improve that? thanks.

Moo Cream is the same as Udderly Smooth which is available from People’s Pharmacy.

@ Joe P — where did you buy “moo cream”?

Simply buff – old fashion nail buffer, my nails – fingers and toes at least twice a day.
All are getting stronger even the toes nail that split vertically and started to turn yellow is showing sign of good health.

@/Suzy – I use the brown antiseptic generic Listerine and white vinegar. It cleared the fungus, but I need to do something to clear up the yellow & thickness of my nails. Anyone have any ideas for me?
I was afraid to use the Apple Cider Vinegar thinking it would make my nails more yellow which I am also trying to clear up. I also read that two denture cleaning tablets dissolved in warm water would clean up the appearance of the nail. I did this and it stung the skin under my nail which evidently is sensitive after the fungus cleared.
I was afraid the denture cleaning tablets were harmful?

Grapefruit seed extract-GSE-works really well for all kinds of fungus. Toenail as well as ringworm. Apply several times a day. Be careful that you sock does not absorb the GSE after you put it on. You might need a bandaid to cover it

Will this also work on finger nails? I have continually gotten fungus on my finger nails. They grow away from the nailbed and eventually fall off as a new nail grows behind it. Because of this I use fake nails and that only covers the fungus nail.
If you have any suggestions would greatly appreciate hearing from you

I tried everything and nail fungus cures that you buy in the drug store were expensive. I read about tea tree oil and I got some and it did the trick. You have to be faithful about applying it but it didn’t take very long before I saw results and it was cheap and lasts a long time.

An update on soaking the foot in warm water and 1/2 cup of corn meal to get rid of toenail fungus. This works for me. After several, 4-5 warm soaks, the toenail slowly begin to lighten up as it grew out. It again became the normal thickness and was pink again . After months, maybe a year, it began getting discolored again. A couple soaks started the process again.
Let’s say it does not work for you, what have you lost? Several warm foot baths.
Maybe I am different. To keep athletes foot down, for 58 years, I been using a cream or spray, as needed, after a daily shower.

I am a 70 year old male. For several years my toenails got slowly worse from toenail fungus leading to discoloration, crumbling nails and curved nails that were difficult to cut. Since my wife cannot tolerate strong odors, I have not tried tee tree oil or vicks.
The suggestion from The Peoples Pharmacy that urea may be helpful led me to try moo cream on my toes. I applied the cream after showering for several days in a row and then occasionally after that. After 6 months my nails are pink, firm and flat. I still apply moo cream about once a month. The cream is a little messy but has no odor and does not stain socks.
Peoples Pharmacy response: Other readers may be interested in knowing that “moo cream” is Udderly Smooth Extra Care 20 with 20% urea.

I’ve read this treatment a number of times and would like to try it, but have one question. I keep my toenails painted so I can wear sandals, but wonder if it will still work with nail polish on the nails or if I would have to remove it. If so, I guess I would just have to wait til winter when I wear closed-toed shoes.

I’ve tried all of these but perhaps not with the discipline and the longevity it may take to cure this.
I find it amazing that medical science cannot find a simple, effective cure for this. Makes you wonder!

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