As summer approaches, people survey their toenails to see whether they will be embarrassed to bare them in public. Consequently, lots of folks are looking for a way to help clear up fungus. One reader found a unique approach.
How Can You Clear Up Fungus on Your Toenails?
Q. Sandal weather is on the way, so I am trying to treat my toenail fungus. I have been rubbing Vicks VapoRub all over my two big toenails and wrapping them in bandages for more than a month now.
The toenail on my right foot has a new nail growing under it. The left one is showing slight yellowing on one side.
This morning I poured cornmeal right out of the box into a shallow plastic tub and buried my feet in it. I felt like I was at a sandy beach. After watching TV and surfing the internet for an hour, I brushed most of the cornmeal off, but left the powdery stuff on my toes. I put on fresh socks, sprinkled more cornmeal in my new walking shoes and walked the dog. When I got home, I forgot all about my toenails.
Later, I felt a snag in my sock, took my sock off and the top old dead nail just fell off! No pain, nothing. The new nail looks pretty good. I was surprised it worked this fast. My expectation was that I would use this method for several weeks before seeing any results. I think different methods work because there are different types of toenail fungus.
I will keep “soaking” my feet in dry cornmeal and sprinkling it in any shoes I’m wearing. It worked for me! My feet feel soft, too.
What’s the Best Way to Use Cornmeal?
A. We appreciate your success story, although it is somewhat surprising. Other readers who have used cornmeal to treat nail fungus have made it into a warm mush first.
One person wrote:
“To make the cornmeal soak, put about an inch of cornmeal in a shallow container that will just fit the affected foot.
“Carefully pour about an inch of warm (not hot) water on top of the cornmeal and let it sit for an hour, so the water and cornmeal can combine naturally. After an hour, add enough additional warm water to cover the foot and soak for an hour.
“The mush must cover the whole area, not just the toenails, because fungus thrives everywhere on the toes, especially between them. After an hour, rinse the mush off with warm water and pat the foot dry with a clean towel. Soak the toenails once a week until the fungus clears up.”
Did Vicks VapoRub Help Clear Up Fungus?
Possibly your weeks of diligent Vicks VapoRub application contributed to the infected nail coming off so easily. Some people find this alarming, and not all fungus-infected toenails respond in this way.
As you note, there are different types of organisms causing trouble, and they seem to call for different ways to clear up fungus. Perhaps the cornmeal treatment also helped disrupt the biofilm protecting the fungus that was living in your toenails (Skin Appendage Disorders, Aug. 2018).
To learn about this and other kitchen table cures for nail fungus, you may wish to consult our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.