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What are the Best Home Remedies for Nail Fungus?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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Nail fungus is an infection that can set in underneath the fingernails or toenails. It is much more common under the toenails, however, because of the ideal environment for fungus growth provided; when wearing shoes and socks, the feet are warm and dark, and this makes it much easier for fungus to grow. Though prescription treatments are available, many people prefer using home remedies for nail fungus, and they are often quite effective.

Nails may have a fungal infection when they appear to thicken or crack; they may also flake and become brittle. The nail will often change color to yellow, brown, or black, and it may be painful when walking. It is best to begin home remedies for nail fungus as soon as the infection appears, before it is able to set in too deeply.

One of the most recommended home remedies for nail fungus is to soak the feet daily in a bath of white vinegar and water. The ratio of vinegar to water should be one to one, and it is generally recommended that one soak the feet for approximately 20 to 30 minutes per session, once or twice a day. After taking the feet out of the water, dry them very thoroughly; if possible, only apply clean cotton socks, but if it is necessary to wear shoes, be sure the feet stay dry throughout the day.

Some of the other more effective home remedies for nail fungus include the application of tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or even mouthwash containing alcohol directly onto the affected area. Apply the liquid onto a cotton ball and rub it onto the nail and around the front and sides two to three times daily. It may also be possible to soak the feet in a bath of either rubbing alcohol and water or hydrogen peroxide and water. These products act as antiseptics and anti-fungals, and can clear up the nail fungus in about a month.

Finally, one of the less common home remedies for nail fungus is the use of Vicks® VapoRub®. The menthol salve is applied to the affected area daily, and may help stop the fungus from growing. It generally takes longer than other treatments, however, and for some people it does not work at all. No matter what home remedy is being used, be sure to regularly file the nail to remove any dead areas, and prevent fungus in the future by wearing shoes in public places, giving the feet a chance to breath at home, and by not clipping the nails too close to the skin.

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Discussion Comments

By Spotiche5 — On Nov 14, 2014

@heavanet- You should look at a natural supply or holistic store for the types of product you want. Several natural companies make ointments that are not petroleum-based but contain camphor, tea tree oil, or menthol. All three of these ingredients are good for treating nail fungus. The base of these natural ointments may be shea butter, beeswax, or several different types of natural oils which are also good for treating nail problems.

By Heavanet — On Nov 13, 2014

Does anyone have a tip for a natural ointment that is good for treating nail fungus? I'm looking for one that isn't petroleum-based.

By Rundocuri — On Nov 12, 2014

I have found that the best way to treat nail fungus naturally is to first soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salt. Not only is this natural treatment very cleansing and soothing, but I think that it helps to halt the growth of nail fungus.

After soaking your feet in Epsom salt and drying them thoroughly, the next step to curing nail fungus naturally is to rub pure rubbing alcohol completely around each toenail. Though it is harsher than other types of solutions that contain alcohol, I think that its strength makes it more effective at treating fungus.

Finally, dusting your feet with pure, natural cornstarch before putting on your socks and shoes will seal in the healing properties of the alcohol. The corn starch is also a natural way to keep your feet dry, which is helpful because moisture encourages the growth of fungus.

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