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Toenail Fungus Home Remedies That Really Work

Updated on September 4, 2012

How To Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Using Home Remedies

It's summer, a sandal-wearing season and you have a toenail fungus problem. Over 20 million Americans have some form of this fungus, especially Onchomycosis, a common toenail fungus.

There are plenty of over the counter oral medications out there. Unfortunately, not all are as effective. There are side effects that may affect your liver since these medications are taken orally. In addition, topical treatment for nail fungus may be ineffective since it doesn't always reach the actual nail infection that are beneath the nail bed.

Before resorting to using OTC medications or asking your doctor to prescribe expensive medications, you can try these toenail fungus home remedies.

To better understand how to treat it, it would be a good idea to learn about fungus and what kills it. This article will give you a rundown about toenail fungus and how to treat it with home remedies.

Toe nail fungus can be annoying! Notice what the infected toenail looks like.
Toe nail fungus can be annoying! Notice what the infected toenail looks like. | Source

What is Toenail Fungus?

The scientific name for fungal infections in the fingernails or toenails is called Onychomycosis. It's actually a very common condition that occurs in many people, especially as they age.

As you age, your immune system becomes weaker, thus you are more susceptible to toenail and fingernail fungus. Athletes are also prone to toenail fungus.

Fungus likes to grow in dark, damp places so our foot is the ideal environment since we wear socks and shoes all day.

Fungal nail infection does not always show symptoms in the beginning. You may notice a slight discoloration (yellow) of your nails at first. The fungus can disfigure the nail, making it look cracked, peeled, and thicker.

If your nails are yellowish/reddish, it could be a result of using dark nail polish. Fungus usually have a chalky look on the nail, and also on the sides.

The most definite way to know if you have a toenail fungus is to see your doctor. Your medical doctor will give you a physical examination and take a culture sample of the infected toe.

Aside from the embarrassment that nail fungus causes, onychomycosis can cause pain in the affected toe, if left untreated.

Depending on which fungus is identified, your doctor may prescribe a specific medication to best treat the condition.


Toenail fungus can be difficult to treat due to it's location. In order to obtain the best results, which is to kill off all fungus before they come back. Be consistent and persistent when using natural treatments. Continue to use it for 1-2 weeks even after all the physical signs are gone.

Tea Tree Oil: Best Toenail Fungus Treatment

Tea tree oil is the most natural and safe home remedy to treat toenail fungus. It is so effective that even my medical doctor recommended it first, before resorting to prescribed medications.

According to the Mayo Clinic, tea tree oil is the most effective home remedy for toenail fungus. Tea tree oil comes from a plant and has been used for generations by the Australians in treating infections.

When buying tea tree oil, make sure that it is 100% authentic. Tea tree oil has amazing anti-fungal properties! I always have a couple of bottles in my pantry. In fact, I also use it to occasionally kill black mold in the bathroom.

I also use PediFix Ultimate Funga Soap, which is an inexpensive cleansing wash that helps wash away the fungus from the surface of the skin. This soothing solution also cleans and reduce foot odor, itchiness, and dryness. And guess what the main ingredient is? Tea tree oil!

How to get rid of toenail fungus with tea tree oil:

  1. Wash your feet with the Ultimate Funga Soap.
  2. Dry your feet thoroughly.
  3. Simply apply it to the surface of the nail and the surrounding skin tissue.

Note: Although it's rare, if you get an allergic reaction to tea tree oil, stop using it immediately and wash the affected areas.

Other Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus

  1. Mix a ratio of 50/50% Listerine and raw apple cider vinegar. Simply combine in a quart jar with a screw on lid and use a makeup brush (or paint brush) to apply the solution on the affected toenail. Apply it consistently in the morning and night! The toenail fungus can be cleared up in a few months. Note the importance of using raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar such as Bragg's.
  2. Other natural remedies that have anti-fungal properties include: Olive Leaf extract, Oregano oil, Echinacea, Castor bean oil extract, Grapefruit seed extract, and even coconut oil.

Note: I haven't used these remedies personally, but I've heard of other people using them. They may not be as effective, or take longer than usual.

OTC Medications and Prescribed MedicationsToenail Fungus

Anti-fungal medications work by a helping a new, infection-free nail to grow and replace the fungus-infected old toenail. It also takes a longer time before you see 100% result.

According to a review composed by a group of RN's, here are the top three over-the-counter nail fungus treatment.

  1. Zetaclear has natural ingredients including tea tree oil
  2. Funginix has fast results, about 2 months.
  3. Purnail also contains tea tree oil, along with lavender for a nicer scent.

Your medical doctor, or podiatrist can also prescribe anti-fungal medication in topical form or oral form.

Oral anti-fungal medications also kills the fungus, but it's very slow. These medications are usually taken for a period of 6 to 12 weeks, and it may take even longer to obtain satisfactory results.

The downside to using prescribed medication is of course, the unnecessary side effects that come with it. They also cost more.



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    • profile image

      Dr. Rakesh Kumar 

      5 years ago from Uttar Pradesh, India

      Thanks for this nice post. I am finding it very difficult to get cured.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Tea-tree oil is worth trying (I am), but you incorrectly cite Mayo Clinic. From Mayo:

      "Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis)

      Although tea tree oil is thought to have activity against several fungus species, there is not enough information to make recommendations for or against the use of tea tree oil on the skin for this condition."


    • adjkp25 profile image


      7 years ago from Idaho

      I sort of lost a fingernail, it basically separated from where it should, and then it developed a fungus. I used the tea tree oil on it and now it is actually trying to grow back. It certainly made me a believer in its powers.

      Voted up and useful.

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      7 years ago from California

      Well said, Marcy. I try to avoid taking medicines for ANYTHING, even colds!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      I love the idea of using natural remedies to cure this type of thing. At least one of the medications often prescribed can cause liver damage. How much smarter to treat fungal issues with natural remedies before reverting to medications!

      Voted up and up!

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 

      7 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear turtlewoman

      Thank you for an informative article

      I totally agree with using ti-tree oil which will work where commercial products don't

      Kind regards Peter


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