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How to cure toenail fungus with vinegar



Nail fungus refers to a fungal infection that begins under the toenails. It can cause discoloration, thickening or crumbling on one or more of your nails. This is a frustrating problem, so of course you want to get rid of nail fungus as soon as possible. One remedy you may have heard of is soaking your foot in vinegar to clear the infection. Vinegar is acidic, so it will kill bacteria and fungi.[1] However, this remedy has very limited success because the vinegars cannot penetrate under the nail. You can try it if you want, but visit a podiatrist for further treatment if you do not see any results in two weeks.

[[[[Edit]Step

[[[[Edit]Make a vinegar soak

If you want to try treating your nail fungus with vinegar, it is best to do soaking your foot in a vinegar-water mixture. Diluting vinegar is important to prevent it from irritating the skin. Try a daily soak and see if it helps clear the infection. If not, then do not panic. You can still use more conventional treatments.

  1. Trim your nail back before soaking your foot. If your nail covers the fungus, topical treatments will not work as well. Take a clipper and cut back the nail as far as you can. This helps the vinegars to reach the fungus and kill it.[2]
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    • Do not try to cut your nail passed where the white section ends. You can cut yourself.
    • If you have problems cutting the nail, first try to soften it with a urea cream. This is a common cosmetic treatment for skin irritations and is available at most pharmacies.
    • Disinfect the mower as soon as you are done so that you do not spread the infection. Soak it in isopropyl alcohol for 30 minutes to kill any fungus.
  2. Mix warm water and white vinegar in a bowl. Find a bowl or bucket that you can fit your foot in. Pour in both vinegar and warm water, then stir them.[3]
    Cure Toenail Fungus with Vinegar Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • You can also use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. Both contain similar amounts of acetic acid.
  3. Soak the foot for 10-20 minutes. Place your foot in the bowl and make sure the water covers your infected toe. Hold it there for 10-20 minutes so that the vinegar can soak into the mushroom.[4]
    Cure Toenail Fungus with Vinegar Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • If you have any cuts on your foot, the vinegars may sting a little. This is not dangerous.
  4. Dry your foot thoroughly when you are done. Fungi grow in humid conditions, so always wipe your foot as soon as you have soaked it. Take a clean towel and pat your foot dry before putting on shoes and socks again.[5]
    Cure Toenail Fungus with Vinegar Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Do not use this towel again before washing it as it may spread the fungus.
  5. Repeat this soaking twice a day until your symptoms disappear. Nail fungus is difficult to get rid of, so it takes a while. Soak your foot with vinegar and water twice a day. If you see some improvement after a few weeks, you can continue. If you do not see any improvement, contact a podiatrist for further treatment.[6]
    Cure Toenail Fungus with Vinegar Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • If your nail grows, cut it back so that the vinegar reaches the fungus.
    • It can take several months to work. If you can not soak your foot twice a day or if the fungus does not seem to get better, see a podiatrist instead.

[[[[Edit]Use conventional treatments

Unfortunately, home remedies like a vinegar soak do not have a good result for treating nail fungus. This is frustrating, but there are professional options that have much more success. Topical creams may work, but oral medication is most effective for nail fungus. Visit a podiatrist for an examination and follow their instructions to get rid of your nail fungus once and for all.

  1. Apply an over-the-counter antifungal cream for easy treatment. Specialized antifungal creams can work better than a vinegar. Try to get some from a local pharmacy and apply it exactly according to the instructions. For many creams, you need to apply them every day for a few weeks at least. Follow the instructions and see if this helps clean up the infection.[7]
    Cure Toenail Fungus with Vinegar Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Approved antifungal creams include Amorolfine, Ciclopirox, Efinaconazole and Tavaborole.
    • Keep the nails short so that the cream reaches the sponge.
    • Creams usually do not work as well for nail fungus as they cannot penetrate the nail. Do not be surprised if you do not see much improvement and need to see a podiatrist.[8]
  2. Take prescription oral medications from your podiatrist. Oral medication is usually the best treatment for nail fungus because it works internally. If your infection is not cleared up with home remedies, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Your doctor will probably examine your toenail and prescribe a medicine to fight the fungus. Take the medicine as instructed for 2-3 months to clear the infection completely.[9]
    Cure Toenail Fungus with Vinegar Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Some common antifungal drugs include Lamisil and Sporanox.
    • Do not stop taking the medicine early. If you stop before all the fungus is dead, the infection may return.
    • At the first meeting, the podiatrist can also trim your nail a little to remove some of the fungus. This may help, but will probably not completely cure the infection.[10]
    • Antifungal drugs can be powerful, so your doctor may want to test your blood regularly to make sure the levels in your system are correct. Too much can cause liver damage.[11]
  3. Try medical nail polish to penetrate your nail. Your podiatrist can try this approach along with oral medications. A medical nail polish, usually Penlac, can soak through the nail and treat the fungus. In most cases, you brush it on your nail and leave it there for a week. Then wash it off with alcohol and apply a new layer. Continue this application process for as long as the podiatrist tells you.[12]
    Cure Toenail Fungus with Vinegar Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • The application procedure may vary depending on the medication your podiatrist prescribes. Follow the instructions they provide.

[[[[Edit]Medical Takeaways

While vinegar is a common remedy for fungal infections, it does not have much success against nail fungus. Because it can not penetrate under the nail, it can not kill the fungus. You can try it if you want, but you may not see good results. If the infection does not show any improvement in a few weeks, visit a podiatrist for a more conventional treatment. Even with creams and medications, it can still take a few months for the infection to clear completely, so use all of these treatments exactly as the podiatrist asks you for best results.

[[[[Edit]Tip

  • There are some other home remedies for nail fungus. Applying Vicks VapoRub to your nail once a day can also clear the infection.[13]

[[[[Edit]Warnings

  • Nail fungus is contagious, so wash everything that touches your foot. Use socks in your home to avoid spreading it to other people.[14]
  • You can also try rubbing tea tree oil on the infected nail once a day to see if it helps.[15]

[[[[Edit]Related wikiHows

  • Treat toenail fungus
  • Get rid of the toenail fungus

[[[[Edit]References

[[[[Edit]Quick summary

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1750-3841.12434
  2. https://health.students.vcu.edu/media/student-affairs/ushs/docs/ONYCHOMYCOSIS.pdf
  3. https://health.students.vcu.edu/media/student-affairs/ushs/docs/ONYCHOMYCOSIS.pdf
  4. https://health.students.vcu.edu/media/student-affairs/ushs/docs/ONYCHOMYCOSIS.pdf
  5. https://health.students.vcu.edu/media/student-affairs/ushs/docs/ONYCHOMYCOSIS.pdf
  6. https://health.students.vcu.edu/media/student-affairs/ushs/docs/ONYCHOMYCOSIS.pdf
  7. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/az/nail-fungus-treatment
  8. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001330.htm
  9. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nail-fungus/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353300
  10. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/az/nail-fungus-treatment
  11. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nail-fungus/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353300
  12. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nail-fungus/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353300
  13. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/home-remedies-that-may-be-worth-a-try-2017032211444
  14. https://ada.com/conditions/onychomycosis-fungal-nail-infection/
  15. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/tea-tree-oil

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