Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can kill fungus that grows on toenails. You can directly wipe hydrogen peroxide on your infected toes or toenails with a clean cloth or cotton swab. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used in a foot soak.
Prescription oral antifungals, such as terbinafine (Lamisil) or fluconazole (Diflucan), are traditionally used to treat toenail fungus. These treatments are often effective, but they may cause serious side effects ranging from upset stomach and dizziness to severe skin problems and jaundice.
Effective products include efinaconazole (Jublia), tavaborole (Kerydin) and ciclopirox (Penlac). All require daily applications, and it may take as long as a year to see noticeable improvement. These products may work for early, superficial fungal infections because they kill fungi on the surface of the nail.
Hydrogen peroxide also works as a great bleaching agent and it has antifungal and antiseptic properties which will definitely help anyone with the toe nail fungus to get rid of it.
These drugs are often the first choice. One option is itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. You typically take this type of drug daily for 6 to 12 weeks.
Though the ingredients in Listerine are thought to possess antifungal properties, no studies have proven that the mouthwash is a surefire way to get rid of foot and nail fungus. One study stated that Listerine could prevent fungal infections in people with autoimmune diseases.
Even before that, a study of some of the essential oils in Vicks VapoRub showed that they are active against five different species of fungus that infect nail tissue (Phytotherapy Research, April, 2003). Camphor, menthol, thymol and oil of eucalyptus are effective against these organisms.
Nail removal: If you have a severe infection or other treatments just don't work, your dermatologist may recommend removing the nail(s) to get rid of the infection.
The antifungal properties also make vinegar soaks a good idea for people who have toenail fungus. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes daily in a vinegar bath until the infection subsides.
Kill mold and mildew
Mold and mildew can build up quickly in the moist environment of a shower stall. To kill them without having to breathe in toxic bleach fumes, spray with undiluted 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
A severe case of nail fungus can be painful and may cause permanent damage to your nails. And it may lead to other serious infections that spread beyond your feet if you have a suppressed immune system due to medication, diabetes or other conditions.
Baking soda has strong antifungal effects. Soaking your thick yellow toenails in baking soda and water can combat fungal infections. Applying 100% tea tree oil to affected toenails twice daily can help ease symptoms. Olive leaf extract has both antibacterial and antifungal effects.
Some products used to treat fungal infections on fingernails or toenails are not recommended for use with nail polish, such as Penlac (ciclopirox) Nail Lacquer, which is painted onto the affected nail and surrounding area. Other topical products, however, may be suitable to use.
A manicure and pedicure won't hurt (or help) an existing fungal infection, but it's possible to spread it to other salon clients. Your best course is to alert the staff ahead of time so they may sterilize the equipment, including nail files and nail clippers, after use.
Results of treatment
It can take between 6 and 18 months for the appearance of the affected nail to return to normal, and in some cases the nail may not look the same as before the infection.
A small study of 20 patients reported 83% improvement after six months of applying Vicks daily (Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, January-February 2016). They concluded: “Vicks VapoRub was shown to be an effective and safe treatment of onychomycosis (nail fungus) …”
According to a 2013 study, tea tree oil was effective in reducing growth of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum in nail infections. T. rubrum is a fungus that can cause infections such as athlete's foot and nail fungus. Improvements were seen after 14 days.
Mouthwashes like Listerine have antibacterial and antifungal properties, so have been reported to be used to treat toenail fungus. Some home remedy recipes suggest mixing mouthwash with vinegar in a 1:1 solution (or adding 2 parts water for a more diluted solution).
Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for toenail fungus due to its antifungal properties. If you want to treat your fungus using ACV, you can soak your feet in a mixture of warm water and the vinegar for about 15 minutes, twice a day.
A popular strategy for nail fungus is a 20-minute foot soak in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and Listerine. That may be needed to allow the solution to soak through to the fungus-infected nail bed. For athlete's foot, which is a fungus infection of the skin, your strategy sounds cost-effective.
There really is no 'best' over-the-counter (OTC) treatment for nail fungus. OTC products are available to treat fungus on the skin around the nail bed, but are not very effective at treating the hard nail bed.