For most people, nail fungus is a minor condition that requires no treatment. Thick yellow or brown nails aren’t pretty, and they can be hard to trim properly. That is the primary reason this infection is more serious for people with diabetes, who are prone to foot problems. But for the rest of us, home remedies might be just as rational as prescription medications such as Lamisil or Penlac. Although approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, these pricey drugs don’t work for everyone. Oral drugs such as Lamisil may have systemic side effects. Home remedies may be no more effective, but at least they are inexpensive.
I tried the suggestion of using cornmeal mush for toenail fungus. I used it twice, and after the nail grew out the fungus was gone. My problem was only with the big toenail, not all the toes.
We heard about using cornmeal to fight nail fungus from a gardener in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He told us to put an inch of cornmeal in a footbath and cover it with hot water so it can dissolve. Let it cool so you don’t burn your feet, and then soak them in this mush for an hour. This is an inexpensive and low-risk approach to nail fungus.
My neighbor swears that brushing his toenails with Pert Plus or Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo when he showers both cures and prevents toenail fungus. He claims that if you wash your hair with these shampoos, you will never have fingernail fungus. Is he nuts, or is he on to something?
Dandruff is caused by yeast (a type of fungus). That’s why dandruff shampoos with antifungal ingredients are effective at controlling flaking and itching. It is conceivable that brushing toenails with dandruff shampoo might provide some protection against fungal infection. Once a nail is infected, though, it is unlikely that dandruff shampoo will solve the problem. Toenails are tough, and it is difficult for antifungal products to penetrate them.
I have battled toenail fungus off and on for the past 25 years. I have been on Lamisil three times and tried all sorts of OTC and prescription topical medicines. I decided to try two of the remedies I read about in your articles. I applied hydrogen peroxide with a cotton ball to my toenails after I bathed daily. Then I applied VapoRub to my feet and toenails and put on socks to sleep in. Within a month, I had no more toenail fungus. I have the most beautiful toenails I have ever had in 25 years. I also like the fact that I can polish my toenails and still use these remedies. Thank you!
Toenail fungus can be tough to treat. Prescription medicines like Lamisil are expensive and require medical monitoring for liver problems and other potential side effects. Success with home remedies like the ones you are using requires persistence. Hydrogen peroxide is antimicrobial, and Vicks VapoRub contains herbal oils with antifungal activity.
I tried your hydrogen peroxide treatment for toenail fungus, and it worked like a charm.
The reader who suggested this remedy applied pharmacy-strength hydrogen peroxide daily to nails with a cotton ball after showering.
For over 20 years I was plagued with dry, flaky skin on the side of my nose and behind my earlobes. I went to several doctors, including dermatologists. We tried various salves to no avail. After a while this added up to big bucks. I wondered if this ailment was caused by a fungus. As a chemist, I know that iodine is very effective on fungus and many bacteria. I applied tincture of iodine with my fingers (every two days for a week) and got cured within a week. It’s been two months, and the spots have not returned. The cost of treatment was less than two dollars. I previously had success treating toenail fungus with iodine. Since I am a man, dark toenails (stained by iodine) did not bother me. I have suggested iodine treatment to many friends, and the responses have been enthusiastic. Many have solved their nail problems after other pricey treatments were unsuccessful.
Iodine was discovered about 200 years ago. As a tincture, it has broad antiseptic activity. You are correct that it kills fungus. Tincture of iodine is dark brown and can stain, so not everyone will want to use it on the face. An alternative would be clear, decolorized or “white” iodine (yodo blanco in Spanish). It won’t stain the skin, and many readers tell us it works as well as tincture of iodine for fighting fungus-infected nails.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic