Home Remedies

11 Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD
by Atulya Satishkumar

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, affects about 14% of the population in the US (1). It is a fungal infection that may spread to the skin surrounding the affected toe and other toenails as well. It causes your toenails to turn brittle and yellowish.

In this article, we have put together a few remedies that can help treat this condition. They will help you get rid of the infection and ensure it doesn’t return. Read on to find out more.

Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus

1. Tea Tree Oil

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Tea tree oil can be used to treat onychomycosis. Applying it topically can help treat the symptoms of nail fungus and improve the appearance of the affected nails (2).

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • Carrier oil like coconut oil
  • Cotton pad
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil and coconut oil.
  2. Dab this mixture on a cotton pad.
  3. Apply to the affected toenail.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this two times a day.

2. Vicks VapoRub 

This decongestant is formulated using menthol that can help alleviate the symptoms of toenail fungus (3).

You Will Need
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Sterile gauze
What You Have To Do
  1. Trim the affected nails and wash them.
  2. Apply some Vicks VapoRub on the affected nail.
  3. Cover the toe with sterile gauze.
  4. You must leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this for a few weeks, every night before going to bed.

3. Snakeroot Extract 

Snakeroot extract can help heal the affected toenail and alleviate the symptoms of toenail fungus (4).

You Will Need
  • A few drops of snakeroot extract
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a few drops of snakeroot extract with water.
  2. Apply this solution to the affected nail.
  3. Wash off after an hour or so.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this twice a day until it is healed.

4.Oregano Oil 

Oregano oil is an essential oil that possesses powerful antifungal properties (5). Hence, it can help alleviate the symptoms of a fungal nail infection by destroying its root cause.

You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three to four drops of oregano oil to a teaspoon of coconut oil.
  2. Mix well and apply it to the affected nail.
  3. Leave it on until it dries completely.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this twice daily.

5. Olive Leaf Extract 

Research shows that olive leaf extract exhibits antifungal properties (6). Its bioactive constituents can eliminate the fungal infection and make your toenail healthy again.

You Will Need

A few drops of olive leaf extract

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a few drops of olive leaf extract to the affected toenail.
  2. Leave it on and let it dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this two times a day.

6. Ozonized Sunflower Oil

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Ozonized sunflower oil may exhibit fungistatic properties. This can make it suitable for treating toenail fungus as the ozone can diffuse into the fungal wall, thereby inhibiting its proliferation (7).

You Will Need

A teaspoon of ozonized sunflower oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply several drops of ozonized sunflower oil to the affected toenail.
  2. You must cover it with sterile gauze.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

7. Vinegar 

A vinegar foot bath is one of the common home remedies to treat toenail fungus. This can be attributed to the antimicrobial properties of vinegar solution that can also prevent further infection (8).

You Will Need
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • A shallow tub
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix all the ingredients mentioned above in a shallow tub.
  2. Keep your feet soaked in this solution for about 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily for the best results.

8. Garlic 

Garlic contains a bioactive compound called ajoene that possesses antimycotic properties (9). This makes it suitable to fight the fungal infection that causes toenail fungus.

You Will Need

1-2 peeled garlic cloves

What You Have To Do
  1. Crush two cloves of fresh garlic.
  2. Apply this paste to the affected toenail.
  3. You must leave it on for half an hour and then wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this two times daily to see a visible change.

9. Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, exhibits antifungal activity against fungal infections (10). This makes it suitable for use in the treatment of toenail fungus or onychomycosis.

You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • Water, as needed
What You Have To Do
  1. Prepare a paste by mixing baking soda and water.
  2. Apply this paste to the infected nail.
  3. Rinse it off after 20-30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

10. Hydrogen Peroxide

 A solution of hydrogen peroxide can be used as an antifungal agent (11). Its bioactive compounds can help eliminate toenail infection.
You Will Need
  • 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide solution
  • 3 cups of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and mix it with three cups of water.
  2. Transfer this solution to a small tub.
  3. Soak your feet in this solution for 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a day.

11. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has wound healing and antifungal properties (12). Both these properties together can help fight the dermatophytes that cause nail fungus.

You Will Need

Aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do

  1. Extract gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf.
  2. Apply it to the affected toenail.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this one to two times a day.

The remedies mentioned above can help eliminate the infection and provide relief. Using these remedies in conjunction with medical treatment options can help you recover quickly.

Let us now take a look at how you can prevent toenail fungus.

Prevention Tips

  • You must ensure that your feet are clean and dry at all times.
  • Refrain from walking barefoot anywhere in public spaces.
  • Make sure not to wear unwashed socks and unclean shoes.
  • Trim your nails regularly to avoid infection.
  • You can also use foot powder to keep your feet free of moisture.

These tips are sure to keep your toenails from getting infected. Let us now see when you will need to see a doctor.

When To See A Doctor

Sometimes, remedies may not be enough as the infection may persist longer than it should. Always bear in mind that, if not tended to, fungal nail infections can worsen over time. In case you have developed an infection in your toenail that does not heal after 3-4 days, you must make sure that you visit your doctor.

We are sure the remedies we have shared with you will help you achieve a speedy recovery from toenail fungus. If followed diligently, they can also help prevent further infection.

Did you find this post helpful? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Can you get a pedicure if you have toenail fungus?

You can get a pedicure if you have toenail fungus. You will have to make the staff aware of the infection so that they use disposable and sterile tools.

Can nail fungus heal by itself?

Nail fungus does not heal by itself. If you do not tend to it as early as possible, you might risk the spreading of the infection to other toenails.

Can nail fungus spread to other parts of the body?

If left untreated, it may spread to the other toes as well as to the skin surrounding the affected toenails. This, in turn, can cause a condition called athlete’s foot.

12 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
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Atulya Satishkumar