How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus – A Step By Step Guide

Understand how to use this oxidative therapy to improve your nail health.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan, MD
Written by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Edited by Ramona Sinha, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Shiboli Chakraborti, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach  • 

Nail fungus is not an easy task to deal with. Though it appears as a yellow spot, it can spread to your entire nail and may crack it, leading to more tenderness and pain. So if you want to know what kills toenail fungus instantly, we suggest you give oxidative therapy such as the one with hydrogen peroxide a try. This can help prevent nail fungus and save your nail bed from further damage. Oxidative therapy is one of the common home remedies available to manage this condition. This article discusses how hydrogen peroxide helps you with nail fungus eradication and how to use it. Keep reading to know more about it!

protip_icon Trivia
The first person to determine that the yellow spots on the nails were a result of fungal infection was Georg Meissner, a German anatomist, in 1853.

What Causes Nail Fungus

Nail fungus, known as onychomycosis, results from fungal infections affecting the toenails and fingernails. Dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds are the primary fungal culprits. They thrive in warm, moist environments such as sweaty shoes. Other ways to get infected are:

  1. Trauma or Injury: Nail injuries provide entry points for fungal infections to establish themselves.
  2. Poor Nail Hygiene: Inadequate cleaning, trimming, and drying of nails create conditions favorable for fungal growth.
  3. Warm, Humid Climates: Humid environments increase susceptibility to nail fungus.
  4. Weakened Immunity: A compromised immune system due to medical conditions or medications may elevate the risk of infection.
  5. Aging: Diminished blood circulation in extremities in older individuals increases susceptibility.
  6. Public Spaces: Walking barefoot in public spaces like swimming pools exposes individuals to fungal spores.
    Know how hydrogen peroxide can aid in effective management of nail fungus in the next section.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide An Effective Treatment For Nail Fungus?

Hydrogen peroxide is a household remedy that is used to disinfect minor scratches and cuts. When used for treating nail fungus, its antifungal properties kill the fungus, letting the damaged part of your nails grow out. The liquid has several uses as an antiseptic, disinfectant, oxidizer, bleaching agent, as well as an antifungal agent (1). Its strong antifungal and antiseptic properties effectively treat nail fungus (2).

With regular use, the treatment can heal your nails within weeks or months, depending on the severity of the infection. It is recommended to keep using the treatment for a couple of months after your nail has been restored back to health to prevent future fungal infections. While there are not a lot of scientific studies on this treatment, it is a tried and tested home remedy that is sure to give you optimal results.

Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist, says, “Regular use of hydrogen peroxide can show improvement in toenail fungus within a few weeks to months, depending on the spread of the infection.”

Thirty-eight participants in the trial either used Mycosinate or an approved toenail lacquer. A base layer of Mycosinate is a method for prolonged hydrogen peroxide emission. According to the research, Mycosinate is a novel topical treatment for onychomycosis that offers a high rate of efficacy and a superior safety profile.

Mycological Cure Rates

Source: Mycological Cure Rates

Here, I’ve put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to use hydrogen peroxide to treat nail fungus.

How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Treat Nail Fungus

1. Soak Your Feet In Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus
Image: IStock
You Will Need
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Distilled water
  • Plastic tub
  • Tissues
Time

30 minutes

Method
  1. Mix equal parts of the hydrogen peroxide and distilled water in the plastic tub.
  2. Ensure that you are not using anything stronger than a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution; or it may damage your skin.
  3. Soak the nails that have been affected by the fungus in this solution.
  4. Wait for 30 minutes.
  5. Dry your nails with a dry tissue. Dispose off the tissue after use.
  6. Ensure that your nails are completely dry before you cover them.

Andrea Jean, a Youtube blogger, used hydrogen peroxide on her feet in a video. She used a foot file to remove the remaining dead cells for soft and healthy feet. She said, “It Is an all-natural remedy if you have athlete’s foot. You’re just going to want to shave off, rub off any of that extra dead skin. The hydrogen peroxide helped loosen it and killed any bacteria (i).”

How Often?

You have to repeat this process every day until, and even after, the problem subsides. Getting rid of nail fungus is not easy and will take a lot of patience and effort.

Why This Works

This oxidate therapy using hydrogen peroxide is highly effective when it comes to treating nail fungus. The method involves using the peroxide to soak the infected and affected nails. As the oxygen levels increase, the fungus on your nails gets destroyed.

2. Vinegar And Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus

Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus
Image: IStock
You Will Need
NOTE

While method 1 is often quoted as a solution to nail fungus on the internet, we recommend using method 2. This is because under certain conditions, mixing hydrogen peroxide and vinegar can form peracetic acid, which is a caustic chemical that does not share the desired properties to treat nail fungus.

Time

Method 1 – 10 minutes

Method 2 – 30 minutes

Method 1
  1. Mix equal parts of the hydrogen peroxide, distilled water, and vinegar in the plastic tub.
  2. Ensure that you are not using anything stronger than a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution; or it may damage your skin.
  3. Soak the nails that have been affected by the fungus in this solution.
  4. Wait for 10 minutes.
  5. Dry your nails with a dry tissue. Dispose of the tissue after use.
  6. Ensure that your nails are completely dry before you cover them.
Method 2
  1. Mix equal parts of the hydrogen peroxide and distilled water in the plastic tub.
  2. Follow the steps mentioned in method one.
  3. On day 2, follow the same steps using equal amounts of vinegar and distilled water.
  4. Keep alternating between hydrogen peroxide and vinegar until the problem subsides.
How Often?

You have to repeat this process every day until, and even after, the problem subsides. Getting rid of nail fungus is not easy and will take a lot of patience and effort.

Why This Works

Vinegar is an acidic solution that helps relieve itching and restores the pH balance of your skin and nails. These properties help the liquid create an unfavorable environment for the fungi to breed in, killing off the infection. Apple cider vinegar helps reduce inflammation, reducing the pain caused by nail fungus.

3. Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide solution for nail fungus
Image: IStock
You Will Need
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 4 cups warm water
  • ½ cup Epsom salt
  • Plastic tub
  • Tissues
Time

10 minutes

Method
  1. Mix the baking soda, peroxide, vinegar, Epsom salt, and water in a plastic tub until they are well combined.
  2. Ensure that you are not using anything stronger than a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution; or it may damage your skin.
  3. Soak the nails that have been affected by the fungus in this solution.
  4. Wait for 10 minutes.
  5. Dry your nails with a dry tissue. Dispose of the tissue after use.
  6. Ensure that your nails are completely dry before you cover them.
How Often?

You have to repeat this process every day until, and even after, the problem subsides. Getting rid of nail fungus is not easy and will take a lot of patience and effort.

Why This Works

Baking soda contains antifungal properties that help prevent the growth of fungus. This solution helps balance your skin’s pH levels while killing off fungus.

Dr. Anna Chacon recommends saturating your toe in the peroxide for 30 minutes. She also adds, “If you do not see results, please visit your local dermatologist and get prescription treatment for your toenail fungus.”

Additional Tips For Treating And Preventing Nail Fungus

Keep your nails short and clean to prevent nail fungus
Image: Shutterstock
  • Wash and disinfect all of your shoes and socks.
  • Disinfect your nail clippers with hot water and alcohol.
  • Keep your fingers and toes covered when you are outside.
  • Keep your nails short and clean.
  • Thoroughly dry your nails after washing your hands and feet.
  • Spray your gloves and shoes with anti-fungal sprays on a regular basis to kill lingering fungi.
  • Always dry your shoes and socks properly. Moisture is your worst enemy as it creates a breeding ground for fungus.

protip_icon Trivia
You may also wear moisture-absorbing socks to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Side Effects Of Using Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus Treatment

Hydrogen peroxide causing redness and irritation in a woman
Image: Shutterstock

If you experience any of the following side effects, try using a solution weaker than 2%. You can also try diluting the solution further with water.

  • Hydrogen peroxide can irritate your skin causing redness, stinging, and mild itching.
  • It may also dry out your skin and cause cracked feet.
  • Peroxide can cause your skin to peel.

Infographic: Other Remedies You Can Use With Hydrogen Peroxide For Toenail Fungus

The antifungal properties of hydrogen peroxide make it an effective solution for toenail fungus, cuts, and burns. You can mix it with other household remedies like baking soda or vinegar. But, additionally, you can also include over-the-counter treatments to accelerate healing. Learn from the infographic below about the other remedies you can use after treating your feet in the soak.

other remedies you can use with hydrogen peroxide for toenail fungus (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Yellowing of nail spots or discoloration of nails may possibly be due to a fungal injection. If not treated early on, it can spread and crack the whole nail causing pain and discomfort. While OTC antifungal creams can help, you can try hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus to give you that initial relief. It acts as an antiseptic and antifungal treatment and helps contain the infection. Soaking your feet in a dilution of hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes every day can result in a visible difference in a few weeks’ time. You may also use vinegar or baking soda as detailed above to enhance its antifungal benefits further. However, if this does not help in alleviating the pain and symptoms, you are advised to consult a podiatrist.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does hydrogen peroxide take to cure nail fungus?

Depending on the severity of the condition, it may take anywhere between a few weeks to several months of regular treatment with hydrogen peroxide to cure nail fungus.

How long does it take baking soda to kill toenail fungus?

It may take baking soda a few weeks to improve the condition of the toenail. However, using baking soda to treat toenail fungus is not scientifically proven.

What is the fastest way to cure toenail fungus?

Oral antifungal drugs are the fastest way to cure toenail fungus.

How do I know if my toenail fungus is dying?

Diminishing discolored areas on the nail, reduction in the thickness of the nail, new healthy nail growth from the base of the nail, and a clear demarcation line between the old infected nail and the new growth are some signs that the toenail fungus is dying and your nail is healing.

What happens to untreated toenail fungus?

Untreated toenail fungus may cause serious damage to your nail, widespread infection, and foot pain.

Key Takeaways

  • Hydrogen peroxide has several antifungal activities that may help treat and prevent nail fungus.
  • This common home remedy can be applied directly to your affected nail, or it can be soaked in a diluted solution.
  • It can be used alone or along with other ingredients like bleaching soda or white vinegar. Also, this remedy should be used as per directions to avoid its adverse effects.

You can deal with your nail fungus problem using hydrogen peroxide. Watch this video to learn how long it takes to work and tips on how to use it safely and effectively.

Personal Experience: Source

Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
The following two tabs change content below.

Latest Articles