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Onychomycosis (cont.)

Are There Home Remedies for Nail Fungus?

Alternative Treatments and Home Remedies to Cure or Resolve Foot (Toenail) Fungus

Over-the-counter (OTC) products such as Listerine (foot soaks in Listerine), Vicks VapoRub, beer foot soaks, hydrogen peroxide, and others are purported to be effective in some individuals. Home remedies are numerous; tea tree oil, coconut oil (mixed with other essential oils like tea tree), baking soda, white vinegar, garlic, orange oil, and lavender oil are only a few of the home remedies. Unfortunately, there is little or no data to support these claims. Some of the commercially available or over-the-counter products do not promote their use for nail infections, although some individuals may use them for alternative treatments. These should be avoided.

Is It Possible to Prevent a Fungal Nail Infection?

Although it may be impossible to prevent fungal nail infections in everyone, there are ways to reduce a person's chance to get infected. The following are some of the methods to avoid nail infections:

  • Remember that nail infections can be passed from person to person so washing hands (and feet) after contacting another person with nail infections is a good practice.
  • Do not go barefoot in public showers or locker rooms.
  • Use antifungal spray or powder in shoes, especially gym shoes.
  • Be sure that if a manicure or pedicure is done, instruments are sterilized before each person is exposed to them.
  • Keep feet dry and clean as possible.
  • Keep finger and toe nails trimmed; do not pick at or chew on fingernails or the skin around them.
  • Avoid caustic skin agents by wearing protective gloves.
  • Socks that wick away sweat help reduce moisture that can promote the survival and growth of nail pathogens.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/2/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Onychomycosis »

Onychomycosis (OM) refers to a fungal infection that affects the toenails or the fingernails.

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