Q&A

I have a number of clients with nail fungus who have no interest in taking medication. What home remedies can I offer?

Q.

I have a number of clients with nail fungus who have no interest in taking medication. What home remedies can I offer?

A.

Over the years, I have heard of and tried many home remedies. Generally speaking, I find them worth trying. In milder cases, they may slow down or resolve the fungus. At minimum, these home remedies can keep the problem from getting worse. The following is a list of some of the most commonly suggested remedies:

1. Dilute one ounce of PineSol in 16 ounces of water and soak the toes for five to 10 minutes once a month.

2. Soak the toes or fingers in white vinegar.

3. Soak in bleach diluted with water.

4. Apply pure tea tree oil to the affected area on a regular basis.

5. Wear sandals and open-toed shoes to allow the feet to breathe rather than be confined in a warm, moist area.

6. Use a hair dryer to dry your nails after you take a shower.

-- Ivar E. Roth, D.P.M.


True fungal infections are rare on hands. Probably less than 2%-3% of all fingernail infections are actually fungus, the rest are caused by bacteria. If you have a number of clients with these infections, they are probably bacterial. In that case, prevention is the best treatment. Fingernail infections are usually caused by improper nail cleaning preparation before applying the enhancement or by improper maintenance.

Physician prescribed antifungal medications are costly and may have some side effects, so people are sometimes reluctant to take them. Still, they are the best and only option. (Home remedies and over-the-counter treatments cannot eliminate fingernail fungal infections.) These medications take from four to eight months to rid the fingernails of the fungal infection. This shows how difficult it is to treat these types of infections. -- Doug Schoon

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