Toenail Fungus: Treatment & Home Remedies

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Toenail fungus is one of the unsightly infections, that causes your toenail to change color or crumble. Therefore, it is important to know what are the various treatments and remedies that help in giving relief from the condition.

Treatments for Toenail Fungus

When it comes to treatment of toenail fungus, a few tests are often conducted first. After inspecting the toenail fungus, a doctor may remove some of the toenails and run a fungal culture to identify the strain. Furthermore, a potassium hydroxide preparation can identify whether the infection is being caused by a fungus. Following the proper identification of the infections, some of the best options are anti-fungal creams, toenail removal, antibiotics, laser therapy and medicated nail polish.

Anti-Fungal Drugs

The most popular treatment approach is the use of oral anti-fungal drugs, such as Sporonox or Lamisil. These products have been used effectively by millions of people, and while extended use can result in unwanted side effects, the rate of success is impressive. Some of these medications also come in the form of anti-fungal creams.

Close up of an image of podologist checking the left foot suffering from toenail fungus infection

Nail Removal

For severe or chronic cases of toenail fungus, the affected nail can be removed, eliminating the nutrient source that the fungi require. This will also let doctors clean out the affected area and properly bandage it for a normal recovery.


When toenail fungus reaches a severe level, it will cause cracking in the nail, allowing many other types of infections into the wound. Antibiotics are often recommended for people with severe fungus, as it will account for any other infections you may have contracted.

Medicated Nail Polish

In the early stages of toenail fungus, it is possible to treat the conditions with a medicated form of nail polish. Even for men, you can apply this clear liquid over the affected toes, and see results with 1-2 weeks.

Laser Therapy

Although rarely used, some people turn to carbon dioxide laser therapy to penetrate the nail and eliminate the offending fungi. This approach is quite expensive and only available in select parts of the world.

Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus

For those who prefer to handle their minor medical conditions in a more natural way, there are many home remedies for toenail fungus including the use of tea tree oil, coconut oil, mouthwash, oregano oil, vinegar and lemon juice.

Coconut Oil

The natural anti-fungal qualities of this oil make it ideal for applying to infected toenails. You can rub a small amount of this oil on the nail 2-3 times per day for improved symptoms in 1-2 weeks.

Tea Tree Oil

Known as one of the most potent anti-fungal substances yet discovered, tea tree oil is a powerful substance that can eliminate countless infections. Only a few diluted drops are required for this remedy to be effective and it can be used 1-2 times per day until the symptoms clear up.


Just as people use mouthwash to eliminate fungal infections in the mouth, it can also be effective when topically applied to toenail fungus. Simply dip a paper towel or rag in mouthwash and wrap your toe for 10-15 minutes.


This common household item has many anti-fungal properties and can quickly clear up a toenail fungus infection, particularly if you catch it early on. Simply mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts warm water and allow your toes to soak for 10-15 minutes.

Oregano Oil

One of the active ingredients in oregano oil is thymol, a powerful antioxidant that has been directly connected with reducing toenail fungus. Simply apply a few drops to the affected nail every morning and you’ll see good results within a week.

Lemon Juice

The anti-fungal and antiseptic properties of lemon juice are mainly derived from the high concentration of citric acid. This can stop the spread of the toenail fungus, while antioxidants can help clear out damaged cells and stimulate the repair and growth of your healthy toenail. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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