Getting Rid of Toenail Fungus

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Toenail fungus can be frustrating for those who have it. It's unsightly and very difficult to get rid of. This is a page about getting rid of toenail fungus.


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As ugly as the nail fungus looks, that isn't what you're curing. Any "cure" you use is getting at the root of the problem and that's the fungus itself. It lives under and around the nail, it gets stuck inside the nail, staining the nail! Every time you think it's gone, it will come back if that nail has not grown 100% out.

All the cures, Vicks, vinegar, OTC products, and doctor's scripts do one thing by killing the virus while the nail grows completely out. It is kind of like if you bruise a nail. That bruise won't go away, until it grows out too.

You have to apply this stuff "every" day, for months and months. Don't apply it to the nail, apply it around the nail and under the nail, being careful to get down deep into the crevices.


Keep cutting the nail until it's all new nail!

If you have slow growing nails, this could take up to a year. And don't buy the stuff at Sally's. It is for topical fungus, like a mold. And it's not the same thing!

Source: Instructions on scripts, OTC products, a podiatrist, and my husband's big toe!

By Chris Burrows from Parish, NY

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I have had nail fungus on two toenails for years. Both nails became so thick that it hurt me to wear closed shoes. I went to the podiatrist and he sold me some oil for $40 for a half ounce. I used it faithfully. When that ran out I bought some more. But after a year, the improvement was so slight it was useless. At that rate, it would be ten years before they healed.


I did recall that he said any remedy for nail fungus had to be oil based in order to penetrate the nail. I had some oil of oregano that I had used for a sore throat. I read up on it, and one of its wonderful abilities is to kill fungus. I have been using it for six months now, and the bad part of both nails is almost completely grown out. The new nails look so healthy! I am jazzed!

I will keep using this oil (which retails for around $30 for a one ounce bottle) for about a year to make sure the fungus is gone. I hope this helps someone. I have a dear friend who elected to have her toenails all removed. (shudder)

By Coreen Hart from Rupert, ID

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February 20, 2005

There are many gardeners around the world that would appreciate this bit of info.

You could be very healthy and get this gardening, doctors are seeing scores of patients each year, and there WAS not sure cure for it. The medication ranges from medication taken internally or topical, ALL was way too expensive and unreliable! Nothing worked, just prolonged the pain and suffering. And the medication has to be monitored in case it damages your liver, that's why many doctors refuse to prescribe it.


The fungus somehow gets under your fingernails and eats away at the bed of the nail until it totally falls off. This is like a long and burning torture! I saw my mother with it in the toenails and fingernails (raised her 9 children and kept a large garden), younger brother had suffered with it in all his fingernails and lost them, this takes many weeks and months to grow back. My cousins also had it, and all of us live in far distances from one another.

Yes, all suffered, until it hit MY FINGERS! Well, no one or anything messes with me! After I had enough of it, I began to think outside the box (so-to-speak). I said, "Hmmm, 'fungus'? I wonder...and looked at the bottle of 'Tilex Mildew Remover', it says it kills all fungus!" I took a paper cup and put a couple drops in, then I rested a toothpick in it for a couple of seconds, then ran it under my nails, and voila! Never again will I suffer this, been years since and never came back, too bad my folks suffered before me!

By Deb S.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 5, 2008

How do I get rid of thick and yellow toe nails?


June 5, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Thick yellow nails are a sign of fungus. Find a fungus remover or rub toes with vicks or similar menthol type product at night.

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June 9, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use Tea Tree Oil every day. Just dab it on with a cotton ball. It will take a few months, but it worked for me. My doctor gave me this advice.

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By Katie (Guest Post)
June 11, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have tried both tea tree oil and Vicks. They both really do work, but you have to be really dedicated about using them. Twice a day, and you can't forget. Mine were growing in clear after about three weeks of use, but then I stopped (stupid, I know) and it started coming back.


Be diligent and you will see results! Vinegar also works but I found the tee tree oil and vicks to be stronger. Also, try and wear open-toed shoes or sandals. That helped a lot. Socks are a breeding ground for bacteria. Good luck!

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September 22, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

That sounds very uncomfortable and hard to live with. Have you talked to a doctor? They might have some ideas.

I have had a fungus on my big toe for several years. There is a pill you can take to kill it off but it is very hard on your liver so my doctor does not want me to take it. I went in a few years ago and had surgery on the nail bed to remove it but it didn't work. It just grew right back.

Currently, I'm keeping it very short and treating it with tea tree oil. It keeps it from getting worse but hasn't killed it off yet. I treat it regularly for a few days, it feels better and I get busy until I notice it getting bad. I think if I did treat it daily for several weeks, it would kill it off but I haven't managed yet.

Good luck and let me know if you find a solution.

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March 15, 2012

I have a toe nail fungus and it is ugly. Please help me get rid of this as soon as possible. I paid for a pedicure and bought this too. Lucky me!

By cmhoudini


March 17, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used tea tree oil and had really great results. It wasn't fast, but after using it for a month or so, I saw such a difference! I used it in the morning and at night. I got the tea tree oil from It would probably be cheaper at the health food store. I was happy with the results.

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March 18, 20124 found this helpful
Best Answer

It seems we have a large variety of natural remedies. I will keep them handy for future reference. For now, I use coconut oil after soaking and/or cleaning my feet. I apply liberally, then put on a pair of socks. Coconut oil is an antibacterial, anti-fungal so it's worked like what my podiatrist prescribed but which I couldn't afford.

As to how much time? I never kept track, I did notice that within a week my feet quit itching if that helps. I do the coconut oil once a day now as a preventative. It also helps by keeping moisture out from between the toes due to the oil being there instead. I think that makes a difference besides keeping my feet soft too.

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September 12, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Vicks Vapo Rub works quite well. I applied it every evening over the nail and at the top where the nail meets the skin, and over a course of 2-32 months the fungus disappeared. THis was after trying medication for over a year, that did nothing. And the dermatologist recommended it!

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April 20, 2011

Does anyone know what can stop the itch of toenail fungus? I use Vicks and tree tea oil, but is there anything better? Please help, I am desperate.

By Rosie from FL


April 20, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Reader's Digest had an article on it this month, and their recommendation is half Listerine (the amber colored one--it won't stain your feet like the blue will, apparently) and half white vinegar; you soak your toes in it a couple of times a week.

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April 22, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

Go to your nearest "Sally's" beauty supply store. Go to the nail section and pick up a bottle of "fung off" or another brand, I think they have two. Use it as directed. It costs very little. People who have acrylic nails sometimes get fungus under them and this is how they cure it. If there is no Sally's store near you go to a local nail shop and ask if they will sell you a bottle.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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Where can I get Somasin for toenail fungus?

By Sheri Carlisle


February 13, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Check out It's run by 2 pharmacists who know what they're doing. Search for toenail fungus. They have lots of home remedies and people post what works and what doesn't. I've found some very good info there that I found nowhere else.

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I watched Dr. OZ today and he suggested the use of myrrh. If I understood, I think it is an oil.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 1, 2009

To get rid of a toenail fungus, use Vick's Salve. (Vick's Salve has been around what seems like forever.) Spread it on and under the infected toenail. Works like a charm. Much cheaper than buying preparations made for toenail fungus.

By sewingmamma


Toenail Fungus

You can eliminate a toenail fungus by using Vick's Salve under the toenail and over it. I used a well-advertised liquid for years and it never touched it. The Vick's Salve cleared it up in about 6 weeks.

By sewingmamma (11/22/2004)

By ThriftyFun

Therapy for Toenail Fungus

Listerine therapy for toenail fungus. Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

By Kathy (11/30/2004)

By ThriftyFun

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Those of you who have that bothersome toenail fungus, they have medications for it but some of us can't take it if your on other medications. Try this:

When you shower or bathe while the nails are soft, try using Vick's vapor rub. I thought it was corny but then I tried it, it takes time but you will see a difference. And not only that but it's great for athlete's foot. I have been using it for about a year and my nails have softened up and are starting to get new nails. It really works. It's not a guarantee but what have you got to lose?

By Charlie (04/05/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Treating Toenail Fungus

I can vouch for it also. It was in our newspaper under Dr. Gott who gives medical advice. My husband had always had athlete's foot and nothing ever seemed to work well. He started using it and has not had athlete's foot in about 7 years. I used it on a bad toenail that had went soft and nearly all of it had come off. Now, several months later, it has grown back almost all the way. It's a timely process, but Vick's Vapor Rub is very inexpensive. I sleep in socks, so it's not a problem for me to do at night. But you can also put it on in the morning before getting dressed. Once a day is all you need! (04/06/2005)

By suzi homemaker

Treating Toenail Fungus

I am going to try Vick's Vapor rub. I have been trying Grapefruit seed extract, but I just started using it recently, it's also pretty cheap. I will try the Vick's and see what happens. Thanks (08/17/2005)


Treating Toenail Fungus

Vicks vapor rub works. Apply to tops and underneath toe or fingernails if possible. Twice a day was recommended by Dr. Gott. I used it and it took about 5-6 months and it was sure cheaper than two doctors, and the expensive tubes of prescription, and over the counter meds that didn't work. I wish I had known about Vick's first. I might not have lost that toenail in the first place. But it has grown back and now I put Vick's on all my toenails every once in awhile at night to help keep them healthy. (02/22/2006)

By Vi Johnson

Treating Toenail Fungus with Vick's

Yes, Vick's Vapor Rub works. I have used Lamisil pills and the other oral prescription stuff. Also used Penlac. All failed. I have used Vick's for about 1 year now and the toenail fungus has cleared. I had this toenail fungus for about 10 years now. One suggestion, clip your nails quick to get to the fungus. Once I did this, it seemed to clear it up quicker. (09/26/2006)

By Steve

Treating Toenail Fungus

Vick's appears to have worked to cure or greatly help my toenail with fungus. I was faithful, started in Feb/06 putting Vick's on and under the toenail at bedtime. I used the blue painter's tape, one pc over and one around. In about July I decided it wasn't going to do any good, so I stopped. Soon after I noticed that the worst of the toenail was growing off. This November. I still have to file, can't cut the tough toenail, but it is no longer discolored and so importantly, for the first time in at least three years, it is not sore at all! I look forward to seeing my Dr.'s reaction, he talked about removing my toenail. I had used Penlac, also faithfully, for 10 months with no results. I'm happy! Texas is a sandal kind of place. (Oh, "Vick's salve" is just what the home folks used to call Vick's Vaporub.) Good luck. (11/04/2006)

By Fran

Treating Toenail Fungus

Just read on another site that if you use Listerine you should soak the nail in it for 30 minutes each day. It may take several months for results to show but relief from discomfort should happen quickly, but you don't want to miss a day as it can slow results. It also stated some people add a bit of vinegar to speed the process a bit. Some people will even take two teaspoons of vinegar orally to combat the fungus. (YUCK!) But considering the cost of other remedies, Listerine and vinegar are far cheaper. Haven't tried it myself but just may. Good luck! (04/10/2007)


Treating Toenail Fungus

So do you only use the Vick's only at bedtime? On and under the nail, then put tape over them, or not? Is this right? How long does it take to clear up? I have had this problem for 13 years and am so tired of it. I'm thinking about getting all my toenails removed and not having them grow back. (07/07/2007)

By suzanne

Treating Toenail Fungus

To imaqt1962, in answer to your question about the Vick's.

My adult son stayed with us for a year while recuperating from a back injury and surgery. He complained about his horrible toenail fungus. I told him about the Vick's remedy I had read about on ThriftyFun. He seriously doubted my sanity but thought "What the heck, it's cheap and easy" so he tried it. He faithfully rubbed it on and under the edge of his toenails every day after his shower. I think somewhere between 3 and 6 months he was amazed to see that the fungus was gone!

Since then I spoke to a podiatrist and he agreed that Vick's worked as well as the expensive prescription medication (that can cause liver damage!). He said many of his patients had opted to try the Vick's before using the prescription medication and all were successful, so he suggests that solution first. He said some patients are impatient and want to pop a pill to fix any problem they have which he thought was foolhardy, as the pill can cause damage while the Vick's is just a little time consuming and smelly, but so much safer! He just dried his feet, rubbed the Vick's on and under his toenails and put on a clean pair of white socks. (07/07/2007)

By Marge Mayhew

Treating Toenail Fungus

I am going to try to the Vick's. I have had this toe nail fungus on my left big toe for a year now. I hate it, it is so gross. I used a prescription med. and also some stuff the manicure lady gave me. Nothing has worked. I now will use the natural ways. My mom said she used Listerine and she is cured. (07/15/2007)

By music girl

Treating Toenail Fungus

I've paid as much as 25 bucks a bottle for nonyx that's suppose to work. I used for 4 months, didn't work at all. Thankfully the company gives money back, without a hassle either. I've been using mouthwash (generic brand), I alternate soaks every other day. The other days I use a paste made of cayenne pepper and vodka! Don't ask me why or how, but I've noticed a difference in only a week. I've had this problem for 4 years and I'm sick of it. So far these two remedies have shown a better improvement than anything out there and completely safe too! (07/29/2007)


Treating Toenail Fungus

I too can attest to the power of Vick's over fungus. It also worked to heal the cracked skin on my thumbs and heels and it is slowly removing the callouses from the sides of my feet. I use the Wal-Mart or Walgreen's version which have identical ingredients and cost lots less. (08/14/2007)

By Bill Threlkeld

Treating Toenail Fungus

Okay, after reading all this I am going to try Vick's. I don't even know if what I have is actually fungus, but part of my big toe nail is yellow. I read that if you can scrape smelly "gunk" from under your toenails it's also a sign of fungus. I've always had funky stuff under my toenails, but I thought it was dirt. Not until recently did my one of my toenails turn yellow. (11/28/2007)

By Sandie

Treating Toenail Fungus

To answer the questions I have seen regarding how to remove toenail fungus from shoes. My doctor informed me that I would have to throw away all my closed shoes. There is no way to remove the fungus. Other shoes such as flip flops, open toed sandals, and crocs are okay to keep. (01/06/2008)

Treating Toenail Fungus

We are using Listerine (recommended by mother's podiatrist) to soak my mom's toes. We soak for 30 minutes a day. He said to replace the Listerine every 2 weeks. We've only been doing this for 3 weeks. She complains that it is "so cold", but it is already working! The Dr. said it would take 9 - 12 months to work. We haven't tried the Vick's yet, but we will. (01/26/2008)

By stormorb91

Treating Toenail Fungus

Well, all I've got to say is, thank God for Vick's and Listerine! Thanks for all the fine research folks. Clean, healthy nails for everyone! (02/07/2008)

By Mr.CleanandHealthy Nails

Treating Toenail Fungus

After I shower and dry off, I use one end of a Q-tip dipped in a bottle of tea tree oil product by Sundown for one toe, then dip the other end in the bottle for my other toe. I only have it on both big toes. It takes a year for your toenail to grow out, but you will notice at the cuticle, clearing within three months about 1/8 inch, this worked great for me.

It's all gone and no more hurting. I tried another brand cause I ran out, and it didn't work. So try Sundown. Spread it all over your toenail. Tea tree oil can be used for many things and has been around for a long time. Have a good day. (02/22/2008)

By Mary

Treating Toenail Fungus

P.S. On using tea tree oil; it must be every day or every other day for a year. No need to cover it. (02/22/2008)

By Mary

Treating Toenail Fungus

I mixed a spray bottle of 50% Listerine (generic) and 50% white vinegar. I lay a towel on the floor and spray my toes while watching TV for about 30 minutes. I have seen more improvement in nail condition from this concoction than any other remedies. (03/14/2008)

By Rich

Treating Toenail Fungus

After 30+ years of toe nail fungus (and bottom of foot) the Vick's really works (on-going as I write). Took 2 weeks to notice a major difference, but relief (looks good too) is finally here. I hear in severe cases it may take longer than 30 days and I am patient. (03/15/2008)

By Scott

Treating Toenail Fungus

After 6 months of daily applications of Vick's vapor rub my toe nails are healed. My toe nails were actually turning black, and it seems like a miracle that they are white again. I cannot thank the podiatrist enough who recommended that I try Vick's vapor rub to heal the fungus infection. I encourage anyone who has this problem to try the same remedy. (05/21/2008)

By rudy puhalla

Treating Toenail Fungus

I've been using Vick's for 1 month. My entire toe nail was yellow, and black in some spots. I can tell it is working. 1/4 of the bottom of the nail is clearing up. (12/14/2008)

By Tammy

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