10 Ways to treat toenail infection at home {onychomycosis}

10 Ways to treat toenail infection at home {onychomycosis}

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Toenail infection of the nails can be an extremely persistent and embarrassing problem. Even wearing your favorite footwear can become awkward in public places. They can be painful too causing hindrances in your daily routine. You may notice your toenails turning unsightly, yellow, and peeling from the nail bed.

So, what exactly is going on? Why are my toenails yellow?

Well, you may have developed a nasty case of nail fungus known as athlete’s foot.

What is Athlete’s foot?

It refers to an infection that occurs when a fungus enters inside your nail bed making the nail appear thick, brittle, and yellow in appearance. The fungi tend to flourish in congested, warm, and moist environments. They often feed on keratin, which is a protein found in your hair, nails, as well as skin

As per a study, around 15% to 25% of people can develop an athlete’s foot at any one time.

What causes nail fungus?

This infection can be mildly contagious hence you should take extreme precautions when you are visiting public places such as beauty parlors, a gym, or a swimming pool.

Also, senior citizens as well as those with an underlying health condition such as Psoriasis, Diabetes, or impaired immune system are often found to be at a greater risk.

How to treat toenail fungal infection at home?

In case you are searching for the best way to cure toenail fungus at home, you need not worry. There are some excellent natural treatments that you can consider to minimize or even eliminate an athlete’s foot infection altogether. The success of these home remedies for nail fungus depends on the severity of your infection.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an amazing disinfectant and antifungal. This foot soak is simple and easy to make and should be done regularly to find relief from the nail fungus.


  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Warm water

How to prepare

Pour the warm water into the plastic tub. Add the hydrogen peroxide to the water. It might bubble slightly. Now place your feet in this foot soak and hold it for 20 minutes. Repeat this procedure 3-4 times a week.  

Baking Soda And Sea Salt

Baking soda has many uses and it is a great way to treat toenail fungus. It helps absorb the excess moisture in your foot that aids the fungus populate further. It also banishes bad foot odor. You can simply sprinkle some of this powder inside your socks before wearing your footwear.


  • Baking Soda
  • Warm Water
  • Sea Salt

How to prepare

Add warm water to the plastic tub. Mix about half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of sea salt in it. Soak your foot in this mixture for about 30 minutes. Baking soda and sea salt foot soak not only help fight foot fungus but it also aids detox. Sea salt has many minerals that help you relax. It is best to prepare this kind of foot soak at night when you may want to unwind.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are commonly used in healing a range of ailments. There are a number of oils that can be successfully used to treat nail fungus. Here are is a list of a few essential oils with disinfectant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

  • Oregano Oil
  • Neem Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Thyme Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Lemongrass Oil

How to prepare

You need a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil. The benefits of coconut oil are endless. You can even directly apply coconut oil on to your nail.

Simply mix 1 tsp of coconut oil (any carrier oil of your choice) with 2 drops of clove oil or any other essential oil mentioned above.

Soak cotton in this mixture and apply it to the infected area. Keep overnight.


Garlic has the magical ability to heal almost every ailment. There are many ways to eat garlic, just make sure you somehow include it in your include in your diet. It will definitely help strengthen you internally to fight off the toenail fungus. The compound named allicin present in it has antimicrobial properties that can disrupt the fungi lifecycle. It is easily available and equally easy to use.


 3-4 Garlic Peeled

How to prepare

Simply crush the garlic and make a fine paste. Apply this paste directly on the toenail infection. Leave on for as long as you can.


In case you have run out of other anti-bacterial ingredients at home, you can also try Listerine to fight off the nasty nail fungus. Listerine is an antiseptic mouthwash. It has been claimed to help reduce toenail fungus because it has ingredients that are antibacterial and antifungal in nature.


  • Water
  • Listerine

How to prepare

Mix half a tub of water and half a cup of Listerine together. Now you are required to soak your feet in this water. Keep your feet soaked in the mixture for about 30 minutes. Repeat every day.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Many have claimed to have successfully fought off the toenail infection using an apple cider vinegar foot soak for toenail infection. This may be due to its anti-fungal properties.


  • Water
  • Apple cider vinegar

How to prepare

Add the warm water and vinegar into the plastic tub. Soak your feet inside this mixture for 30 minutes. Repeat every day.

Olive Leaf Extract

Oleuropein is a compound found in the Olive leaf extract. This compound has immune-boosting, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.

All you need to do is take a low dosage of olive extract capsules everyday post after meals. Start by taking just one capsule of low dosage and then increase the dosage gradually.


There are a lot of people who claim bleach of being useful to kill off foot fungus. Although there are no concrete studies to support this claim.


  • Warm Water
  • Oregano Oil
  • Bleach

How to prepare

Mix some warm water and half a cup of bleach in a plastic tub. Add a couple of drops of oregano oil. Soak your feet for 20 minutes. Dry your feet properly post the soak. Repeat till your see results.

Vicks VapoRub

A small study examined the effect of mentholated ointments such as Vicks VapoRub on toenail fungus. All 18 of the study participants were satisfied with the result of using the rub on their toenail infection.

How to prepare

Every night before bed, rub some amount of Vicks VapoRub on your toenail infection.


Camphor has a wide range of uses due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Again it’s effects are similar to that of Vicks VapoRub, since Camphor is an important ingredient in the composition of Vicks VapoRub.


  • Vaseline
  • Camphor
  • Tea Tree Oil

How to prepare

Crush camphor tablets and mix them with a tsp of Vaseline. Add a drop of tea tree oil to it. Apply this mixture to the toenail infection. Try keeping it overnight.

How long does it take for a toenail infection to get cured?

Depending upon the severity of your infection the fungal infection may take anywhere between 6 months to 18 months to heal. In case you have a severe issue please do visit your nearest doctor. There are many medicines such as terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox) available to kill the toenail fungus. Please take a doctor’s prescription and avoid self-medicating.

Diet control to prevent toenail infection


    • Try eating healthy every day. Include fresh vegetables and fruits that are low in sugar.

    • Avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes and peas.

    • Stop eating sugar. Sugar in any form is bad.

    • Stay away from processed flours in your food and stick to whole grain bread.

    • Include sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt and, other such probiotic-rich foods in your meals. Take a probiotic supplement.


Mona has been a part of the health and beauty-related industry for many years and loves writing on topics related to natural DIY, skincare, haircare, makeup, and fashion.