Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Sometimes, because current treatments can take a long time to work and aren't always effective, people turn to home remedies. Two remedies purported to help nail fungus are vinegar and Vicks VapoRub.
- Vinegar. While there's no direct evidence that a vinegar soak can cure nail fungus, some studies have shown that it can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria. Experts suggest soaking your feet for 15 to 20 minutes in a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts warm water. Be sure to rinse well and pat your feet dry when you're done. You can soak your feet like this daily. But if your skin becomes irritated, try soaking only two to three times a week.
- Vicks VapoRub. As with vinegar, there have been no controlled clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of Vicks VapoRub on nail fungus, but there have been numerous anecdotal reports that it works. There's no consensus on how often to apply this product, so check with your doctor before using it on your nails.
- Onychomycosis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec10/ch125/ch125c.html?qt=nail%20fungus&alt=sh. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Goldstein AO, et al. Onychomycosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Nail problems. American Podiatric Medical Association. http://www.apma.org/MainMenu/Foot-Health/Foot-Health-Brochures-category/Learn-About-Your-Feet/Nail-Problems.aspx. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Kelechi TJ, et al. Four Vs for foot care. Vaseline, vegetable shortening, vinegar and Vicks VapoRub. Advance for Nurse Practitioners. 2004;12:67.
- Derby R, et al. Novel treatment of onychomycosis using over-the-counter mentholated ointment: A clinical case series. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2011;24:69.
- Habif TP. Nail diseases. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do? about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Hay RJ, et al. Onychomycosis: A proposed revision of the clinical classification. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2011. In press. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleListURL&_method=list&_ArticleListID=1761598027&_sort=r&_st=13&view=c&_acct=C000010878&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=130561&md5=e8df8bcde3b532684246542bf6609d1a&searchtype=a. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Baran R. The nail in the elderly. Clinics in Dermatology. 2011;29:54.