People suffering from toenail fungus know how uncomfortable and annoying this condition is. Drugs prescribed for toenail fungus are often doing more harm than good, and this is why many individuals would rather choose a treating method that is less invasive and more natural. One of those methods is the using of apple cider vinegar (ACV). If you are wondering whether its effects on fungi is just a myth or not, you can find the answer below.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work for Toenail Fungus?
Yes, it does. After a toenail gets infected by fungus, the pH level of the nail and the skin around it becomes more alkaline, in favor of fungus who loves this kind of environment. However, once the pH level becomes acidic again, fungus will begin to die out, and that's why apple cider vinegar works for treating toenail fungus! Apple cider vinegar is acidic enough to kill fungi without being too harsh on the skin, and it also possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties, thus minimizing the chance of recurrent infection.
Tips and Precautions for Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Toenail Fungus
- If you want to use this vinegar, make sure you use it every single day, and don't expect your condition to go away instantly. Usually, the results become visible within the first 30 days, so you must be patient.
- If you want to get rid of the infection completely, you cannot stop applying ACV until the rotting nail is replaced by a healthy one. You should be able to be fungi-free after 3 months of using this treatment.
- Use organic ACV, since the pasteurized one won't give you the desired results.
- If you experience any irritation after applying the vinegar, mix it with a bit of water before applying.
- Those suffering from circulatory disorders shouldn't use this method without consulting their doctor beforehand.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Toenail Fungus
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
There are a few ways you can use the vinegar on its own, and here are 3 of them.
- Make a mixture of ACV and water in the proportion of 1:1. Put this mixture in a container that is large enough for your feet.
- Make sure your nails are thin and trimmed short before you opt for this method so that the vinegar will get below the nail more easily and work efficiently.
- Soak your feet in for half an hour, and then dry them with a towel.
- After drying the toes, massage them with tea tree oil.
- This treatment should be repeated a few times a day, but not more than 4 times. Don't reuse the same mixture! The solution is no longer considered hygienic after it's used.
Applying ACV Directly
Put a couple of ACV drops directly on the fungi-infected nail and let it air dry. Repeat the process no less than 2 times a day.
Direct application of the undiluted vinegar gives the best results in the long run; however, it should be combined with a little bit of water in case of an irritation.
You can fight the infection from the inside as well by consuming diluted vinegar as this helps boost your immunity.
Just make a solution by combining 2 tablespoons of it and 16 oz. of water. You can drink it as many times as you want! For a better taste, add a teaspoon of honey.
2. ACV and Copper Sulfate
- Mix 20 g of copper sulfate with 40 ml of vinegar.
- Put the solution into a 1-liter spray bottle and then fill the rest of it with water.
- Spray the infected toenail with this mixture and allow it to dry. Do this on a daily basis for best results.
3. ACV and Listerine
This is another way to use apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus.
- Pour some Listerine into a bowl and add an equal amount of vinegar to it.
- Mix it well. Then dip your toenails into the mixture and leave them in for 10-15 minutes.
- After removing them from the solution, scrub your nails and the area around them with a toothbrush and then let them dry thoroughly.
- Repeat the procedure twice a day if symptoms like pain, discoloration and swelling present, or if the nail is quite thick.
4. ACV and Baking Soda
- Dip your nails into the mixture made by 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water for 10-15 minutes. Then pat them with a towel.
- Next, combine a few tablespoons of baking soda with some water and dip your nails into the solution.
- Leave toenails in the solution for about 15-20 minutes, and then dry them fully.
- Repeat this twice a day to help kill fungi.
5. ACV, Peroxide, Vicks and Antibiotic Ointment
- Make a solution by mixing 1 cap of ACV and 1 cap of peroxide.
- Immerse a q-tip into the solution and use it to rub the infected nail and the skin around it 3 times a day.
- Make sure you also buy some antibiotic ointment and use it during the day.
- During the night, you should use Vicks Vapo rub which you can secure with a Band-Aid.
If you follow these steps correctly, the results should be seen within a week.
6. ACV and Rice Flour
- Make a paste by mixing 2-3 teaspoons of ACV with rice flour.
- Apply the paste to the infected area and scrub carefully so that dead cells can get exfoliated.
- Let the paste sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off and drying your toenail completely.
- Repeat the treatment on a daily basis.
7. ACV, Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax
Here's another way to use apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus!
- Just add 1/4 cup of ACV, 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide into the hot water with 2 tablespoons of Borax dissolved.
- Stir well, and submerge your toenails in it for 30 - 45 minutes.
- Then dry them with a towel using patting motions.
- Keep repeating the method every day until fungi are no longer there.
8. ACV and Epsom Salt
Epsom salt exfoliates the nail and the skin around it, thus helping ACV work better.
- Mix 1/3 cup of both Epsom salt and vinegar with 2 cups of hot water.
- Stir the solution well and leave your toes in it for half an hour.
- Repeat once or twice a day.