According to Google keyword planner, a tool that shows the number of people who are searching for particular terms per month, over 10,000 people in the United States is Googling the term “how to use Hydrogen Peroxide for nail fungus as well as other terms such as Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Nail Fungus” among others.
This is not a surprise because nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, accounts for almost 50 percent of all nail problems hence is the most common nail problem. It affects at least 14% of any population at a particular time, according to a survey conducted in 2014. Onychomycosis affects about 24% of the European population each year and millions of dollars are spent on several treatment options of nail fungus annually.
Nail fungus affects the toenails more than the fingernails. It usually starts as a rather inconspicuous white or yellow spot beneath the tip of the nail and would quickly develop to cause nail discoloration, thickening, as well as crumbling. This makes the nail very ugly and could also be quite painful especially when in shoes. This fungus thrives in a warm, moist, and dark environment, hence any crack in the nail, sweaty foot of hand, old shoes, etc. are contributing factors.
The treatment of nail fungus is very challenging. It spreads quite easily and very fast and normally would take months to be cured, yet the rate of reoccurrence is alarmingly high. There are not too many treatments that truly cures nail fungus by destroying the root of the fungus. Some of the effective treatment options include medications, over-the-counter products, and home remedies.
More often than not, medications available for the treatment of nail fungus have diverse adverse effects; some of which could include damages to internal organs of the body. Home remedies are mostly natural products hence are largely without side effects yet effectively treat nail fungus. They are mostly common household items and cheaper than other treatment options.
Causes of nail fungus
Several factors contribute to the growth of nail fungus including:
- Old age: older folks are more prone to nail fungus. One of the peculiarities of old age is excessively dry nails which therefore causes cracks in the nails. These cracks are breeding grounds for nail fungus. In addition to this, blood flow to the body extremes reduces as we age. A key aspect of the blood is white blood cells which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases hence keeping the body healthy. As blood flow to the fingers and toes reduces, white blood cells are hindered in their ability to fight off infections, hence, a fungus that gets in nail cracks thrives. Regular exercises will improve blood flow and consistent moisturization of the nails will keep them from excessive dryness.
- A weakened or suppressed immune system: the defense system of the body is the immune system. The immune system can get tired or suppressed for several reasons including old age and underlying health issues such as diabetes. When this happens, the body’s ability to keep itself safe is greatly compromised giving room for infections such as nail fungus to thrive.
- Lack of proper nail care: proper nail care is key both to the prevention and treatment of nail fungus. Nail fungus does well in an environment that is dark, moist, and warm, therefore, it must not be presented with any of these things. Keep your fingers and toes properly trimmed, clean, and dry. Some places are high-risk factors for nail fungus; take necessary precautions in these places. For example, do not walk barefoot in a local swimming pool or a locker room.
- Sweaty hands or feet: sweaty foot or hand provides the fungus with one of the key factors it needs to prosper, moist environment. When this is in the shoe, other factors – warmth and reduced light come into play hence fungus will thrive. Therefore, keep your hands and feet as dry as possible. An antifungal powder can be put in your socks or shoes to absorb moisture. Socks and shoes made from breathable materials will also help to keep moisture level around the feet down.
- Old shoes: these are exactly the kind of habitats fungus wants. Treat old shoes with an antifungal powder or a disinfectant if you can’t discard them entirely.
- History of athlete’s foot: if you have a record of athlete’s foot, you are more prone to nail fungus.
- Genetics: genetics is a key player in many diseases and infections.
Home remedies for nail fungus
Aside from using hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus, there are several effective home remedies for nail fungus; a large chunk of which will be discussed below. Before we get into this, let’s look at nail preparation.
When treating nail fungus, the first step is the preparation of the infected nail(s).
- Trimming: nail trimming involves cutting of the nail especially the most affected parts. Trim the nail as short as possible but do not make it too short. For a severe nail fungus, a long-handled clipper or scissors is better to avoid the nail fungus jumping on other nails.
- Filing: one of the symptoms of nail fungus is a thickened nail. Filing away layers of the nail helps to get rid of more of the infected nail as well as increase the effectiveness of topical solutions by reducing the surface area of the nail.
- Washing: after trimming and filing, wash all debris off the nail and the surrounding skin. Use soap and warm water for the washing and reach for the edges and cracks properly.
- Drying: dry the nail gently but thoroughly
Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Nail Fungus? The answer is a big yes. Hydrogen peroxide is rich in antiseptic and antifungal properties contributing to its use as an antifungal and bleaching agent. Though scientific evidence is not totally convincing, testimonies abound on the effectiveness of using hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus treatment. The fungus is destroyed and a new healthy nail will replace the infected after consistent and proper use of hydrogen peroxide.
How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus
Hydrogen peroxide can be used separately or in combination with other active antifungal agents such as vinegar.
Hydrogen peroxide foot or hand soak
Soaking the affected nail in hydrogen peroxide will increase the oxygen level around the infection which is hostile to nail fungus. This is called an oxidate therapy.
- Get hydrogen peroxide with concentration level not higher than 3% to prevent skin damage
- Dilute hydrogen peroxide with warm water in a bucket or basin
- Soak the affected hand or foot in the hydrogen peroxide solution for about half an hour at least once a day
- Then dry the nails thoroughly
Combination of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus
- Combine a maximum of 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration, vinegar, and warm water in a bucket. Soak the affected nails in it for about 10 minutes and dry the nail afterward.
- The second option which is considered the better option involves alternating a foot or hand soak in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water and a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Soak the affected nail in hydrogen peroxide solution a day and in vinegar solution the following day. keep alternating it this way.
Apart from using hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus treatment, you can also use essential oils one of which is the coconut oil. Coconut oil is a carrier oil with myriads of benefits. It has abundant antioxidant and antifungal properties. Coconut oil relieves the pain associated with nail fungus, destroys the fungus, and a new healthy nail will replace the infected one. This oil can be used both topically and internally without any side effects. When using coconut oil for treating nail fungus, especially internal usage, it is imperative to get one that is organic, unrefined, and cold-pressed, as well as 100% pure.
Treating nail fungus with coconut oil
Moisturization: an excessively dry nail is one of the causes of nail fungus. Moisturizing the affected nail with coconut oil every day will slowly but surely heal nail fungus. Apply coconut oil to the cuticle and nail bed. Leave for about 20 – 25 minutes or put a bandage over it for adequate absorption
Oral consumption: for oral consumption, make sure you get a 100% pure, organic, and unrefined coconut oil. For internal usage, coconut oil can be used in cooking or consumed directly. In the body, coconut oil boosts the infection-fighting ability of the body by unleashing its antifungal properties.
If using hydrogen peroxide nail fungus isn’t working for you, you can also try the popular Baking Soda as a home remedy for nail fungus. Baking soda is an effective alternative home remedy for nail fungus. It is a very common household item and is very cheap yet it is loaded with antifungal properties that help it destroy nail fungus.
Using baking soda for nail fungus
- Make a paste by adding a few drops of water to baking soda
- Apply the paste on the affected nail for at least once in 24 hours
- Leave for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off
- Dry the nail gently and thoroughly
Tea tree oil
Have you tried using hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus as well as baking soda and coconut oil without result? Maybe it is time to try tea tree oil. Tea tree oil ranks among the most effective home remedies for nail fungus. It is by all measures my favorite. It is an essential oil gotten from the ancient Australian tea tree.
Its powerful antiseptic and antifungal properties are scientifically proven. Tea tree oil is used in the treatment of diverse skin and nail problems. A key component of tea tree oil is terpene-4-ol which effectively kills microorganisms as well as relives the pain. It destroys nail fungus and guarantees prevention as far as proper nail hygiene is maintained. It is very safe and mostly has no side effects.
Using tea tree oil for nail fungus
- Dilution: being a very active ingredient, tea tree oil could cause skin irritation if applied directly to the affected area. To avoid such irritation, use carrier oil e.g. jojoba oil and coconut oil to dilute tea tree oil. Add about six drops of the carrier oil to one or two drops of tea tree oil depending on your skin reaction.
- Coating: coat the affected area with a thin layer of the diluted tea tree oil using an applicator brush to avoid a spread. Make sure only a thin layer is applied because excessive usage could cause irritation.
- Leave to dry: following the application of tea tree oil, wait for about 5 – 10 minutes to ensure the oil is not wiped off by socks or shoes.
Note: as already noted, some people notice irritation after using tea tree oil. If you notice irritation, dilute the oil more or use even lesser quantity. If irritation persists nonetheless, you may consider another home remedy. You can do a small patch test to see the reaction of your skin. Apply tea tree oil to a tiny portion of your forearm; if no irritation is noticed after 24 hours, then you are not likely to see any irritation when you use tea tree oil for treating nail fungus.
Garlic is such a useful item in the home. Its health benefits are numerous e.g. lowering cholesterol and boosting the body’s immunity. Garlic is rich in antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It is perfectly fit for internal usage. a key component of garlic that contributes to its effectiveness against nail fungus is allicin. Allicin destroys tinea pedis, one of the most harmful microbes existing in fungus.
Using garlic for nail fungus
- Garlic cloves: wearing garlic cloves in socks or gloves overnight works perfectly for nail fungus at its early phase.
- Crushed garlic: put crushed garlic on the affected nail and let it remain for about 30 minutes. It will treat any level of nail fungus.
- Garlic powder: put it in your socks or shoes.
- Garlic oil: direct application of garlic oil to the infected area also works for any level of nail fungus.
Note: all the four options above can also be consumed to boost the body’s ability to fight infection by itself.
Lavender oil destroys the cell walls of the fungus responsible for nail fungus, dermatophytes, and candida. For the assured treatment of nail fungus, ensure what you get is pure lavender oil; not lavender fragranced oils. It is one of the safest oils and heals fast. It boosts immunity and improves blood flow.
Apply two drops of lavender oil to the infected nail at least three times daily – let the oil get beneath the nail very well. lavender oil can be combined with other oils for more powerful action.
Vinegar fights nail fungus by increasing the pH level of the nail above the upper limit of fungus.
Do a foot or hand soak of about 20 minutes in a basin of vinegar and warm water. Vinegar can as well be applied directly to the affected nail.
Olive leaf extract
Olive leaf extract contains components such as oleuropein, tyrosol, and hydroxytyrosol, all of which help to fight nail fungus. Oleuropein, in particular, interferes with the ability of the fungus to replicate hence impeding its growth
Apply olive leaf extract directly to the affected nail or take the capsules internally.
This is also a very powerful essential oil loaded with antifungal properties. If not diluted properly with a carrier oil can also cause skin irritation.
Rub diluted oregano oil on the affected area at least twice a day.
Snakeroot extract, gotten from a snakeroot plant, is loaded with antifungal properties.
Snakeroot extract can be applied directly to the affected area or you can have a foot or hand soak in a mixture of snakeroot extract and warm water.
Cinnamon is loaded with antifungal and antiperspirant properties making it a viable remedy for nail fungus.
Boil 20 sticks of cinnamon for 5 minutes and leave to cool for about 40 minutes. Have a foot or hand soak for about 25 minutes when the temperature is low enough.
Other home remedies include bleach, Mouthwash, Listerine, Cornmeal, etc.
Proper nail care is fundamental to the treatment as well as the prevention of nail fungus hence it is important to keep nails well-trimmed, clean, and as dry as possible. Do not walk barefoot in public places such as a locker room or a local swimming pool among other nail care principles. With the proper nail care, the above home remedies will effectively treat nail fungus and the chance of reoccurrence will be marginal.