Treating Nail Fungus With Hydrogen PeroxideFaizan Khan
Hydrogen peroxide is a light blue chemical that is an essential part of every household and is increasingly becoming a go-to solution for all sorts of problems.
It started as a mere house cleaning supply but is now being used for extensive purposes, including hair-bleaching, drain unclogging, teeth whitening, and nail and foot treatment.
According to Cleveland Clinic, nail fungus accounts for 50% of all nail issues and affects 1 in every ten people. Therefore, there is a high chance that you are scouring through this guide in search of a nail fungus solution.
What’s alarming is that toenail fungus is contagious, which means there is a high likelihood of you affecting a family member or friend. Therefore, we recommend that you jump right onto the hydrogen peroxide treatments to avoid any more troubles.
What Is Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus is professionally known as ‘Onychomycosis,’ and according to Infection Control Today — it affects 12 million Americans.
This fungal nail infection can spread to the nails from various organisms, including yeasts, fungi, and dermatophytes (mold). The spread of the infection usually occurs when these organisms come into contact with a skin surrounding the nail or a cracked nail.
According to a 2004 Nail Hygiene Survey, 52% of the respondents reported symptoms of a highly contagious nail fungus or infection, but only 15% discussed their nail care issues with a physician.
Looking into these startling statistics, we recommend that you care for your nails using hydrogen peroxide at home.
Causes of Toenail Fungus
There are several causes of toenail fungus, some of which you can train yourself to avoid.
1. A weak immune system
The immune system is the defense mechanism of the body and protects the body from external attacks. However, the immune system can become worn out and lower its barriers due to several reasons, including old age, bad diet, or underlying health issues.
Therefore, to prevent nail fungus, it would be best to ensure that you maintain a healthy body through a good diet and good sleep.
2. Insufficient Nail Care
Fungus is most easily attracted from dark, moist, and warm habitats, which include but are not limited to swimming pools and locker rooms.
Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that in such places, you do not walk barefoot.
Moreover, it would be best if you kept your nails trimmed, dry, and clean. To ensure they are thoroughly disinfected, we recommend that you carry out hydrogen peroxide nail cleanses daily or weekly.
3. Sweaty Hands or Feet
Since fungi thrive in moist settings, your sweaty hands and feet are an ideal place for them to prosper. They especially prefer sweaty shoes for their habitat because of the favorable factors of reduced sunlight and increased warmth.
Therefore, we recommend that you clean your shoes with hydrogen peroxide daily and place antifungal powder in your shoes and socks to absorb the moisture.
4. Old Age
Every 1 in 2 people over the age of 70 are affected by onychomycosis, which means a 50% threat rate for the elderly.
This is because the elderly have extremely dry nails, which lead to cracks in the nails and provide an easy opening for fungi. Moreover, the blood flow to the body also reduces.
This blood flow includes white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off bacteria and infection. Hence, once the fungi are in the territories of the nails, it finds it easy to prosper.
Therefore, the elderly must exercise regularly to maintain a healthy blood flow. Moreover, consistent moisturizing of the nails will be essential. A step further would be to disinfect the nails regularly with hydrogen peroxide to eliminate even the slight traces of onychomycosis.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide an Effective Treatment for Nail Fungus?
Since the 1920s, hydrogen peroxide has been known for its disinfecting and antibacterial properties; and it was religiously used to treat wounds and cuts until recently.
However, its antifungal properties have been given a closer inspection in recent times, and the antibacterial properties have been found to eliminate onychomycosis from the nails. Moreover, hydrogen peroxide also encourages the damaged section of the nails to grow out, so it is easy to trim it off.
Hydrogen peroxide has the potential to heal your nails within weeks or months, depending on the intensity of the fungal infection.
It is also advised that you continue to use this hydrogen peroxide treatment, even once the nails have been declared fungi-free. This is a precautionary measure to prevent any future fungal attractions.
How to Use Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Nail Fungus?
This fungus fighting duo will provide the best relief for you. This is because vinegar is an acidic solution that is notorious for soothing itching as well as reviving the pH balance of your nails and skin.
These properties then aid hydrogen peroxide in creating an environment where the possibility for the fungus to survive is nonexistent, hence wiping out onychomycosis.
Moreover, apple cider vinegar reduces the inflammation caused by the nail fungus, effectively reducing the pain.
Grab the Ingredients
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- White vinegar/ Apple cider vinegar
- Distilled water
- Plastic tub or container
There are two ways to use these two components to kill off fungi. We recommend that you use the first method as the second one can be dangerous under certain circumstances. For example, under certain conditions intermixing hydrogen peroxide with vinegar can create peracetic acid, a corrosive acid.
- Grab a plastic container and pour in equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and distilled water.
- Soak the fungus infected nails in this mixture for around 10 minutes
- The following day, get a plastic container and pour in equal amounts of vinegar and distilled water.
- Proceed to soak your fungal-infected nails in the solution for 10 minutes.
- You must keep alternating between the two solutions until the fungal infection subsides.
- Get ahold of a plastic tub, and pour in equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide, distilled water, and vinegar.
- Similar to method 1, you must dip your nails in this solution for around 10 minutes.
- Completely dry your nails with tissue paper before covering them.
- Remember to dispose of the tissue paper once it is used.
How to Use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Nail Fungus?
You were probably expecting these two elements to partner up in this war against the fungi. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are very compatible disinfecting duo, and they work effectively to eliminate fungi.
This is because baking soda contains antifungal properties that balance your skin’s pH levels and prevent the growth of fungi.
Grab the Ingredients
- 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- ½ a cup baking soda
- 4 cups lukewarm water
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup Epsom salt
- Plastic container or tub
- Grab a plastic container and throw in the mentioned amounts of baking soda, peroxide, vinegar, Epsom salt, and water.
- Stir the ingredients using a wooden spatula or plastic spoon until it is a well-combined mixture.
- Thoroughly soak your nails in the solution for around 10 minutes.
- Dry your nails using tissue paper before you cover them up.
- Ensure that you dispose of the used tissue paper. Moreover, make sure that you use a concentration level of over 3% hydrogen peroxide to avoid damage to your nails.
How to Soak Your Feet in Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Fungal Infection?
If you want to indulge in a mini spa session, this method will be most suitable for you!
On a more serious note, this at-home spa session is an ‘Oxidative Therapy’ for your feet. The increased oxygen levels that your feet are awarded result in the suffocation and elimination of the fungi.
Grab the Ingredients
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Distilled water
- A plastic container or tub
- Tissues or Towel
- Grab a plastic tub, and spill equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide, and distilled water into it.
- Soak your feet in the solution for around 30 minutes.
- Once the timer is up, dry your feet using a towel or tissue paper. Make sure to wash the towel or dispose of the tissue paper.
- Once your nails are dry, cover them up.
- Repeat this procedure every day until the fungal infection subdues, and continue to use the treatment once it does.
If you do not have the patience to sit through a 30 minutes foot bath, you could spray your feet with diluted hydrogen peroxide. Make sure to allow your feet to air dry.
Everyday Tips To Subdue and Prevent Nail Fungus
You can take several small actions every day to help prevent the invasion of a fungal infection, and we have highlighted some that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.
- Ensure that your fingers and toes are covered when you are outdoors.
- Keep your nails trimmed and clean.
- Make sure to thoroughly dry your hands and feet after washing them.
- Spray some antifungal solutions on your footwear and handwear to eliminate any lingering or intruding fungi.
- Make it a strict habit to completely dry your gloves, shoes, and socks after being washed. As discussed earlier, moisture is the biggest attraction to fungi.
- Disinfect your shoes, socks as well as nail tools using hydrogen peroxide.
How to Clean Your Foot Tools Using Hydrogen Peroxide?
There is a great possibility that your foot tools could be carrying the fungi and could be the reason why your fungal infection continues to persist despite repeated treatments.
Moreover, through your foot and nail tools, the fungi could be passed on to another person using them.
If you are enjoying a hydrogen peroxide foot bath, the tools could join you. Alternatively, after you have used the tools, you can leave them in 3% hydrogen peroxide for an hour or overnight.
How to Clean Your Shoes and Shower Using Hydrogen Peroxide?
Your shoes are an ideal breeding ground for hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, they are a natural habitat for both odors and germs.
To nullify all the above, you can spray your shoes with 3% hydrogen peroxide once in a while. However, a more effective approach to disinfecting shoes was soaking them in a 3% hydrogen peroxide and distilled water mixture.
Liquid substances can ruin leather shoes, and therefore be careful not to throw in a leather pair into a pool of mixtures. Moreover, avoid spraying them with a hydrogen peroxide mixture because this too will damage the leather shoes.
Your shower stalls also contain germs and bacteria, and therefore it would be only fair if you spray them with hydrogen peroxide alongside your shoes!
Side Effects of Using Hydrogen Peroxide on Your Nails
Hydrogen peroxide may effectively heal your fungal infection, however, it may also cause some side effects in the process. If you have particularly sensitive skin, you must consult with a physician before carrying on these treatments.
The risk of using hydrogen peroxide is as follows:
- There is a high likelihood of skin irritation, even with concentration levels as low as 3%. This will include redness, stinging, and mild itching.
- It may result in dried feet and cracked heels.
- Hydrogen peroxide may also cause your skin to peel.
If you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms, we advise that you use a concentration level lower than 3%. You can also further dilute hydrogen peroxide with water to reduce its concentration level.
If you have been consistent in your hydrogen peroxide treatments, there is a good chance that you have gotten rid of the yellow spots and discolorations that had taken over your nails.
Do remember to continue using the treatment even if you are now fungal-free. After all, precautions can’t cause any damage to your health.
Now that you are no longer contagious, off you go to treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure!