Toenail fungus can be awful to deal with. The infection starts off as a white or yellow spot and the fungus progressively spreads over your nail causing discomfort and pain. When toenail fungus is not treated in its early stages, it eventually grows to cover the entire nail causing the skin around to become tender and sore. Thankfully, there are home remedies one can apply to treat and manage this issue. The most common remedy applied is the use of hydrogen peroxide.
What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide (HP) is a solution that consists of oxygen and water. HP is a strong oxidizer and in lower concentrations, it can be used for beauty and health purposes. Higher concentration of HP can be used to bleach teeth and also remove stubborn stains when cleaning. This solution is common in many houses. In our case, you need to get Hydrogen Peroxide in a concentration of 3% to treat toenail fungus.
How Hydrogen Peroxide Works For Toenail Fungus?
The use of hydrogen peroxide to treat toenail fungus is known as oxidation therapy. When applied at the affected toe, the HP oxidizes microorganisms that cause toenail fungus and kills them in the process. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective solution that when applied on infected skin or nail, it has the ability to eliminate both bacteria and fungus. For HP to be effective when treating toenail fungus, you need to soak the affected area in the solution for about 30 minutes every day.
Before using the oxidation therapy, ensure that choose hydrogen peroxide that comes in lower concentration. Using more concentrated HP over a long period of time is not safe and may have side effects.
How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide on Toenail Fungus
There two methods you can use hydrogen peroxide to treat nail fungus.
The first method is soaking the affected toenail in 3% of HP solution. Before you do this, ensure that you clean the infected toenail and allow it to completely dry. Then soak the affected toe in the solution for around 30 minutes. If you choose to do this twice a day, soak the infected toenail in the solution for 15 minutes two times a day. Some people have sensitive skin and using hydrogen peroxide on the skin can cause irritation. To avoid irritation, mix the HP solution with equal amounts of water. Doing this may reduce the effectiveness of the remedy but it will definitely minimize skin irritation.
The second method you can use HP for nail fungus is to mix the solution with 5% vinegar. This combination is much more effective. Mix equal amounts of HP and vinegar to make the remedy. To apply the mixture, first, clean the affected area and let the area dry completely. Soak the affected nail(s) in the solution for a few minutes. For best results, do this every day.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Hydrogen peroxide in itself is a safe remedy when used to treat toenail fungus. However, there are people whose skin is more sensitive than others and may experience side effects associated with using hydrogen peroxide. Common side effects include redness, irritation and stinging. In case you experience side effects when using HP, you can either try diluting the solution with water to reduce its strength or stop using the solution altogether. There are very rare cases of allergic reactions caused by HP. The few cases reported indicating that symptoms for allergic reactions include swelling, rash and itching. If you happen to get these reactions, you should stop using the HP solution and consult your dermatologist immediately.
Preventing Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is mostly caused by exposing your feet to warm, damp environments for a long period of time. Some people are in a hurry to get out of the bathroom and dress that they don’t properly dry their feet before putting on socks and shoes. The moisture in the feet offers the perfect conditions for fungus to grow leading to nail infections.
Prevention is better than cure. To prevent developing toenail fungus, always clean your feet after you remove your shoes at the end of a strenuous day. Washing your feet cleans off any sweat that may have accumulated during the day. After washing, dry your feet completely and wear open shoes around the house. If you are under treatment for toenail fungus, also make sure that you keep your feet as clean and dry as possible. Avoid sharing toe clipping tools since toenail fungus is contagious.
Additional Tips For Treating And Preventing Nail Fungus:
- Keep your nails short and clean
- Spray your shoes and gloves with anti-fungal sprays on a regular basis
- Cover your toes when outside
- Disinfect toenail clippers with alcohol and hot water every time you use them
- Wear clean socks every day
If you have toenail fungus that does not seem to go away, chances are high that you are not using the right remedies to manage it. You may be using hydrogen peroxide, but if there are no positive results, you may be applying it the wrong way. To avoid reinfections, apply the preventative measures mentioned above.