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How to Get Rid of Fungus Underneath Toenails

Dr. Kline & Green Team
27 April 2020
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Getting rid of a fungus infection underneath your toenails requires attention and persistence, especially once it has reached the nail bed. Ask your healthcare provider, dermatologist, or podiatrist about effective treatment options, including oral antifungals like terbinafine (Lamisil), itraconazole (Sporanox), and (Diflucan). These oral medications enable new nail growth free of infection, slowly replacing the nail with a healthy nail, and they have few side effects. Typically, you’ll need to take the medication for six to 12 weeks and successful treatment won’t be apparent until the new nail has grown in completely. There are also antifungal FDA-approved nail polishes you may apply directly to an affected nail. Laser treatments are another option.

Prescription topical treatments include efinaconazole (Jublia), tavaborole (Kerydin) and ciclopirox (Penlac). All require daily application. In case of a severe and persistent fungal infection your doctor may recommend surgical removal of the infected nail. You will be prescribed an antifungal cream to apply to the area as the new nail grows in.

Over-the-counter and home remedies

Fungal nail infections and foot fungus, including athlete’s foot, are very common and there are many topical fungus treatments you may want to try at home. For minor infections, many of these remedies are effective when applied with patience and persistence. As with prescription medications, you won’t see results until the new nail has grown in fully.

Many topical medications with antifungal properties are effective against toenail fungal infection (onychomycosis) that causes fungi to appear on the nails. The underlying fungal growth from dermatophytes may often respond to these home remedies:

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca, is an essential oil that has been used for many years to treat and improve skin conditions, especially fungal infections. Small-scale clinical studies suggest that the antiseptic qualities of tea tree oil may be an effective home remedy for toenail fungus.


With ingredients including menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus, all with demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties, Listerine is a popular folk remedy for toenail fungus and, with the addition of white vinegar, a treatment for green discoloration in nails.


Vicks VapoRub, a topical ointment containing camphor and eucalyptus oil, is formulated to suppress coughing, but its active ingredients have helped many treat toenail fungus.

When the toenail fungus is gone, at last

Once you’re rid of your toenail fungus you can celebrate your effective treatment and commitment to good nail health by protecting your toenails against re-infection. You might want to start with a clean and hygienic pedicure, whether at a nail salon or at home. Be gentle with your cuticles, the first line of defense against bacteria; clip toenails short and straight across the top; trim any ingrown nail carefully; file calluses with a clean pumice stone; and thoroughly clean and sterilize all pedicure tools after each use.

If you frequent a gym or swimming pool and use a locker room, don’t forget to wear flip-flops to avoid picking up any fungal infection anyone else has left behind. And don’t forget to disinfect your shoes and wear a clean pair of socks every day!

Prevention of any type of fungus infection of your toenails is much easier than treatment.  Clear + Restore by Doctors Kline + Green is one way you can keep your toenails clean and strong today and part of our line of products including hand sanitizers and nail strengtheners.

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