A minor case of toenail fungus (or onychomycosis) may not need much medical attention, especially if you aren’t bothered by it. In certain circumstances, however, toenail fungus can be painful and ruin the appearance of your nails, considering that it lifts your nail away from the nail bed.
The good news is, there are myriad treatment options for fungal infections. Let’s take home remedies for example. They are easy to use and don’t require visiting a doctor for a blood test or taking any harmful medicines. Among the many available home remedies for toenail fungus, bleach remains the most popular and trusted solution.
But Is Bleach Effective?
Many people turn to bleach to treat toenail fungus because it is a readily available household item and inexpensive, especially when compared to other over-the-counter drugs. But does it work?
Well, bleach is ranked as one of the best cleaning agents that can kill fungus spores in your kitchen, giving you a healthy kitchen. This is the main reason why people use it to treat toenail fungus infections.
Besides killing the fungus spores, bleach restores your natural nail color. Because of its bleaching power, it eliminates the discoloration, giving you clean and healthy-looking toenails.
Most importantly, bleach is a potent antiseptic that is known to kill all kinds of microbes. This means that it will eliminate whatever kind of fungus is causing the toenail infection.
How to Use Bleach
Mix one tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water and soak the affected toenails in it for 15-30 minutes.
If you feel some mild irritation, you can add more water to the solution. You should then wash your toenails with soap and water, rinse, and dry carefully afterward.
The procedure should be done once or twice a day for a few weeks until there are notable changes. After the toenail infection has cleared, continue for 2 or more weeks to ensure complete elimination.
To get the most out of this treatment option, there are a few precautions that you should take:
- Never soak your toenail in undiluted bleach or apply directly to your toenails as it can be dangerous and damaging. The only exception to this tip is when using bleach pens. Most of them are not as concentrated as straight bleaches.
- Avoid the temptation of using bleach to whiten your toenails as it has too many risks. Remember that bleach is corrosive and using it as nail whitening treatment is never a good idea.
- While some people apply bleach directly to their toenails to achieve faster results, soaking your toes in a bleach solution (diluted with water) is highly recommended. Reason: it allows ample time for the bleach to penetrate your toenails.
- Be cautious with any bleach solution that you’ve never used.
For people looking for DIY or home-based solutions for toenail fungus, bleach is all you need. However, you should be patient! Toenail fungus may sometimes not go away completely.
Besides using bleach as discussed above, follow basic toenail care practices like wearing good quality footwear, keeping your feet fresh and dry with powder, avoiding walking barefoot near public bathing areas, avoiding cutting your nails too close to the skin, and wearing good breathable shoes.