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Toenail/foot fungus on one foot

Toenails on left foot have been severely affected for years. They are thick, yellowish and crumbly. I keep them clean and dry and soak them in vinegar water a few times a week (although I have not been faithful). There is hardening of the skin around the big toe and bottom heel area, which are prone to cracking. The right foot is healthy, however.  

I moisturize and keep my feet clean and dry, and understand I can probably never rid the foot of the fungus. Is there anything I can do or take in terms of supplements or external application to at least minimize the problem. I take yoga and pilates and sometimes refrain from doing so when I am embarrassed about this problem.

I am a 67 year old female but age is not really a factor since this has been a recurring situation since my 30's.

Thanks for any advice you might have.

Any suggestions are welcome!
5 Responses
Avatar universal
The preferred conventional oral treatment is Sporanox pulse therapy  daily for a week followed by a three week rest, repeated for three months. A clipped nail sample should be sent for culture before treatment. Expect a 60% to 70% cure rate. It’s unsafe for people with heart disease, may damage the liver, and interacts with other drugs. So your doctor has to watch carefully!

Consider tea tree oil, a safe natural over the counter remedy. It’s a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent. Apply  with a clean Q-tip twice a day. Use for three to six months. Be sure to keep your nails trimmed.

Tea tree oil may not have as high a cure rate as Sporanox and it’s not as well studied …  because it’s not a drug! However, if it works for you, you’re in business.

A safe but pricier topical treatment available by prescritpion is Penlac.  Apply twice a day for eight to twelve months.

To prevent toenail fungus, avoid tight fitting shoes. Wear flip flops in communal showers and dry thoroughly. Apply antifungal powder to soles of feet and in between toes.


Because toenail fungus usually comes from going barefoot in moist public places or from sharing shoes, the best way to avoid this problem is through practicing good hygiene.

1. Wear cotton or wool socks, which will stay drier and air out more easily. And change them frequently throughout the day—at least two or three times a day.
2. Air out your shoes whenever you take them off. Open up the shoestrings, loosen the tongue of your shoes, and remove the insoles to promote thorough drying.
3. Wash your feet often and dry them well afterwards. Make sure to use ample foot powder, if needed, especially between the toes.
4. Never walk barefoot in public bathrooms or shower areas. Wear some waterproof sandals around the pool and in the locker room

Bag Balm

This mixture is great for fixing dry cracked hands, elbows, and feet. I use it myself every night in the winter for chapped lips. For more serious cases, apply a thick layer before you go to bed and cover the affected area with a thin T-shirt, cotton gloves, or socks-wherever you need it.

You should be able to find Bag Balm at your local drugstore, feed store, pet store, and some hardware stores. But if you can't find it, try www.bagbalm.com. The company's Web site has a phone number and address you can use to order it.

Avatar universal
God, good old bag balm.  That's an oldie but goodie.  I haven't had personal success with tea tree oil; I think it's the oil, as oily applications can actually provide a nice environment for resistant fungi.  I've had toenail fungus for years.  I can control the occasional itch with Home Health anti-fungal lotion, but it doesn't seem to be a cure.  The strongest natural anti-fungal is oxygen, but it's hard to use it on entrenched problems.  It does mean bare feet is a great treatment.  The real treatment is internal, but again, when you stop doing it you might get the fungus back again.  Raw garlic is a very potent anti-fungal, though you'll smell like garlic.  You have to try each one of the possibilities to see what works, so here's the external rundown:  neem oil, tea tree oil, wild oregano oil, raw garlic oil, grapefruit seed extract, pao d'arco.  There are others, but these are strong.  Thuja is another.  A good formula is the one made by Herb Pharm; it's an alcohol tincture combination called spilantes usnea compound.  Internally:  the spilanthes usnea compound, oregano oil, and I like the raw supercritical garlic by New Chapter, though it's really expensive.  But you know, nothing said here should indicate that such a persistent infection is likely to be easy to treat.  I showed my toes to my PCP, and he just said the treatment is worse than the problem and stick to the natural stuff.  Because it doesn't itch much or bother me much, I just personally get on it occasionally.  But I did find the garlic oil and the internal stuff did get rid of a persistent case of jock itch, which is a very similar fungus, but I suspect it'll come back again.
Avatar universal
garlic oil in your underwear LOL
Avatar universal
I'm back in my salad days.
Avatar universal
Thanks all for the suggestions and advice. For now, I am going to stick with soaking in vinegar water 30 minutes a day, which seems to help. Also will start up taking fish oil. It seems when I was on a daily regimen of fish oil, my skin overall seemed healthier. Don't know if there is a connection or why that should be so, but I suspect it made a difference. Nothing will cure this - and I do not want to take anything orally - I just want to control it so that I am not embarrassed to show my feet in public. Thanks again for the helpful responses.
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