Effective Natural Ways to Treat Fungal Nails

June 14, 2021
Effective Natural Ways to Treat Fungal Nails

Fungal nails can be ugly and embarrassing. Left untreated, infected toenails or fingernails can become more than a cosmetic problem. Nails can become very painful. The infection impacts how you walk, work, and play. It spreads because the fungus is contagious, which can cause more injuries.

The earlier you spot and start to treat a fungal nail, the better. It’s easier to cure before complications and side effects begin. Treating an infection takes time and patience since a new nail will need to grow. Even when caught early and treated effectively, the process is likely to take months. Natural remedies for fungal nail treatment make sense as a first step.

What Works at Home?

Natural oils

Many plant oils have healing properties for a range of ailments, including fighting fungal nails.

Tea tree oil has antifungal and antibacterial effects. Research has shown this oil kills fungal infections. To use tea tree oil, dilute it with a carrier oil such as olive oil in a 50-50 ratio. Dab the fungal area with oil on a cotton ball. Leave it for 15 minutes, then wipe it with a paper towel. Use two or three times a day.

Coconut oil is in many skin products and has antifungal properties. Make sure to use high-quality virgin coconut oil. Do not use refined, bleached, or deodorized oil. To use, wash and dry the area, then apply the oil to the nails and surrounding skin. Use it three times a day.

Oregano oil has natural antifungal properties because it has thymol in it. Oregano oil must be diluted with six parts or more of a carrier oil. Do not eat oregano oil. Apply a few drops on the nail twice a day.

Lavender oil is antifungal and is used as an anti-inflammatory treatment. If using lavender oil, it needs to be an essential oil, not oil with some lavender scent in it. Put a few drops on a cotton ball, then dab the area and leave it for 15 minutes. Wipe it off with a paper towel. Use it three times a day.

Vicks VapoRub, when you break it down, belongs in the oil category. Eucalyptus oil and camphor oil are antifungal ingredients in the rub. Apply a small amount of VapoRub to the nail once a day. Let it dry before putting on socks or shoes.


Apple cider vinegar is long-known for being antifungal and antibacterial. Use it in a foot bath with two parts water to one part vinegar. Soak for about 30 minutes. Dry the area completely. Do it once a day and continue until a week after all the fungus and infection signs are gone.

White vinegar combined with Listerine works to kill off fungus. Combine equal amounts of the two and soak the affected area for 45-60 minutes daily.


Fresh garlic, crushed, then mixed with olive oil or vinegar and smeared onto the nail or area, is a helpful remedy for some people. Put the paste on. Place a bandage over the area. Leave it on for 30 minutes or more, then rinse it clean. Garlic is irritating to the skin for some people, so be careful trying this idea for the first time.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice, specifically citric acid, is antifungal and antiseptic. Get lemons - not the bottled lemon juice - and squeeze them to get fresh juice. Apply it to the nails. Rinse the area 30 minutes later. Use it two or three times a day.

Another idea is using equal parts lemon juice and olive oil for a combo that fights the fungus while moisturizing the nail and skin.

Learn More About Fungal Nails Treatment

At Diablo Foot & Ankle, our specialists know the pain an infection can cause. For more of Dr. Elmi’s and Diablo’s expertise, visit us online. Give us a call today at (925) 464-1982 to set up an appointment. It’s the best next step in help for your feet!

Common Podiatry Questions

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.

What does a Podiatrist treat?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?

A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.

Where are your Podiatry clinics located?

At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we treat our foot and ankle patients in two main clinic locations in Walnut Creek and in Antioch California. Dr. Eman Elmi and Dr. Shayan Esspoor are Board Certified Podiatrists who specialize in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders.

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