Do Home Remedies for Fungus Really Work?

Fungal infections are a unique breed, in that they often are accompanied by a feeling of shame or embarrassment. One of the most common types of fungal infection is a toenail fungus. Although this particular infection typically covers one of the smallest areas of the human body—and easiest to cover up—many men and women avoid seeking treatment because they feel embarrassed or shameful for having the infection. Enter: home remedies.

Fungal Home Remedies

Home remedies for fungus run the gamut, from the extremely simple (cleanse the area with apple cider vinegar), to the more bizarre (soak your feet in Listerine three times per day). Regardless, home remedies are a dime a dozen on the internet, each of them promising a quick and often miraculous cure for your fungal woes, all without the price tag and shame associated with visiting a doctor.

While that all sounds great, and will continue to trap many a fungus sufferer, do home remedies actually work? Unsurprisingly, the answer is both yes and no, depending on the remedy itself and the severity of your condition.

Physician VS DIY

In some instances, home treatments are not only ineffective but dangerous. This is typically the case for systemic infections, wherein a fungal infection has not merely penetrated a small area—a toenail, for instance—but has actually entered the bloodstream or spinal fluid. In these instances, a physician is necessary to treat, as fungi can multiply and grow quickly, and can overthrow all of your body’s natural balances.

For smaller infections, however, such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, or a toenail fungus, some home remedies may be enough to evict your stubborn tenant and send you on your way with a happy, healthy body.

Effective At-Home Remedies

#1. Vicks Rub

One study found that Vicks Vap-O-Rub contained antifungal properties, and approximately 90% of users saw a drastic change in the affected areas. Apply Vicks to the damaged area 1-2 times per day until the nail or skin has healed.

#2. A Listerine-Vinegar Combination

A 1:1 ratio of Listerine and vinegar is said to have amazing antifungal properties, due to the agents in Listerine, combined with the acidity of the vinegar. This particular remedy requires a greater commitment, as you must soak your feet for one hour each day to see lasting change.

#3. Probiotics

Although probiotics will not change your body’s immune response overnight, consistent use will help your immune system grow stronger and may help fight off internal fungal infections and restore balance in your gut.

#4. Tea Tree Oil

Finally, a topical application of tea tree oil may help reduce and heal fungal infections—particularly those on the feet and nails. Apply the oil 2-4 times daily for two or more months to see lasting change in the health and appearance of your feet.


Prevention. Accessed 11/26/17.

Dr. Axe. Accessed 11/27/17.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Accessed 11/27/17

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