The use of bleach for toenail fungus is a remedy that is supposed to rid the toe of the infection. It is a common treatment among those looking for a home remedy for the problem. A bleach solution treatment can be time-consuming and monotonous, but is useful if done in the most effective way to allow the bleach to penetrate and kill the infection. To use bleach to treat toenail fungus, be sure to trim and file the nail before beginning treatment, prepare the bleach solution properly and treat the affected nail for the proper length of time each day.
Toenail fungus, less often referred to as onychomycosis, is a condition that affects the nail bed of one or more of the toes. It occurs when the skin on the toes and around the nail bed are infected with fungi, most often dermatophytes; or yeast, such as Candida. Typically, when the toenail is infected, a small white spot first appears under the nail and eventually spreads to the entire nail bed. The fungus generally causes the nail to turn a dull yellowish shade and to thicken. Eventually, the infected nail becomes rough and can crumble and break off, leaving an unpleasant appearance.
Bleach for toenail fungus is intended to kill the infection. Before using the bleach solution, clip short the infected nail and file down the nail plate. Trimming and filing the nail makes it more porous and allows for the bleach solution to effectively penetrate the nail bed to reach the fungus. After clipping the nail and making it pliable, the bleach solution can be used.
It is important to first dilute the solution that will be used for soaking, because bleach can be damaging when in direct contact with skin. Combining one spoonful of bleach and 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of warm water make for an effective solution. After the solution has been properly mixed, it can be used to soak the foot with the infected toenail. You can soak the infected nail for 20-30 minutes once a day or for 15-20 minutes in the morning and at night for a twice-daily treatment.
Ultimately, getting rid of the fungus can take several weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of the infection. Still, it is important to be diligent in using the bleach solution every day. Stopping treatment or irregular use of bleach for toenail fungus can allow for the infection to come back even stronger.
Though bleach for toenail fungus can be useful, it is possible to reduce the risk for a fungal infection altogether. Toenail fungus thrives in warm and moist environments and finds it easy to live on toenails because they can become damp and warm from wearing shoes. Keeping toes dry by wearing socks or regularly drying them off when they become too damp are methods that can be used to ward off fungus.
How Long Does it Take Bleach To Kill Toenail Fungus?
The time it takes for bleach to rid the toenails of fungus varies greatly. Generally, it can require anywhere from a week to several months. Some people find that treating multiple times a day helps speed the treatment along and others say just once a day is better. Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to heal toenail fungus using bleach depends on several factors.
One, it depends on how severe the infection is. More severe infections usually take longer and more applications than minor infections do. Many mild infections will take only one or two weeks to disappear while more serious infections may require closer to five or six months of consistent treatment.
Two, it depends on how widespread the infection is. Toenail infections that spread to other parts of the foot or that appear on multiple toes often take more time to eradicate. Infection that goes deeper into the foot than just the nail may also be much harder and take longer to kill.
Three, it depends on the potency of the bleach solution. Some people are more sensitive to bleach than others, so they can safely use and tolerate slightly higher concentrations of bleach which might kill off the infection faster. It is always better to start low and raise the concentration levels a little at a time to learn one's tolerance.
Four, it depends on whether or not the bleach treatment is combined with other forms of treatment. Using bleach treatments in tandem with oral or topical antifungal medications may help hasten the process. Keeping the infected toenails clipped short and clean between treatments can also help decrease the time it takes to destroy the infection.
How Much Bleach To Soak Feet?
One should use very small amounts of bleach in this treatment. It is also very important to sufficiently dilute the bleach with water beforehand to avoid harming one's feet. Generally speaking, one should use a full gallon of warm water and add just a single, small spoonful of bleach for effective treatment.
If necessary, one can increase the concentration little by little each time for especially difficult fungal infections, but one should never add more than three tablespoons of bleach per gallon. Usually, if the fungus is not disappearing with a spoonful of bleach per gallon, it is better to seek professional medical treatments instead of using this home remedy. Also, if the bleach treatment ever causes any discomfort or unusual appearance, one should stop treatment immediately and speak with a doctor.
Should One Use Vinegar or Bleach for Toenail Fungus?
One of the most common concerns related to bleach toenail fungus treatment is whether or not it is safe to use. Bleach is not good for the skin in high concentrations so it is only safe when used in the very low potency quantities as indicated above. People who have concerns about using bleach, exhibit allergies to bleach, or desire more natural home remedies might want to consider apple cider vinegar treatment instead. Vinegar has natural antifungal properties and warm water vinegar soaking solutions can be just as effective at treating toenail fungus.