Fungal Nails – Why Bleach Is A Bad Idea and What To Do Instead

Dealing with unsightly toenail fungus can be embarrassing and painful. For those who suffer from this kind of fungal infection, it can be tempting to attempt to solve the problem with household products like bleach. In an attempt to save money, many turn to the Internet for resources on what they can try at home to cure their fungal nails. This search sometimes leads to harmful consequences, like using bleach to remove toenail fungus.

Why is Bleach a Bad Idea for Toenail Fungus?

There are a few reasons why bleach is not appropriate for removing or treating toenail fungus.

  1. Bleach can make toenail fungus worse.
  2. You can burn your skin if you use bleach topically. While bleach in small concentrations can help kill bacteria, the amount of bleach it would take to kill a fungal infection is much greater. It would cause chemical burns to any skin where it was applied.
  3. Any progress that bleach makes in treating toenail fungus is only temporary. The toenail fungus will return and should be treated by a podiatrist or nail dermatologist.
  4. Bleach baths (where a small bleach concentration is put in a full bath of water) should not be used unless specifically recommended by a licensed physician. 
  5. Accidentally ingesting bleach can be quite harmful to your health.

While you should not use bleach to treat your toenail fungus, you can use it to clean any items that touch the infected areas, such as toenail clippers, socks, and shoes.

What Should I Do Instead?

Instead of attempting to use bleach as an at-home remedy for toenail fungus, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist or nail dermatologist for treatment. What many people believe is toenail fungus could be something else entirely. Occasionally it will heal on its own, especially if it is an injury to the nail. Getting a proper diagnosis is crucial in knowing the best way to treat the situation.

Treating with Anti-Fungal Medicines

Often, podiatrists will prescribe an anti-fungal medicine for the treatment of fungal nails. There are risks associated with taking these medicines. Your doctor will be able to help you identify the risks and whether or not an antifungal medication (topical or oral) is safe and potentially effective for treating your toenail fungus.

Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails

A promising option for toenail fungus, laser treatment may be an option for you. Laser treatment does not have any of the associated risks of anti-fungal medicine. Some podiatrists have found that it is effective long-term with proper care and hygiene habits. Laser treatment does not show quick healing. But the fungus should be dead in time and not return unless reintroduced by your environment.

If you believe you have a toenail fungus, you should make an appointment with a licensed podiatrist as soon as possible. Best Foot Doctor is available to listen to your concerns and identify the cause of your toenail discoloration or thickness. Our caring team will help you create a treatment plan and work with your care team to assess the situation. We can help you make informed decisions about your foot care. Please get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment.

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