IDTK (I didn’t know that) …. Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar could actually rid a toe nail of fungus. I was not convinced but I was certainly willing to give it a try. I figure I had everything to gain and nothing to lose so it was worth a shot.
My quest started when I read an article written by Judy Stouffer, B.S., M.S., SFO and Michael Stouffer, B.S., SFO. Actually Judy and Michael documented the procedure in an effort to combat their own outbreak of toe nail fungus. They did it with great success. I figured if it worked for them, it could work for me and then I would share the knowledge with my following.
The recipe for success involves the use of 5% vinegar and 2% hydrogen peroxide. You’ll need to dilute 3% hydrogen peroxide to a 2% solution by adding distilled water. This will make the solution slightly less caustic on the exposed skin. On day one, soak your toes in the vinegar solution for approximately 5 minute. On day two, do the same thing but use the hydrogen peroxide solution instead. Alternate days and continue this practice for three (3) weeks. Keep alternating back and forth; one day vinegar and the next hydrogen peroxide. WARNING: never mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together, as that forms peracetic acid, a caustic chemical with entirely different properties.
What the Stouffer’s found after three weeks, was that there was new healthy nail growth beginning to show up at the base of the toe nail. After approximately seven months, healthy nail continued to grow from the base of the nail. Remember they only did the soak for three weeks. It seems as though the healing continued long after the treatment ended. Approximately 15 months later, the entire toenail and nail bed were healthy and free of any signs of fungal infection. More than 4 years later, the toe nail remains free of any signs of fungus.
My outcome was a bit different. I found that there was substantial improvement after three weeks which prompted me to want to continue, but in a different way. I took two small spray bottles and labeled one vinegar and the other peroxide. At night before I went to bed, I would spray my nails in the same fashion, one night spraying with the same vinegar solution I used for the soak and the next night spraying with the same peroxide solution. Soaking my toes every night was just too daunting a task beyond the three week window so this has proven to be an excellent alternative. I also increased the strength of the peroxide to 3%. I had no adverse reaction to doing this. The peroxide didn’t bother my skin at all.
My fungus has been with me for more than 40 years so it is taking longer but the improvement is undeniably remarkable. I use a file to take the top layer of nail from my nail bed; just a light dusting with a nail file does the trick and seems to help the condition of the nail overall. If you are wondering what type of file, it is an electric device similar to what they use in nail salons. The fine tip file allows me to get to the entire nail.
I feel like I’ve stumbled on the long lost solution to a common problem and I’m thrilled. I still continue to spray to this day. I just look at it as part of my daily grooming regimen.
NYK (now you know). Donna Appel, A Voice For Change!