Fingernail Fungus Home Remedies: Cures, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

{SCA}Fingernail fungus is an infection of the nail that may look innocuous at the start; a small light-colored spot may appear on the fingernail. Fungal infections of the nail can spread easily and may cause the shape and consistency of the nail to change.

Some people with fingernail fungus experience brittle nails, while others’ nails become very thick and discolored. Oral and topical medications may be prescribed to treat fingernail fungus. Natural cures may be an option for those who prefer alternative medicine or do not have easy access to medical care. Use natural cures for fingernail infections with caution, especially when treating children, pregnant women or people with compromised immunity.


Soaking an infected finger in a solution made from water and vinegar may be able to slow or stop the development of bacteria and fungi. The acidity of the vinegar is potent and may irritate the skin of some people if the soak is used on a daily basis. Combine equal parts of white vinegar and warm water and soak the affected area for 15 minutes several times a week.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic properties and has been used for medical purposes for people and animals alike. As explained in Rodale Press’s “The Green Herbal Pharmacy Handbook,” the essential oil is applied topically to treat skin fungal infections as well as bacterial infections. Cleansing the affected fingernail with tea tree oil may be able to reverse the signs of infection. Tea tree oil may be combined with a couple of drops of olive oil or another vegetable-based oil can reduce the risk of skin irritation.


Garlic is an herb that can be taken internally or applied externally to treat fungi. Raw garlic may be used in food preparation, or it can be pulverized into a liquid and applied directly to the infected fingernail with a square of cotton. Garlic as an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent can be used up to three times each day as a topical treatment for fingernail fungus.


The herb chamomile is an alternative to conventional medicine for bacterial and fungal infections. The plant reduces inflammation, slows the progression of bacterial and can produce a calming effect when steeped as a tea. Editors of “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook” explain that chamomile tea can be applied to the fingernail fungus or a tincture of the herb may be used. Drinking chamomile tea may also deliver anti-fungal benefits of the herb.

Topical Cough Medicine

The Mayo Clinic presents anecdotal evidence that topical cough medicine rubs may be able to cure fingernail fungus naturally. The reasons for this treatment method seem unclear and have not been part of a scientific study. Ingredient lists for this type of medicine show concentrations of camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oils.

Symptoms of Fingernail Fungus:

There are various symptoms of nail fungus. The fungus eats into keratin present in the nail and thus infects the nail. Keratin is a protective coating on the nails. When the fungus eats into keratin, there is a possibility of over-production of keratin.Common symptoms are


This is the most common of the fingernail fungus symptoms. The discoloration is either yellow, purple or brown in color. The fungus lodges itself at the tip of the nail and works its way towards the root.

Patches on the Nail

When the nail is infected, black or white patches start appearing on the nail. It is sometimes difficult to identify whether the white color in the nail is actually a fungal infection or just an indication that the nail is not attached to the skin underneath.

Thick Nails

If the nail has become thick and it is causing discomfort when you cut them, it is a symptom of fingernail fungus. The thick nails can make it difficult for you to wear your socks and shoes as well. Thick nails at times cause pain and become tender. The nail becomes thicker because layers of fungi grow under the nail.

Flaky Nails

Flaky, chipped and brittle nails are also a sign of fingernail fungus infection.

Smelly Nails

Fingernails affected with a fungal infection can smell as well. If your nails are smelling, it is a symptom of fingernail fungus. Fungus normally grows on moist and damp places. If your fingernails are moist all day along, you are highly susceptible to fungal infection.

Bumps under the Nails

If you can see small bumps under your nails, they might have pus formation in them. Pus is also an indicator of fingernail infection.

Dull Nails

If your nails have lost their sheen and shine, then it is a possibility that the nails are infected.

Detached Nails

Detached Nail is a symptom of fingernail fungus. The nail gets detached due to over-production of keratin.

Powdery Nails

The advanced stage of fingernail fungus infection is Powdery Nails. You can see yellow powder under the nail and the nail becomes very brittle.

Fingernail Fungus Treatment:

Once affected with a fungal infection, the fingernail should be treated at the earliest. Here are some fingernail fungus treatments.

Dry Fingernail

Does it seem like a treatment? I know it does not, but actually it is. If you always keep your fingernail dry, you will be less susceptible to fingernail fungus infection. While working in the kitchen or for that matter anywhere, use gloves to protect your hands from water. Take care that your hands do not become moist due to sweat.

Exposure to Sunlight

Expose your nail to direct sunlight. This is the most inexpensive of the fingernail fungus cures. The sunlight will help in killing the fungi.

No Nail Varnish

Fungus grows in dark places. With nail varnish, the area below your nail becomes dark. Therefore, when you have a fingernail fungus infection, keep your hands free of nail varnish. Do not apply any kind of varnish, till the nail heals completely.

Vinegar Cure

Vinegar helps a lot in the fight against fingernail fungus infection. There are many types of remedies with vinegar as an ingredient. The easiest of them all is to put 3-4 drops of vinegar on your nails. Let it rest for some time, then you can start working again. The other remedy is to soak your hand in a solution of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, taken in equal quantities for 30-45 minutes.


Bleach mixed in water can also be used as a remedy, though personally I will not suggest it. Bleach can burn the skin. I am sure you will not want to treat burned skin and fingernail fungus infection simultaneously.

Lavender and Olive Oil

Lavender oil and olive oil can be used individually or they can be combined together to treat the infection. It is advisable to soak your nails in these oils.


This is a plant, which is commonly found in India. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Neem oil can be used on the affected part as a fingernail fungus cure.

Disinfectant Dusting Powder

Its said “Prevention is better than cure”. If you use shoes all day along, it is a great idea to dust your shoes and socks with a disinfectant dusting powder. It will not cause any harm, but will most certainly keep the fungus at bay.

Cut the Fingernail

To some this can seem to be a drastic treatment. But cutting a nail, will expose of the skin affected with fungus. Once exposed to sunlight, the fungi won’t multiply. To many it be a last option, but to me it will be the first option. I ask the question, why let the covering be there if its going to be a breeding ground for the fungi?

Doctor’s Advice

If the symptoms of fingernail fungus are tough to deal with, then always consult a physician for fingernail fungus treatment. There is a possibility that you will require some oral medication. But please do not be your own physician. It can be lethal to consume medicine by just reading it from a website.

With little care and patience, the symptoms of fingernail fungus can be nipped in the bud itself. Nail care actually does not take very long. All that it requires is drying them well. Fingernail fungus treatment can at times be a lengthy process. Hence it better be prevented.