Are your toenails looking discolored these days? Toenail fungus is a nasty infection that’s notoriously difficult to treat. Even prescription remedies can take months to work, so try a few home remedies before you seek professional help…

Take a quick vinegar bath: For slight toenail discoloration, apply full-strength white vinegar two times daily to the site of the infection. If you don’t see results after a month or so, move onto the next remedy.

Give it the rub: The popular cold remedy Vicks VapoRub can help fight a stubborn toenail condition called onychomycosis, which is caused by a fungus. According to a recent study, among patients who rubbed Vicks into infected toenails every day for 48 weeks, 83% had improvement in the nails’ appearance, and the fungus was eliminated in 28%.

Bleach out the tough bugs: We don’t usually like to use bleach in our remedies, but tough fungus requires tough measures! Please note that this therapy for severe toenail fungal infections cannot be used if you have cuts or openings in the skin. Make sure the nails are trimmed as short as possible.

  1. In a bucket, dilute one cup of bleach in 10 cups of water.
  2. Dip the affected foot in the bucket for five seconds. Remove and towel dry.
  3. Repeat this procedure every other day for four weeks. Make a new mixture each time.

You should notice that the skin dries out and flakes off. This is normal. You can apply tea tree oil between treatments for better results.

Oh, and watch what you eat and drink. Fungal infections love sugar, processed foods and alcohol. Eat a diet rich in garlic, oregano and carrots instead.

Thanks to a study by researchers at US Air Force 375th Medical Group, Family Medicine Residency Program, Belleville, Illinois, published in Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, and naturopathic doctors Mark Stengler and Jamison Starbuck for help with these tips.