Apple Cider vinegar for nail fungus

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Does vinegar kill nail fungus?

Does vinegar kill nail fungus? Around ten million people in American suffer from nail fungus and athlete’s foot. However, according to the Association of American Dermatologists, only ten percent of infections are treated professionally.

Many sufferers resort to natural remedies such as vinegar for nail fungus (technical term onychomycosis). In particular, treatment with apple cider vinegar is recommended in many Internet forums under the search terms “nail fungus vinegar.” The acetic acid in vinegar is said to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal (fungicidal), and antibacterial (bactericidal) effects. The theory behind it is as follows:

  • Nail fungus pathogens prefer a neutral environment.
  • The acetic acid creates an acidic environment – and this is supposed to reduce existing fungal spores.

Scientific and medical evidence for the effects of vinegar against nail fungus is still not available. And even if vinegar gives you a short-term visual improvement in the treatment of nail fungus, it cannot permanently remove a nail fungus.

Apple cider vinegar is not enough to treat nail fungus.

The fungal spores in nail fungus are very resistant. They nest in the nail unnoticed and wait for the “foot climate” to improve for them. Then they form fungi that are capable of reproduction again. In addition, when treating nail fungus with vinegar, there is a risk that the acid contained in the vinegar may additionally irritate inflamed areas of the skin. The disease is also contagious and will continue to spread if not correctly diagnosed and treated. A dermatologist should, therefore, always be consulted if nail fungus is suspected.

Medical antifungal varnishes, for example, are suitable for treatment. 

Some water-soluble varnishes with the active ingredient ciclopirox, such as the nail varnish Proclearz, act against the fungal cells from the inside and outside at the same time.

If the growth zone or the nail’s root is also affected, combination treatment with antifungal tablets is necessary.

Instructions: how to treat nail fungus with white vinegar

Warning: nail fungus does not heal on its own. A lot of patience and discipline is required for successful treatment. “Nail fungus should therefore never be tackled with home remedies such as vinegar alone,” says dermatologist Dr. Wolfgang Klee from Mainz. “Like tea tree oil, vinegar against nail fungus can kill fungi to a small extent. But the antifungal effect is not enough to completely eliminate the nail fungus. “

However, there is nothing to prevent you from trying vinegar against nail fungus in consultation with your dermatologist to accompany drug therapy. Here is the mix recommended by dermatologists for the local application of vinegar against nail fungus.

Vinegar against nail fungus: tincture for application


  • 5% vinegar: Commercially available types of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar or brandy vinegar, are suitable.
  • When using vinegar essence, those affected should exercise caution. Due to the higher acid content, the vinegar essence can trigger a contact reaction and additionally irritate the skin around the affected area.

Vinegar against nail fungus: 

  • Carefully apply the vinegar to the infected areas with a cotton swab, cotton pad, or clean cloth.
  • Then dry your feet carefully and put on fresh socks (breathable, washed at least 60 degrees).
  • Repeat this procedure two to three times every day.

Vinegar against nail fungus: foot bath to enjoy


  • For a foot bath, you need a 1: 1 mixture of warm water and 5% vinegar. With 25% vinegar essence, a ratio of water and vinegar essence of 1:10 is recommended.
  • All common types of vinegar are also suitable (no balsamic vinegar, please!).

Vinegar against nail fungus: 

  • Pour the vinegar-water mixture into a washbowl and soak your feet in the footbath for 15 to 20 minutes. Alternating baths promote blood circulation and make the feet more resistant to all kinds of pathogens. If you want, you can shower your feet with cold water for 15 seconds after 10 minutes and then continue with the footbath.
  • Repeat this process two or three times.
  • Then dry your feet properly with a clean towel and put on fresh socks (breathable, washed at least 60 degrees).

Note: There is no scientific evidence for the success of nail fungus treatment with vinegar.

Since vinegar cannot penetrate deep into the nail, it is unlikely to be effective against nail fungus. If you still want to experiment with vinegar, you should start treatment with nail polish to accompany the experiment. Water-soluble nail polish such as Proclearz against nail fungus has the advantage of penetrating deep into the nail but does not permanently seal the nail. The nail polish is applied in the evening and washed off with water the following day. The active ingredient remains in the pin.

Learn more about best nail fungus treatment.

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Apple Cider vinegar for nail fungus
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