Q:

Why does Listerine work to clear up toe fungus?

A:

Quick Answer

Soaking feet in Listerine works to clear up toe fungus because the mouthwash contains ethanol, which effectively kills fungus, as stated by WebMD. Ethanol also kills germs that can contribute to athlete's foot. The benzoic acid in Listerine helps slough off dead skin on feet.

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To keep feet healthy during cold winter months when high levels of humidity cause skin to dry out, it is advisable for people to soak their feet in a mixture of two parts warm water and one part original Listerine for 15 to 20 minutes, one to two time per week, as recommended by WebMD. After soaking the feet in Listerine, a hydrating moisturizer containing urea should be applied.

Toenail fungus typically begins as a small white or yellow spot under the affected nail and eventually noticeably discolors and thickens the nail as the infection goes deeper, according to Mayo Clinic. A fungal infection of the area between the toes is called athlete's foot.

Fungal infections of the feet are contagious and may be contracted from direct person-to-person contact or walking barefoot on contaminated floors, notes MedicineNet.com. To prevent fungal infections, feet should be washed regularly with soap and water and kept as dry as possible, states Mayo Clinic. Antifungal foot sprays and powders can be used regularly, and walking barefoot in public areas should be avoided.

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