Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide As a Treatment for Toenail Fungus?

CarlinaShot/Moment/Getty Images

A study from the National Institutes of Health explains that, with the exception of nail lacquer topical solutions, topical treatment of toenail fungal infections usually does not have a significant effect. The study suggests that hydrogen peroxide does not effectively treat toenail fungus. Because most topical treatments do not penetrate the hard external surface of the toenail, the study finds oral treatments most effective for treating toenail fungus infections.

While people claim that home remedy treatments such as vinegar or hydrogen peroxide work for getting rid of toenail fungus infections, no substantial evidence exists to support this claim. In fact, John Hopkins Medicine claims that no home remedies work when it comes to toenail fungus because it must be treated from the inside. Instead, the center recommends seeing a doctor for treatment when an infection occurs. Oral treatments kill the infection at the nail root since they release medication through the bloodstream. Both the NIH and Johns Hopkins Medicine find that both oral and topical treatments of toenail fungus have side effects such as irritation, inflammation, dermatitis, blistering, burning and scaling. However, leaving a fungus infection untreated sometimes allows the infection to spread. Neither source discusses any specific effects of treating the infection with hydrogen peroxide.