Products used: 1 part thyme oil to 5 parts coconut oil AM, urea cream PM
In November, I went on a trip to Israel with some folks from my church. As a single guy, I shared a room with my pastor’s brother in law from California. I didn’t want to offend a stranger with the constant smell of strongly scented oils, so I put the whole treatment on hiatus for three weeks. I didn’t pay too dearly for it, and although there was a little yellow creeping in on the edge of some of the nails, I treated this as an opportunity for a fresh start when I got back.
To recap: I started out with a successful treatment formula, became impatient, and started trying all sorts of things in the hope of finding something better.
There were the three facets to my original treatment:
- Tea tree oil. This is what actually kills the fungus.
- Coconut oil. This makes the tea tree oil not burn so much.
- Urea. This softens the nail and helps the tea tree oil penetrate down into the nail bed.
I’ve tried various things here and there, always looking for something better. So far, nothing has worked as well.
Before I go back to my original formula, I’m going to try one more thing. Take the original formula, but substitute tea tree oil for thyme oil. I have read a lot of stories from people who say that it is the active ingredient in the famous “Vick’s Vapor Rub” nail fungus cure, and that it has worked wonderfully for them. I think it is worth a try, if only to report the results to you. If it doesn’t work, I’m going back to square one, since I see now how great it worked compared to everything else I’ve tried so far.
The mixture ratio I am using is 1 part thyme oil to 5 parts coconut oil. I apply it morning and afternoon, and then apply the urea cream at night before bed.
I’ve also updated my step by step guide. After all the things I have tried, I have to recommend the original method above all else. Start with tea tree oil, coconut oil and urea cream. If this thyme oil works out, I will update the guide but only after a proven track record of several months of progress.
Olive Leaf supplements, hands down, have worked the best for me. I take two capsules a day. It will take a couple weeks after you start, to notice a difference, but so worth it when you see the new nail begin to grow. Just be diligent. I was lazy the week of Christmas, only taking a capsule here and there, and lost two months of good growth. There are different strengths of Olive Leaf. I take the one with 20% Oleuropein.
Hello. Been suffering from nail fungus for years (well after hitting, bruising and taking off one toenail). Always been sht about my big toenails (which had grown ever since ugly and detached from the nail bed) so been covering them either with acrylic pedicure or artificial nails. Now my nail bed is deformed. Been using recently but not rigorously tea tree oil once a day and after that being finished, i use eucalyptus oil. Has your nail grown attached to the nail bed?
Hi! Yes, the nail does reattach to the nail bed, but it happens really slowly. After all the fungus is totally gone, it will still be a while longer before it’s totally reattached and looks normal.
One other thing is to not wear the same shoes every day. It’s good to air them out – shoes can get sweaty. I alternate my shoes and try not to use the same once twice in a row – Im determined to beat this.
Mine are clearing up with Apple Cider Vinegar and Vicks- its been a fight but worth the effort-but you absolutely have to change socks every day and also gym socks of course. And need to wear flip flops at the gym locker and house- its very contagious. I agree with john also about washing socks in hot water. The fungus is relentless and all those steps keep it at bay.
How are they coming along? Mine are confusing! I have still only been using Tee Tree oil and coconut oil – I don’t measure, i just sprinkle the Tee Tree on and rub it around the infected and make sure it goes underneath and around the edges as much as it can and then do the same with coconut oil. I also – once or twice a week scrape out what I can from under the nails. I have noticed particularly over the last week or so that the two smaller toe nails have a kind of raised area nearer the grown out end; one feels like a deep indentation runs across it before it bulges and they are both all the way across the nail; the great toe looks and feels completely normal now, but I’m still treating it as I don’t want to take the chance that there is still fungus there and it takes hold again. I just wondered if this bulbous ridge type thing is something you or any other subscriber has experienced?
I look forward to your own update too John!
Hi! It’s going really well still! I will post an update this month. What you are saying about a ridge: It sounds like it’s where the healthy nail growth starts, it will grow out in time and eventually be clipped off.
Glad to hear your toenails are looking nice again!
I think your toes look great. They look to be nice and flat like they’re supposed to be. I appreciate the latest “recipe” as well. I, too, fell off the discipline wagon and low and behold, my two second toenails (the index toes, I call them), are once again a core of flaky, dark material that forms into a core rather than a flat nail. They get to the point where they hurt and I can feel pressure into my toe and even into distal part of the ball of my foot.The black “thread” that runs through the really bad nails is back too. I’ve come across a couple recipes I’d like to share.
My treatment regimen is as follows:
1. I soak my feet in organic apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s organic raw-unfiltered), epsom salts, and water. Mix one cup ACV and one cup epsom salts with 6 cups of water, which makes enough to immerse your toes and soles of your feet. I start with hot water and let it cool enough to be comfortable as the preferred soaking time is 30 minutes. I also double the recipe because I like to soak up to the ankles. You can do this soak up to twice daily. (Realistically, for me at least, that’s not going to happen. I’m lucky if I can do it once a week. I’m working on being more disciplined.) This soak is amazing. It’s very relaxing and makes your feet feel good. I moisturize my feet (not my toes) afterwards and the skin absorbs the moisturizer quite readily.
2. In addition to, or instead of, soaking, mix borax (sodium borate) and baking soda in equal parts with just enough water to form a paste. Wet your feet and gently rub this mixture onto infected nails. This is easy to do twice daily. BE CAREFUL: I got this on the surrounding skin and it burned it, which I didn’t realize until a few hours later. Fungus needs an acidic environment to flourish. Alkaline baking soda creates an uninhabitable environment for it. Borax is also a powerful fungicide. The two together are powerful, as I mentioned, so be careful and only put it on the nail. Actually, I’m going to try wetting the mix with coconut oil, not only for it’s moisturizing properties but because it has the ability to penetrate the cell wall of Candida and other fungi. Without the protective cell wall, the fungi cells dissolve, effectively destroying the infection.
I’m going to try doing both steps at least once a week, but the paste definitely every day. I think the foot soak is a nice preparation for the soda mixture, since soaking in the really warm water softens the nail, hopefully making it absorb the paste better.
3. Another recipe is soaking in a corn meal solution. Mix one cup of cornmeal with two quarts of water. Allow the cornmeal to soak in the water for at least an hour, then submerge the infected areas in the mixture for 30 minutes or so. Corn meal hosts a fungus that is not harmful to humans but deadly to Candida. This soak can be used as often as desired. I’ve not tried this, but am becoming so tired of ugly, sore toes that I’m getting ready to give this a try, too.
I’m facing the fact that this is going to be a lifelong battle. Thanks for sharing your journey, the victories and the not so victorious. I admire your tenacity and your willingness to put yourself out there.
Your toes look incredible! What a fantastic resurrection and very inspiring. You have really inspired me for the last month and I was really hoping you’d update to see how things were 6 months after your last post. I’m really happy to see how great your nails still look. One foot of mine has fungal nails as bad as yours were when you started, and the other foot is good, but 2 toenails have the beginning of fungus which I am aggressively treating following your advice. I’m documenting monthly so I hope in year’s time or so, I can report similar results. I know it will be a lifetime commitment to keep them fungus-free; maybe at some point scientists can truly develop the “magic bullet” and get rid of it once and for all. Great work and thanks for sharing and giving hope to so many of us!!
What a coincidence! I found your diary on the Thursday and you update on the Friday! I have been using Tea Tree oil for several weeks now and yesterday I discovered with no warning of discolouration etc that a toe nail on the other foot has gone strange. Two toe nails on the first foot are affected and were hidden under nail polish, so not sure how long it was there for. Tonight I have added coconut oil too and will dig out the Flexitol heel balm to use too.
Really annoyed that I have this as I’m a bit squeamish about toe nails (coming off).
Thanks for your dedication in diarising your journey John.
Hi! I have a theory about your other foot. The nail beds were already infected, but at a stage where you couldn’t tell yet. When the tea tree oil came in contact with it, the infected nail bed tissue started dying which leads to the nail detaching. I would see this as a good thing, and I doubt that your nail will come off entirely if weren’t noticing a problem until now.
Time will tell; I’ll let you know!
Hi John, can you post a picture of the items you use? I am not sure if I should buy the coconut oil in liquid form or solid. It would just help to make sure I am getting the correct 3 items you suggest. Thank you!
Hi Donna, go to the step by step guide on my page and you will see links to the items I’m using. I used solid coconut oil, as opposed to the liquid fractionated coconut oil. Once you mix the thyme oil into it, it stays liquid unless it gets really cold.
Thank you so much John. Your blog is amazing. Do you think I should stop getting pedicures??
I would never, ever get a pedicure after hearing of all the people who have picked up fungal infections from them!
Just to clarify I only got shot of the athlete’s foot a week ago so it persisted May 16 to Dec 16. It appeared to vanish a couple of times but reappeared when I stopped the antifungal treatment.
Hi John. Thanks for the update. I have a small nail fungal infection which I caught from my partner whose nails have been really bad. Luckily we were prescribed Loceryl 5% medicated nail lacquer and 8 months later mine is almost gone. My partner was almost clear too as he started a year before me and then he went away for 3 months and did not treat so it came back with a vengeance and even then it took him months to start retreating.
Fast forward 8 months and he has made good progress but a few of his smaller toes are still very thick and black.
I got athletes foot back in May and tried so many over the counter medication terbafine, clotrimazole and a few others. No progress and in desperation I started with teatree oil using olive oil as a carrier. 2 weeks later the athlete’s foot has gone. I think it must have been more widespread under the skin on the feet than I realised and the generous application cleared it up.
We will keep treating with the Loceryl and the tea tree. I am hoping my partner will be clear in 6 months. He will not change his socks daily so it may be an uphill battle.
I have imposed a rule of no bare feet in the house which I hope will stop me being reinfected and I wear socks in bed as a protection. My partner has not bought new shoes and as he refuses to wear clean socks every day I think it will be an uphill battle. At least he puts the left sock back on the same foot the next day so I think this has helped cross infection of his feet.