How often do you think I get a question, “Will bleach work for my toenail fungus?” Very often. More often than I’d like it to be.
A quick search on Google will uncover many stories about people treating themselves with bleach and miraculously getting rid of fungus within a week. A typical Toenail Rot Cure recipe would include dipping toes into undiluted bleach for 5 minutes 2-3 times a day for a week or so. Done and over with and no recurrence. Ever!
I’m happy for those who have been cured. Most likely these people (if the story is true to start with) did not suffer from nail fungus (onychomycosis). Bleach just whitened the nail, which could have been discolored for a hundred reasons – other than toenail fungus.
Any nail treatment that actually kills fungus relies on a new nail growing in and replacing the old, infected nail. Provided that the fungal spores and all dermatophyte activity has been eradicated and risks of reinfection from the patient’s immediate environment has been removed the new nail will completely grow our in 10-14 months.
On the other hand, I’ve had quite a few people come into my office with open sores caused by chemical burns on the skin from using undiluted beach that take weeks to months to heal when applied for nail fungus. The risk of all kinds of infections is very high for the people with these sores. I am strongly against the use of any chemicals on the skin, but bleach is arguably the most dangerous one.
Mark Leitner, DPM
Advanced Podiatry Associates