Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is there a home cure for toe fungus?"


I'm a middle-aged guy, and I think I picked up a case of toenail fungus from my gym. I'd rather not use any harsh medicines on my feet. Is there a home cure I can use, or should I just talk to my doctor about it?


The diagnosis and treatment of toenail fungus should involve specialists including internists, podiatrists, and others. Tinea pedis (athlete's foot) is the most common superficial fungal infection encountered. This is contagious and use from fungal spores shed by infected individuals onto the floors of public swimming pools, locker rooms, etc.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Podiatrists near you

This usually occurs with tinea cruris, which is a superficial fungal infection of the hands, nails, or groins. Tinea pedis is very itching and sometimes painful with red lesions between the toes and on the soles. For tinea infections, topical antifungals that can be found over the counter can suffice, but, if refractory, oral antifungals can be helpful. However, oral antifungals can have side effects and drug interactions. Given that you may have involvement of your nails, oral therapy may be indicated for you. You should also be evaluated for secondary bacterial infections which may require the use of oral antibiotics. In addition to medication, additional therapies such as foot powder to prevent maceration, avoidance of tight fitting shoes, and treating your shoes with an antifungal powder will help. It is not possible to come to a diagnosis without examining the patient. The strong recommendation is to see an internist or get a referral to a podiatrist and get evaluated in person.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.