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Welcome to Dr. Bob's Anti-Fungal Blog

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Anti fungal Foot Bath: Vinegar vs. Listerine


Vinegar and Listerine foot bath's are regularly used to treat fungus on the nails and feet. Apple Cider Vinegar, White Vinegar and Listerine have anti-fungal properties that allow them to break down the nail and fight fungus under the nail. vinegar anti fungal

Vinegar is a strong acid. Fungus is eliminated when exposed to strong acids. Thus, acidic substances can be used to kill fungus and soften the nail. The issue with  continuously using a vinegar foot bath for fungus is that the skin on the foot can get dried out and irritated. Soaking feet in Vinegar can also leave a strong odor..

listerine anti fungalApplying Listerine onto the nail or using it as an anti-fungal foot bath can be somewhat successful. Listerine is comprised of strong alcohols that are designed to fight bacteria and fungus (Candida) in the mouth. Listerine as a mouthwash is only used for 30 seconds, soaking feet in it for extended periods of time can irritate the skin around the nail and dehydrate the skin.

Anti fungal Foot Bath: Compare using Vinegar or Listerine


Treatment Name 

White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar



 Over-the-counter, Prescription or Home Remedy

Home Remedy

Home Remedy 


Published Effectiveness

 Not Clinically Tested- estimated at > 10%

Not Clinically Tested- estimated at > 10%

Application Instructions

Mix equal amount of Vinegar and water. Soak feet for 20 minutes.

Apply directly onto nail with a q-tip or Mix equal amounts of Listerine and water. Soak feet for 20 minutes.  


Active Anti-Fungal Ingredient




Natural Ingredients

 Vinegar is naturally Acidic. Acid kills fungus.


 Side Effects

Irritates skin around the nail, Dries out skin on feet, Leaves strong odor on feet.

 Skin irritation around nail, Dehydrates skin on feet

 Nail Polish Safe




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Comparing these two Home Remedies for fungus is pretty simple. Both Vinegar and Listerine Foot Bath's are ineffective treatments for fungus. Soaking your feet in harsh acidic or alcoholic substances has less than a 10% success rate and can be problematic to the skin around the nails and on the feet.

PediMD Nail Treatment System combines Te


If it is not clinically tested how do you get 10 % effective. You list vinegar kills fungus, then say it won't work. You don't give alternative. Poor review
Posted @ Tuesday, August 02, 2011 10:48 AM by P
Thankyou for the critique.  
To answer your first question: "How do you get 10 % effective without clinical trials"  
As a podiatrist for the past 13 years my colleagues and I have seen hundreds of cases of fungal toenails. One of the first questions that we ask patients is weather they have tried any other treatments and how effective the treatment was for them. From those responses, as well as a general consensus within the medical community I estimated the effectiveness of vinegar treatment to be less than 10%.  
In terms of an alternative I would recommend using an Anti-fungal Nail Treatment System such as PediMD. PediMD combines FDA approved anti-fungal medicine, with the natural healing oils of plants to deliver a product that has proven 72% effective in our patient trials.  
Wish you the best of luck with your treatment.  
Dr. Bob Baravarian, DPM 
University Foot & Ankle Institute  
Posted @ Wednesday, August 03, 2011 3:55 PM by Dr. Bob Baravarian DPM
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