Bleach is an intense, potent cleaning chemical that has been designed to disinfect and clean surfaces with hardened grime and bacteria. On the internet, there are some recommendations for this dangerous chemical to be applied to the skin to treat toenail fungus. The list of reasons why this is not recommended by doctors and other medical professionals is long. The application of bleach to the toenails is one of the DIY “home remedies” for toenail fungus recommended online. DIY home remedies for fungus are actually often worse than leaving the condition alone, as many of them can make the fungal infection worse. They are also very unlikely to actually treat the toenail fungus effectively. Some DIY treatments for fungus have more downsides than others and can be very dangerous, although pretty much all of them are going to be very ineffective. Trying to use bleach on the toenails and skin is possibly the worst of the at home treatment for fungus that has ever been suggested, because using bleach on the skin will have many negatives and probable side effects. 


If you have seen a recommendation to use bleach on your toenails from a website, it should actually be a sign to carefully examine the source of every piece of information, especially medical advice, found on the internet. Bleach is only a cleaning product, and should never be used as a medical treatment. The labels on the bottle of bleach are there for a reason, and they need to be followed for the chemical to be able to be used safely. These labels always specifically state that the chemical inside is not safe to be used internally or on the skin. Long lasting damage to the skin and tissue that can require repeated medical attention is probable when the label instructions of bleach aren’t followed exactly. This is why the label of the bleach is required to put warning signs and guidelines on it; they are meant to help you to understand the potential dangers that lie inside of the bottle. When you are aware of these dangers, it is much easier to avoid them by being very careful. If you apply bleach to your toe, the skin will become irritated further. Irritation of the skin could both worsen the fungal infection by letting more fungal spores infect the nail bed as well as cause more serious health concerns.


Chemical burns are some of the worst damage possible when bleach is applied to the skin. As the skin is exposed to a chemical of the strength of bleach, the skin will react in a way that forms a chemical burn of varying severity. The difference in pH is one of the biggest differences contributing to the damage that bleach can cause. Bleach has a much higher pH than skin, making it much more basic than the almost neutral natural pH of the skin. The pH balance of the body and the skin is very delicate, and disruptions to it can cause disruptions to the entire body’s functioning. Common symptoms of a chemical burn include redness, irritation, burning, and pain.Severe chemical burns can cause symptoms such as blistering and numbness. If the chemical burn is very severe, it can even cause systemic damage. When a chemical like bleach causes such deep damage to the body that it reaches the bloodstream, the chemical can start to circulate and cause very dangerous bodily issues.


Also, bleach will not actually eliminate the fungus itself. This chemical is not a good antifungal agent, and will not be able to properly penetrate the nail to get into the nail bed where the fungus resides. There are over the counter and prescription topical medications available for fungus, but these are very weak and may even take years of application to see any improvement in the fungus at all. They are much safer than bleach, but are still very ineffective at treating the fungus. 


Aside from home methods like bleach and over the counter topical medications, there are other prescription medications available for fungus. Consulting with a licensed podiatrist in your area will be the first step towards finally eliminating your fungus. A licensed podiatrist will be able to give you a treatment plan that is backed by research, which will minimize negative effects from the treatment they prescribe. 

However, not all prescription or medical treatments for fungus are made the same. For example, prescription oral medications for fungus can be very dangerous for the liver. There are medical treatments that are safe for fungus however. The safest treatment available is also the most effective: the PinPointe Laser treatment. This laser only requires one treatment to eliminate the fungus, and has no side effects. To learn more about this treatment or schedule a free consultation with a licensed podiatrist, give us a call at 1-(800) 672-0625 or visit our website for more information.