Bleaching toenail fungus is often a last resort for people who are trying to treat the condition at home. While the best thing to do to get your toenail fungus treated once and for all is to be seen by a licensed podiatrist, it can be tempting to try and treat it at home for several reasons. For one, treating your toenail fungus at home has the potential to avoid a trip to the doctor. This may seem tempting, but in reality DIY at-home fungal treatments are very ineffective. They aren’t likely to save a trip to the doctor, and some can actually cause damage necessitating a trip to the emergency room. Attempting to bleach the toenail fungus away is one such treatment. 

Bleaching toenail fungus is dangerous because of the chemicals in bleach. These chemicals are harsh, abrasive, and corrosive. They are only meant to be used on surfaces like the bathroom, and should never be used on the skin or internally. The label on bleach has very strict warnings, which are there for the reason of protecting you from harm. When the warning labels aren’t followed on chemicals like bleach, this can cause severe damage and adverse reactions. Because chemicals like bleach are so corrosive, they can eat away at your skin and toe, causing severe chemical burns. Bleach is especially dangerous when it is applied directly to the skin undiluted since the high concentration of chemicals is more damaging.

By bleaching toenail fungus, you are exposing both the nail and the skin to a harmful chemical. Chemical burns are one of the most likely injuries to result from putting bleach on the skin. Chemical burns are caused by corrosive chemicals such as bleach and can result in irritation of the skin, along with redness, pain, and burning of the skin. If you have put bleach on your skin, you should rinse it off immediately before a chemical burn forms. Once you have rinsed off your skin, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. Removing all of the bleach from your skin is essential to prevent any further damage from residual chemicals lingering on the skin. After washing your skin, examine the damage done to your skin by the bleach. If your skin is very red or is in pain, it is possible that a chemical burn could have formed from the contact with bleach. Aloe vera or a cloth soaked in cold water can help alleviate pain from the burn, and Neosporin can help the burn to heal as well.

Chemical burns from bleaching toenail fungus may become a more serious problem if you notice other symptoms. Particularly, symptoms of a severe burn include an open wound formation, pulsating heat coming from the burn, red streaks forming in the skin around the burn, and signs of infection like pus. If you have noticed these symptoms on your skin after applying bleach, you should be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible. Do not try to treat a burn of this severity at home, as the only people who will be able to treat it safely and effectively are those trained in dealing with urgent medical procedures.

Bleaching toenail fungus also exposes other areas of your body to the harmful effects of bleach. In particular, the fumes from bleach can also be harmful to your body and respiratory system. If you have inhaled any bleach, or have been exposed to prolonged exposure to bleach fumes, you should call 911 and go to the emergency room immediately. You should also call 911 and go to the emergency room if you have swallowed bleach for any reason.

While bleaching toenail fungus isn’t an effective way to get rid of the infection, there are other safer options available. There are a few treatments available for fungal infections, and some of them are better than others. For example, topical treatments are very weak and require a very long period of application before any results are seen at all. Oral medications are a little more effective than topicals, but they come with more severe risks. Specifically, oral medications have to pass through the bloodstream and liver before getting to the nail bed and can cause damage and toxicity to the liver itself. These medications require blood screenings before and during their treatment.

The best treatment available for toenail fungus is the PinPointe laser, which typically requires only one treatment to eliminate the fungus. It doesn’t have side effects like the oral medication does either, so it is much safer. Additionally, this laser treatment can be safe even for a lot of people who have pre-existing conditions. If you have any pre-existing conditions, you should still speak to your doctor and the podiatrist about them before receiving laser treatment. To learn more about the podiatrists we work within over 150 clinics nationwide or schedule a consultation with any of them, visit our website here.