Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Toenail Fungus? (The Pros & Cons)

ACV for toenail fungus

Surely you have asked yourself – can you use Apple Cider Vinegar for toenail fungus?

If you have a fungal infection and are looking for a natural remedy…

You likely wondered if ACV could do the trick.

Well, let's see if it's really effective by looking at the pros & cons.

Note: This article is based on my research on Apple Cider Vinegar.

ACV For Toenail Fungus (In A Nutshell)

It surely comes as no surprise that ACV can be used for toenail fungus.

After all, there are quite a few uses the Internet has for this kitchen ingredient.

However, will it actually make a difference?:

  • quite affordable
  • easily obtainable
  • anti-fungal and antimicrobial action

Now – while this sounds good, Apple Cider Vinegar is far from a miracle.

In fact, no study has proven its effects on infections in the human body.

It was only ever tested on Candida strains in a lab.

That being said, while ACV can inhibit the growth of mycosis…

It's definitely not enough to eliminate it all by itself.

Not to mention that it is not safe for everyone to use:

  1. For instance, if you have diabetes, you should steer clear of Apple Cider Vinegar.
  2. Also, pay attention to the ingredients of the medication you take already.
  3. Otherwise, ACV might interact with your current supplements.

Regardless, the point is that ACV is not all that it's cracked up to be.

Using it should not do much harm, but it also won't bring life-changing benefits.

In other words, it's not strong enough to do anything major.

If you want to get rid of your fungal infection once and for all…

I recommend going for proper anti-fungal treatment.

The best one I know is Kerassentials.

Its formula has every chance to put an end to your fungal concerns.




Why Do People Use ACV For Toenail Fungus?

First, let's look at what makes people see ACV as an option for treating their fungus.

After all, those hacks you keep reading about can't just come out of thin air, right?

In short, it's because research suggests that Apple Cider Vinegar has antimicrobial properties [1].

Not only that, but it seems like certain types of fungi don't like this ingredient.

This is especially true for the Candida strain [2].

However, keep in mind that this was only tested on a sample of this fungus.

This means that ACV has not been proven to work on fungal infections in humans:

  • no studies on efficacy against fungus in the human body
  • ACV is not more effective in killing fungus than certain bacteria found in the body 

In fact, we don't even know how strong this ingredient really is in this regard.

There is anecdotal evidence here and there that encourages its use.

However, official studies don't have anything concrete to say.

Now – this is not to say that ACV does not have any benefits.

Of course, there are some noteworthy advantages:

  • inhibits the growth of certain bacteria
  • shows potential for both internal and external infections

Still, the full extent of the results has not been explored.

Besides, keep in mind that while Apple Cider Vinegar is mostly safe…

But this does not mean that you should use it carelessly.

In fact, this is why you should know that this ingredient is both good and bad.



Pro #1: Very Affordable

Perhaps this is the most inviting aspect regarding ACV.

After all, who can say no to a remedy that goes easy on the wallet, right?

Not to mention that fungal infections are infamous for having recurring episodes.

Naturally, it makes sense if you want to solve the problem without spending a ton.

After all, let's not forget that Apple Cider Vinegar is quite versatile:

  • used as an ingredient in the kitchen
  • also used for all sorts of health concerns

You will find that there are lots of versions available to purchase.

Similarly, you will also stumble upon all sorts of price tags.

Compared to white vinegar, ACV is actually a lot more affordable.

However, you get the best deal if you look for the most potent product…

That also has the lowest price.

Also, this ensures that it is accessible to many people.

This way, your budget is not a problem at all.




Pro #2: Readily Available

Given that Apple Cider Vinegar is frequently used in the kitchen…

It would not be surprising if you already had some in your pantry.

If you have it nearby, what's to say that you would not be tempted to use it for your infection?

Plus, if you run out of it, you can most likely find it at your local convenience store.

It's no surprise that this adds to the appeal that ACV has:

  • very easy to procure from almost all local markets
  • wide selection of options at the ready

Frankly, this ingredient is certainly easy to come across.

Of course, this only adds to its popularity even further.

But keep in mind that this does not make it an effective way of combating fungus.



Pro #3: Anti-Fungal & Antimicrobial Properties

Finally, let's take a closer look at how exactly ACV works in your favor.

Lots of articles recommend that you try it for toenail fungus…

But they don't tell you what exactly makes this ingredient useful.

To start off, Apple Cider Vinegar has some components that inhibit fungal activity:

  • maleic acid
  • acetic acid

In simpler terms, these confer the acidic nature of ACV.

You may know that certain fungi cannot thrive in an acidic environment [3].

Well, this is precisely why these two don't get along!

You have the option of taking it orally or applying it topically.

So you can choose whichever option works best for you.

However, keep in mind that there is no scientific evidence that backs this up.

While ACV has the potential of being of some help against toenail fungus…

You definitely should not expect miracles.




Con #1: Lack Of Scientific Evidence

Now, while studies were conducted on the efficacy of ACV against some Candida strains…

There is nothing that proves it could work against fungal infections in the human body.

In fact, Apple Cider Vinegar has been tested on animals and isolated cells.

This explains why studies on humans took a backseat in this regard.

As such, there is not much that indicates ACV could do anything major:

  • it's true that it has some potential
  • but the Internet blows it out of proportion
  • ACV cannot single-handedly cure a fungal infection

That being said, don't be surprised if the fungus comes back eventually.

You should know that even if ACV may ease some of your symptoms…

It will not eliminate the root of the fungus.

It is simply not strong enough in terms of anti-fungal effect.

So it cannot be a permanent solution to your problem.

You can use ACV in addition to proper treatment, but that's about it.



Con #2: Not Completely Safe

While Apple Cider Vinegar has a low chance of causing issues…

You should still be careful if you plan to use it.

After all, it is quite acidic and may overthrow the balance in your body.

There are definitely a couple of precautions you should keep in mind:

  • if you drink it straight, don't ingest more than 2 tablespoons per day
  • if you are making a foot soak, dilute the ACV with some water

In other words, you should be somewhat careful when handling this ingredient.

Consuming ACV in high amounts can quickly deplete the potassium in your body.

This can lead to several symptoms:

  • exhaustion
  • muscle cramps
  • constipation
  • lightheadedness

You definitely don't want to deal with something like that because of a fungal infection.

Moreover, you should stay away from vinegar foot soaks if you have wounds or inflammations.

That's because ACV will further irritate the problem area.

What's more – did you know that drinking a lot of undiluted ACV can break down tooth enamel?

In worse cases, it can even irritate your esophagus.

Of course, these problems should not come up if you are using this ingredient responsibly.

So take care & don't exaggerate.




Con #3: Unpleasant Scent

This might not seem like a big deal, but if you know the smell of ACV…

You likely don't want other people to catch the same scent from you, right?

I mean, keep in mind that neither oral nor topical treatment spares you from this.

If you are able to stomach the smell or taste of Apple Cider Vinegar…

I'm not sure if brushing your teeth will make the smell disappear immediately.

In any case, this might be just as bad (if not worse) if you do an ACV foot soak.

In short, you just have to make peace with the fact that you are going to smell for a while.

Of course, it's not really the end of the world.

Just make sure you don't have an important outing soon! 



Con #4: Conflicts With Certain Medication

There is another important aspect to keep in mind.

If you happen to use certain supplements, consuming ACV might not be a good idea.

That's because Apple Cider Vinegar is known to have some unpleasant interactions with a few drugs:

  • Diuretic drugs – they cause your body to eliminate potassium
  • Lanoxin – lowers the potassium in your blood
  • Antidiabetes drugs

As you can see, medicine that impacts your potassium levels is noteworthy here.

If you take any, you should not pair it with ingesting Apple Cider Vinegar.

When it comes to medication meant for diabetes

ACV runs the risk of lowering blood sugar [4].

With that in mind, people with diabetes are better off steering clear of this home remedy.

While it shouldn't do anything catastrophic…

Losing out on ACV's potential anti-fungal properties in favor of your overall health is far from a tragedy.

Plus, you can surely find a much stronger & safer way to get rid of your toenail fungus!



My Verdict – Can You Use ACV For Toenail Fungus?

Short answer: Yes, but it's not worth it.

Again – the potential benefits do not guarantee anything:

  • studies say it has anti-fungal & antimicrobial properties
  • but it was only tested on Candida strains in a lab
  • there is no substantial evidence that proves efficacy against infections in the body
  • is unsafe for diabetics
  • its advantages are oftentimes exaggerated in the online medium

Don't get me wrong, I get why it is so popular as a home remedy.

It is very accessible and also affordable – this definitely counts for something.

However, treating toenail fungus requires a treatment that is more elaborate.

Simply put, if you want to get rid of your infection for good…

Then ACV will not do the trick.

You will need something that gets to the inner workings of the fungus.

For this reason, I assure you that it's better to go for a standard anti-fungal treatment.

In fact, let me tell you all about my #1 recommendation!

I'm talking about Kerassentials:Kerassentials

  • By far the best formula for removing fungus
  • Works through a unique mechanism of action
  • Combats fungal resistance
  • Eliminates your infection from the root
  • Based on 100% natural ingredients
  • Very easy to use
  • No risk of side effects

While this product does not contain Apple Cider Vinegar…

That doesn't stop it from delivering amazing results.

Based on the science behind it, there's a high chance that this is what you've been looking for.

In fact, it's meant to do what other anti-fungal products failed to accomplish.

Give it a try and see for yourself.

There's nothing for you to lose.

But what you can gain is fungus-free toes!

Best Toenail Fungus


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Written by 

Sara is passionate about health, beauty and cosmetics. She likes to do research and to find new information about various medical topics. You can connect with her via Linkedin.

Last updated: March 7, 2023

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