Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis as medics like to call it, is a fungal infection that involves the development of dermatophytes under the toenails.
Infected nails become crusty, thick and change their color. The infection develops over time, and the nail tends to separate from the nail bad. This causes terrifying pain and unpleasant odor.
Toenail fungus can easily spread from one nail to the others through the gentle skin between your toes. It can easily spread by using infected nail files or clippers.
Dermatologists have determined several leading factors that trigger the growth of toenail fungus or make an already existing condition even worse. Poor personal hygiene, wearing socks and shoes for long periods during the day, using same footwear with an infected friend/family member, visiting public pools or showers and walking barefoot, leaving feet wet after having a shower or poor immunity are the most common causes.
Toenail fungus is a rather unpleasant and unattractive condition, but it is definitely treatable. Plus, we suggest that you use some simple home remedies to relieve your condition and prevent any further damage.
1. Apple cider vinegar
It is one of the most efficient natural remedies for toenail fungus, thanks to its strong antimicrobial potential.
Apple cider vinegar destroys the fungus that causes the infection. Its slightly acidic, which helps in preventing any further spreading.
Make a healing solution using equal amounts of warm water and vinegar. Soak in the infected toenail for about 30 minutes. Carefully pat dry the wet surface. Some prefer using a hair dryer as it is supposed to remove the moisture completely. Enjoy your foot soak once a day for a few weeks.
You can also make a healing scrub. Combine a tablespoon of coarse rice flour and 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar into a thick paste. Apply it on the affected toenail and scrub carefully using a toothbrush. Scrub for 5 minutes to remove dead skin cells. Rinse well, and gently pat dry with a softer towel. This treatment should be done three times a week, for a month or two.
2. Baking soda
It is an alkalizing agent, which is of great importance for the treatment of toenail fungus. But, keep in mind that baking soda does not destroy the fungus, but prevents its growth and spreading. It also maintains skin’s pH in alkaline range.
Combine 2 parts of baking soda and one part of warm water into a thick paste. Apply it onto the affected nail. Cotton balls work well for that purpose. Leave the paste on for 20 minutes, and rinse well. Repeat the treatment twice a day for about a month.
Make a healing solution using 4 tablespoons of baking soda, a cup of white vinegar and 203 cups of warm water. Soak your feet in for 15 minutes, and gently pat dry. For optimal results, do the soaking treatment twice a day for a month.
Sprinkle some baking soda in the shoes you wear every day in the evening. Next morning, dump the powder out and your shoes are ready for a walk. In this way you will keep fungi away from your toenails, and the powder will absorb unpleasant odors.
3. Tea tree oil
Due to its strong anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil kills off fungus.
Carefully clean the infected area, then drip a tiny amount of tea tree oil on it. A few drops are just enough. Do this treatment once a day for a month.
Stir 4-5 drops of the oil into some lukewarm water. Soak your feet in for 15 minutes, and carefully pat them dry. Soak your feet twice a day for a month.
Combine the content of a vitamin E capsule and a few drops of tea tree oil. Rub the resulting mixture onto the nail, and let it act for 30 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and pat dry thoroughly. Do the healing treatment twice a day for about a month.
4. Oregano oil
Its huge antiseptic and anti-fungal potential aids in the treatment of toenail fungus.
1. Combine 4-5 drops of oregano oil and 2 teaspoons of high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
2. Apply the oil solution to the infected nail.
3. Let it act for 10 minutes.
4. Carefully scrub the outer surface of the nail. Use a soft toothbrush. Rinse well with warm water.
5. Do this treatment once a day for 3 weeks.
Ajoene, an anti-fungal compound found in garlic, destroys toenail fungus.
Mince 7-8 garlic cloves, and stir them to your warm foot soak. Immerse the infected area for 30 minutes. Pat dry carefully, and apply petroleum jelly onto the affected area. Do the treatment once a day until your fungus disappears.
Combine 2-3 minced garlic cloves and some olive oil. Rub the aromatic paste onto the affected area using a cotton ball. Secure with a gauze and a bandage. Remove the gauze after several hours and rinse well with warm water. Do this once or twice a day for a few weeks.
Eat 1-2 raw garlic cloves every day. It may be unpleasant, especially if you do not like the garlic taste, but this will prevent the fungus from growing and spreading.