A toenail fungus or nail fungus is scientifically known as onychomycosis. It can occur, when a fungus or bacteria gets into the nail bed through the cuticle or nail, which results in discoloration, pain and sometimes embarrassment. The discoloration occurs, when the infection is severe. It is important to treat the nail fungus quickly, as the infection could become quite deep.There are a number of prescription drugs available to cure the problem, but many of these medications can cause side effects like liver damage, which can be quite severe. Hence, people affected by this condition look for alternative remedies to heal toenail fungus.
Over the years, a lot of home remedies are suggested to treat onychomycosis. Although, there have not been any clinical trials, anecdotal evidence shows that many of these remedies do work. These home remedies are risk free and are usually inexpensive too.
8 Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus
Whether it is apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, this is one of the cheapest treatments available to get rid of infections from fingernails and toenails. The vinegar cure consists of foot baths in 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water solution every day. It is recommended to alternate the treatment with cold and hot baths. In both the cases, you need to keep the feet soaking in the solution for about 30 minutes.
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It is recommended to try this bath 3 times daily in the morning, afternoon and evening. After drying the infected nail, you can rub some Vitamin E over the toe. Vitamin E helps in the curing process. The acidic nature of vinegar aids in relieving the itching and restores back the pH balance, which is essential to fight against the micro-organisms or fungi that are accountable for this condition.
The sour taste of vinegar is due to ethanol oxidation in fermented cider, wine, beer, fruit juice and other type of liquids that contain alcohol. A large variety of vinegar is available in the market such as balsamic, honey, wine, apple cider, fruit, cane, beer, and raisin vinegars to name a few. Although these are for culinary purpose, they can be effectively used to cure the toe nail fungus as well.
Vicks Vapor Rub
This is one of the simple and effective remedies to clear the infection. Although, the strong smell of Vicks Vapor Rub can be overwhelming, this home remedy works quite well. You can rub Vicks over the nail that is infected and allow it to air dry or you can also use a band-aid. Repeat this 2 times a day, in the morning as well as night.
In case, you live close by to the sea then try dipping your feet often in the sea water. Saltwater is one of the natural remedies to kill the fungus and bacteria. If you do not live nearby the sea then as an alternative you can try the salt water soak. This home remedy has proved to be quite effective. Firstly, trim the toenails. Make sure the sea salt is able to reach the affected toe.
In a basin, pour some warm water that is sufficient to cover up the toes. Add hydrogen peroxide to the water and dip your feet into it. Take the feet out and place some sea salt on the toes. Leave it for about 3 minutes. Now, add ground sea salt (about a cup) to the basin. Put your feet back in the water and soak for ½ an hour.
Take your feet out and pat it dry with a towel. Apply vinegar (1-2 drops) to the toenail. Avoid using closed shoes, instead use sandals or flip flops. Repeat this process daily or as frequently as you can until the infected toe is completely healed.
Baking soda helps in balancing the level of pH, as it is highly alkaline. This makes it difficult for the fungus or bacteria to grow. You can apply a paste prepared with baking soda and tepid water on the infected toenails. Also, you can dust some baking soda in your shoes, which will make the feet less hospitable to the fungus growth.
Lemongrass oil is an effective remedy to fight against the toenail infection, as it has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It attacks the fungus in the toenail and protects it from further infection. It also reduces symptoms like distortion, fragility and crumbling of the toenail.
It is recommended to use the oil in combination with other carrier oils to efficiently kill the fungus. You can buy carrier oils such as coconut or grapeseed from any of the health food stores. The role of these oils is to reduce the severity of the lemon grass oil.
Mix carrier oil (1 ounce) with lemongrass oil (12 drops). Make sure to clean your hands thoroughly before applying the oil, as other products in your hand may interfere with these oils. You can also drink lemongrass tea (1 cup) 3 times in a day and the tea bags can be used on the affected region. This clears the fungus faster.
Turmeric oil and water is diluted in the ration of 1:3 and applied to the infected toenail with cotton. This must be repeated 3 times daily to speed up the healing process of the infection. In addition, the extract of turmeric (300 milligrams) can be taken orally 3 times every day.
The anti-fungal property of neem oil helps in treating the nail fungus and improves the look of fragile toenails due to its nourishing and moisturizing properties.The oil can be massaged into the nail and also the surrounding area. The sulfurous compounds in neem oil are responsible for the odor.
Coconut oil is well-known for its healing qualities. It has abundant amounts of lauric acid, which is a rare kind of saturated fat. These saturated fats are medium-chain triglycerides and contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
The coconut oil helps in fixing damaged skin and also fights against the attack of free radicals. The oil works effectively in reducing pain and also killing the toenail fungus. Once you get rid of the fungus, the nail will be completely healthy and thereafter it is essential to take necessary precautions, so that the fungal infection does not reoccur.