Toenail fungus, also medically known as onychomycosis is quite common and characterized by inflammation, swelling, pain, thickening, crumbling, discoloration and yellowing of nails. Considering home remedies are probably the safest and best ways to cure toenail fungus.
According to the article from Prevention prescription for topical treatment can take up to a year to work or prescription for anti-fungal oral medication can be expensive and carry side effects such as rashes, headache or even liver damage. Fungal infection can be painful and if left untreated, your nails will start to thicken, swell, crumble and spread to other nails. And in severe cases, you may have to remove the toenail. It is better to start taking precautionary measures at the onset of fungal infection rather than waiting for the worst.
Some of the most common causes of toenail fungal infection are:
- Poor foot hygiene
- Confined to moist environment of tight shoes or socks
- Walking barefoot in damp areas or public places like swimming pool, public shower, gym
- Nail salons using unsanitized tools
- Any skin or nail injury
- Weakened immune system
- Having diabetes
Here is a list of effective and affordable home remedies that you can try to treat your toenail fungus infection. It is a slow cure which means it takes a lot of time to heal, use any remedy with patience to get positive results.
Best Ways To Cure Toenail Fungus :
1. Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is well known for its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial property which makes it a popular home remedy to treat fungal infection effectively. First, clean the infected nail and then apply a few drops of tea tree oil directly on the affected area by using a cotton swab and allow it to dry. Repeat this twice a day for 2-3 months to treat nail fungus completely.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar:
The acidic property of vinegar makes it an effective natural remedy for toenail fungus treatment. When applied topically, you may experience severe irritation. For this reason, always dilute the apple cider vinegar with water. Soak the infected nail in equal parts of vinegar and warm water for 30 minutes daily. Rinse it off with water and make sure to dry your foot thoroughly with a towel. ACV helps to restore pH balance of the nail and the surrounding skin.
3. Neem Oil:
Neem oil is a potential home remedy which is known for its antifungal and curative properties. All you need is add a few drops of oil on the affected as well as surrounding areas. Continue using this several times a day until your infection has cleared completely. It has a strong fragrance which might be a problem for those who are sensitive to smell.
4. Vicks VapoRub:
It may sound bizarre but Vicks VapoRub contains antifungal ingredients: camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oil that is very effective in treating toenail fungal infection. In a study conducted by the Journal of the American Board of Family Study showed 15 of the 18 participants showed a positive clinical effect when they used Vicks VapoRub as a treatment for onychomycosis. All you need is apply the rub on your affected area with a cotton swab and cover it so that it gets absorbed into your skin.
5. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is packed with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. This is because it contains fatty acids like lauric acid and caprylic acid that disrupts the growth of fungal cells and destroying the infection. All you need is apply unrefined organic coconut oil on the affected area and repeat it 2-3 times a day for best results.
6. Baking soda And Borax:
Baking soda is a common household item that is readily available in your kitchen. It can dry up the excess moisture and also help neutralize foot odor. Borax is a naturally occurring mineral and also a powerful fungicide. All you need is mix baking soda and borax with some water to make a thick paste and coat your nail with the paste. Repeat this twice a day for best results.
7. Garlic :
Garlic even has anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties which are effective for fungal infection. All you need is mix garlic and olive oils and apply to the affected area. Repeat this often till your infection is completely gone. You can even take garlic capsules.
8. Oregano Oil:
Another herb, oregano has fungicidal properties that can be very effective in combating toenail fungus. Simply dilute oregano oil with any carrier oil like olive oil or jojoba oil. Take a cotton ball and dab onto the affected area. Repeat this method every day to heal the infection.
Tips To Prevent Toenail Fungal Infection:
As the saying goes “Prevention is better than cure!” here are some ways to reduce your chances of getting an infection.
- Always keep your toenails clean, short and trimmed. Smooth the edges with a nail file.
- Choose the right shoes that are more breathable. Avoid wearing any synthetic socks.
- Visit a nail salon that uses sterilized tools.
- Wash your hands and feet regularly followed by an anti-fungal ointment.
Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
*Always do a patch test when you’re using any remedies to make sure your skin is not allergic to any ingredients. If your skin is sensitive then don’t hesitate to visit a skin specialist to find out if it is safe for you to use any home remedy.
Also, read Doing Pedicure At Home