Toenail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis is common fungal infection of the nail. It is estimated that more than 50% of the world population will have their toenail fungus by the time they reach 70 years. Toenail fungus is most commonly seen in people who wear tight fitting shoes (athletes are prone to infection).In this article, we will try to research the most effective toenail fungus home remedies that work to alleviate the symptoms of the nail condition.
Signs and Symptoms of toenail fungus
The nail that has been affected becomes thick, discolored (yellow, brown or dark colored), foul smelling, brittle and sometimes gets infected and be separated from nail bed (medically termed as onycholysis) and may eventually fall off. When it gets infected, you may feel pain in your toes which may prevent from wearing shoes or moving.
There are other conditions that make look like toenail fungus, so be sure to visit a dermatologist to confirm the case and to exclude other diseases. It is very important because treatment options may vary.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
Toenail fungus is often difficult to treat as most of the topical anti-fungal medications will not work and you may need oral anti-fungal medications. Taking oral medication along with topical anti-fungal have good result and may eliminate the toenail fungus. However, one should remember that it may take as long as 4-6 months to completely eliminate the infection.
Toenail Fungus Pictures:
Toenail Fungus Home Remedies
Many individuals doesn’t want to visit a dermatologist for mild cases of toenail fungus, as mild cases of nail fungal infection may not affect ones daily life. This has led to increase in trends of using some home remedies for toenail fungal infection. There are several home remedies for toenail fungal infection with mixed results. Some of the common remedies are discussed below.
Vinegar: Although there is no any direct evidence that Vinegar can cure toenail fungus, many people finds it useful in treating the condition. Mix 1 part of vinegar with 2 parts of water and sock your feet in it for around 20 minutes than wash off your feet and pat dry. If you think it irritates your feet, you may use it less often and try other remedies.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has been used in many skin conditions including acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, scalp conditions and many other skin diseases with good results. You may apply few drops of tea tree oil to the affected part and massage or mix with olive oil, lavender oil and thyme oil and apply the mixture on the affected area everyday. Gently scrubbing the area may help to slough off the fungus out of the area.
Listerine Mouthwash: Although there is no scientific evidence that Listerine mouthwash cure nail fungus, some people find this useful. You may sock your feet in the Listerine mouthwash for 15 minutes and wash off. You also add vinegar or lemon juice to it for better effect.
Diet: Diet also plays an important role indirectly by boosting your immune system to fight the nail fungus. Take well maintained diet, reduce intake of sugar and dairy products.
Vicks VapoRub: Vicks VapoRub is another option for nail fungus. Although its effectiveness has not been proved, some people find it useful. You may give it a try.
Herbs: Several herbs are also being suggested in toenail fungus home remedies. Some available herbs are aloe-vera, thyme, burdock, turmeric and Echinacea, oregano seeds, cat’s claw, fenugreek and pokeroot.
Treatment either with prescription or home remedies will not work until you maintain your feet hygiene. Always wash feet after sports or any other activities that may involve wearing shoes for longer time. Be sure to wash and change your socks on regular basis and clean your shoes. It is better to throw away the old shoes and get a new one or wash the old shoes and don’t wear it for at-least 3-4 months. This will further avoid recurrence in future.
Remember: You may try this home remedies for mild cases of nail fungal infection, but will not work for severe cases. If you think your fungus has advanced and is severe, always seek help from your physician or dermatologist. Don’t try to treat it by yourself at home in order to save money, your nail infection might get complicated and you may need to spend thousands of dollars.