Well, whenever you think of a fungus, the first word that comes to your mind must be ‘Eeewww!” The toenail fungus might give you the same feeling. Scientifically known as onychomycosis, it can happen to even the most hygienic person in the world.
But before we detail out the home remedies for toenail fungus, let’s check out the symptoms and what causes this dreadful common condition.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Another fact, which might not sound fun at all, is that toenail fungus can not only happen to your toenails but to the nails of your hands as well. Some of the symptoms that can help you identify this disease are as mentioned below:
- Nail fungus turns brown, green and black
- Unbearable pain in the nail fungus and legs/hands which might even lead to the complete nail remover
- Thickening and cracking of the nails
Causes of Toenail Fungus
If you have to keep your feet in shoes throughout the day, then you must have dealt with this condition at some point in time. Here are some of the reasons that can lead to Toenail Fungus on your feet.
- If you have to wear your shoes throughout the day or for a longer period of time, you might be creating an environment for the Toenail fungus to thrive.
- If you are an athlete and have to wear sports gear, it can lead to profuse sweating, thus enhancing your chances of getting affected by this Toenail fungus.
- If you walk barefoot in communal areas like locker rooms or swimming pool, you are inviting Toenail Fungus to come to take refuge on your toes.
- If you have been living in a very hot and humid environment.
- When you keep wearing socks, especially smelly or wet socks, for a long period of time and do not change regularly, that is a perfect environment for toenail fungus to grow.
- Sometimes, nail extension procedures can also lead to this condition.
What are the home remedies for toenail fungus?
Well, if you have tried several ointments and pills and haven’t seen any results, then it is time to take matters into your own hands. Here is my list of home remedies for toenail fungus that you can try.
Did you know that coconut oil is known in the ayurvedic world for its anti toenail fungal properties? Yes, this amazing kitchen staple is used as a home remedy for toenail fungus many common infections and diseases. From using it to remove excessive sebum secreting or eating bacteria from the scalp to provide relief from dandruff to using it to remove infection-causing bacteria from the mouth, this is a one-stop solution for many conditions. To use it to treat toenail infection, follow these steps.
- Wash your feet fungus with antiseptic soap and water and pat them dry completely. Make sure that the feet are dry and there is no water left.
- Use cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil and apply it to your feet fungus. Smear it on the skin surrounding your toes as well.
- Leave it on and repeat the process at least thrice a day to get rid of the feet fungus.
Tea Tree Oil
Just like coconut oil, tree-tree oil is an efficient and fragrant way to treat toenail fungus. Studies have shown that this home remedy helps in getting rid of the fungi in an as effective way as the medicine Clotrimazole works. It also has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Use this home remedy only for topical application and do not ingest the oil. Follow these steps to use one of the most effective home remedies for toenail fungus.
- Wash your foot fungus with antiseptic soap and water and pat them dry completely. Make sure that the feet are dry and there is no water left.
- Add the tree-tree oil to a cotton ball and apply it slowly to the nail fungus
- If it stings, don’t worry, as it has started working.
- If the burning sensation persists, dilute the oil with olive oil in equal proportions before applying.
- Remove the oil from the feet fungus using a paper towel after 20 minutes.
- Repeat this process thrice daily.
Another amazing essential oil to treat this nail fungus is Lavender Oil. In fact, it could be one of the chief weapons for you to deal with this dreadful condition.
- Wash and clean your feet properly.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the lavender oil to the affected area.
- After 15 to 20 minutes, remove the oil using a paper towel.
- Repeat the process thrice daily.
If this stings, you can add olive oil in equal proportions as mentioned in the previous home remedy. Mixing lavender oil with tea-tree oil is one of the most powerful home remedies for toenail fungus.
Another favourite treatment on this list is using ACV or Apple Cider Vinegar. It is also popular for its anti-fungal properties and is used to treat many skin and nail infections like eczema, psoriasis and more. It helps in killing the infection-causing nail fungus while also removing excess dirt and sebum which might be adding to this misery.
- Take water in a tub in a quantity good enough for you to soak your feet into.
- Add ACV(Apple Cider Vinegar) in half the amount of water to the tub.
- Soak your feet in this water for at least half an hour and pat them dry with a paper towel after removing them.
- Repeat this process twice a day to see this home remedy work.
So, this is one of my go-to home remedies for toenail fungus. Garlic is known for its antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat many infections, pains and inflammation both inside and outside the body. To use it to combat fungus, follow these steps:
- Take 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and crush them into a thick paste.
- Add olive oil or Apple Cider Vinegar to the mixture.
- Apply it to the affected area and secure it with a bandage.
- Leave the bandage on for about 30 minutes.
- Clean your feet with a paper towel and repeat this process twice or thrice per day.
5 Steps to Maintain Feet Hygiene
Apart from following these home remedies for toenail fungus, it is essential that you maintain hygiene to make sure that your habits are not creating an environment where the nail fungus can grow and thrive.
- If you have to wear closed-toe shoes throughout the day, make sure you thoroughly wash them once you are home and wear an open sandal to let them breathe.
- The same goes for our athletes dealing with this condition. You are the ones wearing sports gear and using common locker rooms and bathrooms which put you at a higher risk. Follow a thorough cleaning habit. After your everyday practice or usage of these locker rooms, clean the feet properly and apply talcum powder to soak away all the sweat which might lead to the growth of these fungi. The market is now flooded with such special powders created specifically for athletes to deal with sweat in their feet. Applying tea-tree or lavender oil every day can also be added to the hygiene routine.
- Rotate your shoes regularly and avoid wearing the same shoes every day.
- Do not wear wet socks at all or for prolonged periods as well. Make a habit to change your socks every day and wear washed and cleaned pair.
- Prefer a diet that is full of probiotics, iron and protein. Include more green leafy vegetables, dairy products, eggs, curd, lentils and legumes.
Sometimes, a toenail fungus and nail infection can be more than just a cosmetic problem. If you have been dealing with diabetes or have other foot-related problems or sores on your skin make sure you consult a doctor before trying any of these home remedies for toenail fungus.