Toenail fungus is a very common disease of the foot nails. Nail infection may affect toenails or fingernails, but toenail infections are particularly common. Some of the causes for this problem are sweating heavily, being in a humid environment, psoriasis and wearing socks and shoes that prevent ventilation and don’t absorb perspiration. Another common causes are going barefoot in damp public places such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms, having athlete’s foot, minor skin or nail injury, damaged nail or other infection, having diabetes or circulation problems and a weakened immune system.
When the toenail is infected, the most common symptom is that the nail becomes thickened and discolored, and as the infection progresses the nail can become brittle. If left untreated, the skin underneath and around the nail can become inflamed and painful.
The Best Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus
1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide
Vinegar cure for toenail fungus is very popular. It is recommended to soak the feet in vinegar and water for at least 30 minutes, twice a day or more in order to help kill the fungus.
It is explained that the acidity of vinegar restores pH balance of nails and helps in soothing the discomfort caused due to toenail fungus. Though most types of vinegar can be used in toenail fungus treatment, the recommendation is to use apple cider vinegar as it is known to be the most effective.
You can also soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the nail, but ensure that vinegar stays on your nails for a significant amount of time. Apple cider vinegar is the most commonly used solution for curing fungal infections.
It is a strong astringent and has anti-fungal properties. It is also known to reduce inflammation and pain linked with some stages of fungal infections. It is also recommended to combine vinegar with hydrogen peroxide to form an even more effective solution in wiping out bacteria and viruses.
Soak toes or fingers in a 50/50 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar every day and fungus will be history in no time.
2. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Recent controlled trials using tea tree oil show promising opportunity for people suffering from stubborn toenail infections.
This is one of the few problems that uses 100% tea tree oil for maximum results. After several months of testing, doctors found that tea tree oil was on par with the results seen after using standard topical antifungal treatments.
Why use medical treatments with mystery ingredients when there is an all natural alternative that is just as effective?
Paint the oil on the affected nails twice a day for at least two months. The nail has to grow out for the fungus to be eradicated, so you may not see results for a several months.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is highly alkaline; therefore, when applied to the foot, baking soda can help bring your pH level into balance, making it more difficult for fungi and bacteria to grow. Baking soda is highly alkaline and can balance your pH level so it’s more difficult for fungi to grow.
- Mix two parts baking soda to one part water in a small dish to make a paste.
- Use a cotton swab to apply the paste over the entire nail and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Then rinse the paste off and pat the nail dry. Repeat this treatment twice a day until the fungus dies (it can take up to 2 weeks).
- The nail may fall off, but this is normal when treating nail fungus, and a new, healthy toenail should be growing instead.