Beautiful, healthy nails are important not just in the beauty industry but also in the real world. If your nails are crooked or are chipped, then your confidence levels go down. Whereas, when your nails are on point, you feel great about yourself. Nails are an important part of our looks; it creates the first impression, your nails talk about your personality. If you have manicured and pedicured nails it speaks of your status in the society. So one must give some attention to their nails as well. Did you know that most people suffer from nail infections or foot fungus also known as onychomycosis, that make their nails unappealing? Nail infections are fungal infections that make the nails discolored and brittle.
The fungus affects the nail bed, and in some severe cases the nail bed separates from the nail and the nail breaks off. This can be quite painful. It is best to avoid nail infections by taking preventive measures. However, if you are one among those who are already suffering from nail infections then here are 15 home remedies that will help in getting rid of toe fungus fast, but before we dig deep into the home remedies for the treatment let us first understand this infection better.
What are the Causes of Toenail Fungus?
When fungi thrive under the nails especially when the environment near the nail is moist and warm, it gives way to nail infection. It can be caused by coming in contact with someone who already has the infection.
Mostly the toes are affected if you wear shoes. Sweat, moisture, and warmth come together to build a suitable environment in the shoes where the fungus can breed and proliferate.
Nail infection can also be passed on from salons that don’t disinfect their tools. So, be careful when you go to the salons for a manicure or pedicure. See to it that the instruments like nail clippers, emery board, etc. are sanitized. Some of the other causes of toenail fungus are listed below –
- Poor immune system
- Injury to the toenail
- Using other’s shoes, towels, and socks
- Walking barefoot outside the house
Signs and Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Some of the signs of fungal infection on the nail are listed below –
- Thick nail that has become brittle
- Distorted nail that is almost coming off
- An odor coming from the infected nail
- Scaling beneath the nail
- Yellow or white discoloration of the nail
- Yellow spots at the bottom of the nail
- Complete loss of nail in severe cases
If you observe any of the above-listed signs, then see a doctor as soon as you can to get rid of toenail fungus. The doctor will be able to make the right diagnosis. It becomes even more important to see a doctor if you suffer from diabetes.
How to Prevent Toenail Fungus?
As they say that prevention is better than cure, let us talk about the steps that will help in preventing the infection beforehand. There are some basic steps that should be followed in order to avert the growth of fungus in the first place. The steps are listed below –
1. Be Clean – Staying clean is the key here. You will have to take regular showers, and you will have to keep your shoes clean too. Spray some antibacterial solution in your shoes on a regular basis. You will have to keep your feet clean and dry in order to prevent fungal infections.
2. Shoes – Don’t wear the same shoes every single day. Switch the shoes you wear every other day and let the other pair of shoe air dry for a day. This way your feet will remain clean and healthy.
3. Fit – In order to avoid toenail fungus, you will have to make sure that your shoes fit you perfectly. See to it that the shoe is not touching your toenail. If the shoe is too tight, your toenails will get damaged which can lead to the toenail. You can avoid this by making sure that your shoes have enough room in them.
4. Wear Breathable Shoes – Make sure to wear shoes that breathe. See to it that the air circulates in the shoes well. If your shoes don’t breathe, it will trap in moisture, and the damp atmosphere created within the shoe is the optimum environment for fungal growth.
5. Clip your Nails – Clip your nails regularly and clip it the right way. Don’t overdo it. Make sure that you use sanitized tools for the job. File the sharp edges of your toenails and cut the nails straight.
So, now that we have understood all about toenail fungus. Let ’s now jump into the home remedies that will help you cure this infection.
15 Natural Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus
1. Tea Tree Oil
This is known to be antiseptic and antifungal at the same time. In order to apply tea tree oil, you will first have to clean your infected toe using some rubbing alcohol. Clean the area properly and then apply 100% pure tea tree oil to the nail using a cotton pad. You can also soak your infected toe in the oil and leave it on for around 10 minutes. After 10 minutes gently scrub the affected area using a toothbrush. When using pure tea tree oil, you can use other carrier oils to dilute the oil. Other carrier oils that you can use are olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil. Repeat this process every day until you see improvement. You might soon observe a new nail growing and replace the old nail.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one among the best vinegar home remedies for toe fungus. All you need to do is take one part of Epsom salt and one part of apple cider vinegar in six parts of hot water. Let the mixture cool a little so that you can soak your feet in the water. Do this once every day and you will soon be able to see positive results. You can also drink a concoction made by mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in around eight ounces of lukewarm water. You can sweeten this mix by adding a teaspoon of honey to it.
3. White Vinegar
Most people swear by the properties of white vinegar. This home treatment helps in restoring the pH balance of the skin. In order to use white vinegar as a remedy for your toe fungus, you will have to mix warm water with white vinegar. If you take 1-part white vinegar, then take 2 parts of warm water. Soak your infected nail in this mix for at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rinse off the foot with plain water. Dry the infected nail properly. If you do this twice every day, you will be able to get rid of the fungus soon.
4. Garlic Oil
Garlic is known to have allicin and ajoene that have antifungal properties. Take garlic oil and mix it with some olive oil, apply this mixture on the affected area. Take a bandage and wrap it around the affected nail and leave it on for a few hours; do this every day and soon the infected area will heal. You should also eat more garlic as eating it will help in the healing process.
5. Listerine Mouthwash
Listerine is made of alcohol and other similar compounds; thus it acts as antiseptic. So, if you want to destroy the fungus that has affected your toenails, then you will have to soak your feet in Listerine for at least half an hour every day. This way you will be able to get rid of the fungus soon. See to it that you dry your feet thoroughly after.
6. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has properties that kill the fungus. The fruit has citric acid that makes sure that the fungus doesn’t spread. Cut the lemon in half and apply it on the infected area. Leave it on for around an hour and then rinse with warm water. Remember to pat dry properly. You will get rid of the fungus soon if you do this on a regular basis.
7. Orange Oil
This oil is known for its antifungal properties. Make sure to do a patch test with this oil before you begin using it, as some people are allergic to orange oil. In order to cure your infected toenail, you will have to apply the oil under your nail using a dropper, leave it on for around an hour and then rinse with some warm water. Do this at least twice a day for good results.
This is yet another best toenail fungus remedy. All you need to do is, cut an onion, take a piece of the onion and gently rub it on the toe that is infected. Do this regularly, and you will soon notice a difference.
9. Sea Salt
Sea salt is highly effective for the treatment of nail fungus. Take some sea salt and mix it with some water in a bowl. Soak your feet in this mixture for as long as you can. Pat dry your feet once done. You will have to do this on a regular basis to get positive results. If you live near the beach, you can go and soak your feet in the sea water for some time every day.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is known for its healing properties. Apply a little coconut oil on the infected nail, and gently massage it in. Doing this once daily will help in the healing process.
11. Neem Oil
Neem has antifungal properties and so it can be used to treat nail infections. Take some oil on your palm and gently massage the affected area. You will have to do it every day in order to see positive results. The neem oil will moisturize and nourish your nails.
Consume some yogurt every day, this will prevent the spreading of the infection. Yogurt has probiotics that help in the removal of fungus. Consuming a little yogurt every day will slowly heal the infection from within.
13. Vicks Vapor Rub
This is a popular remedy for toenail fungus treatment. It is highly effective. All you have to do is rub a little Vicks vapor rub on the affected nail and wrap a bandage around it. You will have to leave it on for the night. This will kill the fungus and will cure the toenail. If you have already tried a lot of home remedies and if you are still not getting any results, then you should definitely give this remedy a try.
14. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has natural antiseptic properties that help in the treatment of fungus infections. Take 5 drops of lavender oil mixed with 5 drops of tea tree oil and mix them in a bowl. Use a cotton pad to apply it on the infected nail. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse with some warm water. Don’t forget to pat dry the infected area. Do this 2 to 3 times every day to help heal the infected nail.
15. Baking Soda and Borax
Fungus needs an acidic environment to grow and flourish, there using an alkaline as a remedy will help in making the environment uninhabitable for the fungus. Therefore, we advise you to use a mixture of borax powder and baking soda. Take equal parts of borax and baking soda in a bowl and mix them together. Add a little water to make a paste. Rub this paste on the infected nail. You will have to do this twice everyday to see positive results.