Toenail fungus natural remedies—what are they and do they work? Before we delve in deeper about toenail fungus, let’s first explore why fungal infection happens to begin with.
Many people suffer from fungal infections, which develop when the body’s immune system is so weak that it cannot fight the invading fungi that thrive in the soil, water, air, and plants. It will be hard for the human body to attack fungi since these have high survival rate and are capable of rapidly spreading infections. To effectively eliminate fungi, it is essential to know the specific type of fungi that has entered your body as it determines the most appropriate treatment option to apply.
One of the common areas in our body where fungi survive is the toenail. Toenail fungal infections are contagious and can easily spread to nearby areas. To manage this medical condition, there are some aspects that we need to explore such as knowing the common symptoms and the causes of the fungal infection. Different treatment options will also be provided below to help outpatients who are suffering from toenail fungal infections. Above all, it is important to weigh whether prescription drugs or over the counter treatments are more effective than the toenail fungus natural remedies.
What are the common causes of toenail fungus?
Also referred to as tinea unguium or onychomycosis, nail fungus is a kind of infection that impacts the toenails or the fingernails. This infection develops over time which means that the initial symptoms of the condition may be subtle.
One of the factors contributing to the development of toenail fungal infection is fungi overgrowth in, on or under the nails. As mentioned, this condition is contagious. It is possible for fungi to transfer from one person to another. A study conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology found that one of the causes of toenail fungi infections is our shoes as its warmth and moist which offers a very conducive place for fungi to thrive.
Another common cause of toenail fungus is the use of unsanitary tools when cleaning the nails. It is essential to ensure that nail clippers, emery boards and other tools are completely sanitized whenever you get pedicures or manicures.
Who are at risk of having toenail fungal infection?
Although toenail fungal infections are just common, there are still some groups of people who are more susceptible to this condition. Among them are those who are diagnosed with diabetes and who are having poor blood circulation. In addition to these, people aged 65 and above are also at risk to suffer from toenail fungus.
When it comes to gender differences, women are less likely to have nail fungus than men. It is also important to consider the places where fungi are likely to thrive. Medical research found that people who wear artificial nails and who spend most of their time in a public swimming pool are prone to have infections.
What are the symptoms of the infection?
Infection can affect the entire nail, several nails or just a certain nail part. Among the symptoms or signs of this medical condition is nail scaling or commonly referred to as subungual hyperkeratosis, which is the presence of lateral onychomycosis or yellow streaks on the nails or white areas on the surface of the nail. In severe cases, nail loss and bad odor coming from the nails also indicate that a person is suffering from toenail fungal infection.
Which is the better treatment option for toenail fungus?
The initial treatment option that is commonly recommended to patients who were diagnosed with this condition is the use of prescription antifungal drugs. However, although these may be proven effective in addressing this condition, it may not be the best option as these treatments have side effects and may be harmful to the liver. The side effects may range from skin issues to stomach problems. With this in mind, many people with the infection chose to implement toenail fungus natural remedies as they are more accessible and safer to use.
What are the different effective toenail fungus natural remedies?
The use of baking soda is one of the most useful remedies for treating the infection. A study conducted by medical experts showed that baking soda is capable of soaking up moisture and lessening the growth of fungi in the toenails. To try this remedy, just get some baking soda and put it inside your socks. You can also mix the baking soda with water and apply it to the affected toenails. Let the paste sit in the nails for at least 10 minutes.
Another natural remedy that can help you deal with toenail fungi infections is vinegar. One way of using this is by applying it directly to the affected areas or by mixing it with water and soaking your feet in the mixture.
If you can’t find a baking soda or vinegar at home, then maybe you can use mouthwash to address the infections as many products are equipped with antifungal properties. To apply it, just pour the mouthwash directly to the affected nails and let it sit for several minutes before washing it off.
Garlic is also helpful in managing toenail fungal infections. Research indicates that garlic oil, as well as garlic extract, is strong enough to attack several fungi strains that commonly thrive in our nails. However, just a reminder before applying garlic, it is important to monitor its impact as it can cause skin burns.
If the natural remedies mentioned above are still ineffective, then try to use essential oil blends like petitgrain oil, ylang-ylang oil, clary sage oil, lavender oil, and jasmine oil. A study conducted by clinical experts supports their effectiveness. They found that the mixture of these oils have antimicrobial and antifungal effects. These are especially helpful when reducing or totally eliminating fungi infections in the toenails.