Toenail Fungus Home Remedies
Toenail fungus is also called onychomycosis. It is caused by a fungus group called dermatophytes. When this fungus grows in excess, it feeds on the keratin (surface of the toe nail), causing the nail to become discolored and disfigured. Toenail fungus usually affects the big toe and the small toe. While it is generally contagious, certain hereditary factors may make an individual vulnerable to toenail infections.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
The first signs are spots on the toenail. The toenails affected by the fungus become brown or yellow. They may also become overgrown and thick, making it painful to wear shoes. Foul-smelling debris often accumulates under the nail, which may eventually crumble and fall off.
Toenail fungus Causes: While toenail fungus can be hereditary, it is usually caused by contact with someone affected by it. Since fungus usually proliferates in warm, moist areas, it spreads in damp places such as swimming pools, shower stalls, or public gyms. Not washing or drying your feet after visiting such places may cause toenail fungus. Trauma to the toe caused by tight-fitting shoes is another cause of toe nail fungus. If you already suffer from toenail fungus on one foot, it may spread to the other foot as well. Decreased immunity or abnormal pH levels of the skin are other factors leading to this condition.
Natural Cures for Toenail Fungus: Natural cures can work wonders in curing toenail fungus. There are several toenail fungus home remedies that you can use in order to eliminate this problem.
Tea tree oil, lavender oil, and oregano oil have fungicide and antiseptic properties. You can apply these on the affected nail on a daily basis. These are potent essential oils and so it would be wise to dilute them with a carrier oil such as olive oil before you use it. Put a few drops of the diluted oil on a piece of cotton wool and rub it gently but thoroughly over the affected nail. You can also use a separate piece of cotton wool to apply this oil over your other nails to prevent the spread of the infection. Ideally, these toenail fungus home remedies should be used once in the morning and once at night. You can also try soaking your toenails in warm water, to which you have added a capful of mouthwash or natural apple cider. Allow your feet to soak for 15 to 20 minutes, and then dry them thoroughly. Use a hair dryer to eliminate all moisture beneath your nails.
A paste of turmeric and water applied on the nails may also help to reduce the fungus. Rubbing with a piece of onion is also effective. These toenail fungus home remedies should be used on a daily basis in order to get rid of this problem for good.
Prevent toenail fungus: After you have visited public places like swimming pools, spas, locker rooms, showers and gyms, wash your feet properly and take care to dry them well. Do not share common garments like socks or towels, which may spread the infection. Wear cotton socks which will absorb sweat. Keep your toenails short and well trimmed, and avoid nail polish.
Toenail Fungus Diet: Including probiotics like yogurt will help, since probiotics help fight fungus. Reduce your intake of dairy products and refined carbohydrates like sugar.