Do your toenails look odd? Are they turning yellow, getting thick, or crumbling? These may be signs of toenail fungus. This common condition can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, including splitting, cracking, or even losing your nail.
Luckily, this the fungus that is plaguing your toenails can easily be treated. Read on to learn how to get rid of toenail fungus.
Apple Cider Vinegar-The acidic liquid kills fungus and bacteria and can prevent toenail fungus from spreading.
Soak your affected nails in a solution of half water and half apple cider vinegar for half an hour daily. Within a few weeks, you should see improvements.
White Vinegar-One of the most effective treatments for toenail fungus, it not only fights the infection, but it brings the skin back to its normal pH levels. Soak the toenail in one part vinegar to two parts warm water for about ten minutes. Rinse and repeat twice a day.
Tea Tree Oil-This essential oil has anti-fungal properties that allow it to treat the fungus. Add the diluted oil to a cotton ball and place it on the toenail with fungus. Allow it to work its magic for about 10 minutes.
Then, gently scrub the nail with a toothbrush. Do this two to three times each day until you are happy with the results.
Oil of Oregano-Another essential oil that is anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial, this option is quite effective, too.
Mix a teaspoon of olive oil with two drops of the oil of oregano oil. Apply to affected areas and let work for at least half an hour. Rinse and dry your toes.
As you can see, when you are looking at how to get rid of toenail fungus, there are several available options. Try one of these tips and watch your toes get back to normal.
Steps To Eliminating Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is not only a very common problem but can be very difficult to get rid of. Fungus, in this case onychomycosis, thrives in warm, damp and dark conditions, making the feet and especially the toenails the ideal environment to grow in.
Some other factors can exacerbate the condition or create an environment conducive to contracting the fungus. For example, people with bad blood circulation, diabetes and other health conditions are more likely to suffer with the problem. Standing for extended periods of time or wearing shoes and socks all day can also inflame the condition.
While the problem is usually pain free it can result in red, swollen and uncomfortable skin beneath and surrounding the affected toenail. The toenails may appear yellow in color and become thicker and more brittle with white, scaly residue building up and falling off of the nail.
Complications can occur if the problem is left untreated resulting in broken and split nails or even the entire loss of a nail. In some cases, infection can occur which results in mucous oozing from under the toenail and can be very painful.
Untreated infections can lead to serious health conditions and in rare cases, septicemia which could be life threatening.
To eliminate toenail fungus permanently, it is important to take the following steps:
1. Foot Hygiene
Clean feet are less likely to contract the fungus and will prevent the spread of the condition. Wash your feet and use a scrubbing brush with soap under, around and on the toenail. Make sure that your feet are properly dried before donning socks and shoes.
You can use a foot powder to help keep your feet dry during the day and to prevent fungus from growing on the feet and toenails.
If you wear shoes and socks for long periods of time, try to remove them as often as possible to air your feet.
Wash your feet after you remove your foot gear and before going to bed at night.
Remove any callouses and dry skin from your feet and heels. These areas are a breeding ground for fungus that can move to the toenail. Scrubbing your feet daily will prevent callouses and dry skin from forming.
2. Foot Gear Hygiene
Never wear a pair of socks unless they have been washed and are totally dry. Use foot powder inside your shoes before and after wear to dry them out and kill any fungus that might be present. Leave your shoes in a clean dry area away from damp and humidity.
If you are already suffering from toenail fungus, it may be a good idea to wash and clean your shoes to eliminate any fungus that may be present in the foot gear. This will prevent the condition from recurring.
3. Home Toenail Fungus Treatments
There are a wide range of natural home remedies that you can use to treat foot fungus.
– Soak your feet in a solution of water and apple cider or white vinegar for 30 minutes every day. Alternatively, mix the vinegar with bicarbonate of soda to form a paste and scrub the toenails and surrounding areas. The acid in the vinegar should kill the fungus over time.
– Use antiseptic oils on your toenails after scrubbing and drying your feet. Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil and Oregano oils all have great antiseptic properties. Apply liberally to the toenails at least three time a day.
– Mouthwash with antibacterial properties will also eliminate fungus on the feet and toenails. Soak the feet in a diluted mixture for 30 minutes at least once a day. Be prepared for a mild burning sensation as the solution does its work.
Home remedies take time to work but if you don’t see results within a couple of weeks, you may want to consult your pharmacist or doctor.
4. Medical Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Some medicinal or pharmaceutical treatments for toenail fungus may be available over the counter at your local pharmacy. These include anti-fungal ointments, lotions and nail varnish treatments.
It is very important to follow the instructions carefully to get the best results. You should also use your preferred treatment until the fungus has been entirely eliminated to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
If the fungus does not disappear within a few days of starting treatment, you need to consult your doctor. A medical practitioner may prescribe oral anti-fungal drugs to help combat the condition.
However, this should be a last resort as anti-fungal drugs could have side effects that affect the rest of the body in negative ways. Oral prescriptions may be used in combination with topical ointments and creams.
If the condition has resulted in an infection, your doctor may also prescribe a course of antibiotics. It is very important to complete the course of antibiotics to eliminate the infection and then continue with the anti-fungal treatment as prescribed.
In an extreme case, your doctor may remove the affected toenail or nails to eliminate or prevent the spread of the fungus. This can be a painful process and it will take a few months for the nail to grow back completely.
In rare cases, the nail will not grow back at all. Toenail removal may be surgical or it could simply be pulled from the nail bed, depending on the severity of the condition.
You may want to combine your home remedy treatment with a medical treatment. However, it is important to consult your doctor about the alternative therapy you are using.
5. Your Diet
People with poor nutrition are more likely to contract fungal infections. A lack of probiotics in your diet may also contribute to fungal infections. Probiotics are basically the good bacteria in your body that ensure a good balance so that fungal infections do not occur.
A good vitamin supplement as well as eating raw fruit and vegetables regularly will help your body fight off the fungal infection. You can also use a probiotic supplement or include foods such as yogurt in your diet.
As poor blood circulation is one of the primary conditions that promotes toenail fungus, it is important to improve this condition. Good blood circulation sends essential oxygen and white blood cells to the furthest reaches of the body to help combat all types of infection. One of the best ways to enhance blood circulation to the extremities is through exercise.
You know you have poor circulation when:
– Your feet and hands tingle or become numb.
– Your feet are discolored (purple or red or spotty).
– Your hands or feet swell.
Simply walking for 15 minutes a couple of times a day will promote blood circulation. Foot massage can also help increase blood circulation to the toenails.
While most people seek treatment for toenail fungus due to the unsightly nature of the condition, it is very important to keep the complications that can arise from the condition in mind.
It is also important to understand that the longer a toenail fungal infection is left untreated, the more difficult it will be to get rid of completely. Although it is not necessary to run off to your doctor at the first signs of infection, it is essential to seek treatment if the problem is not alleviated quickly.
If you notice any liquid oozing from beneath or around the toenail, you should seek medical advice immediately. This is a clear sign that a secondary infection (normally bacterial) has occurred which will require medical treatment.
A bacterial infection can spread quickly and increase in severity which could have other serious or severe health consequences.