Toenail fungus or toe fungus is an infection of toenails that is contagious. If the toenail fungus starts in one nail of the toe, it can spread to the other toenails as well. Usually, dermophytes, a fungi group, is responsible for onychomycosis or toenail infection. This fungi group thrives on keratin which is the main component of nails and hair. When the fungus starts to grow, the patient’s nails get discolored and turn yellow, brown, or white. Eventually, the affected nails might harden, thicken, become brittle, and can even fall off.
The treatment for toenail fungus can last for several weeks to several months. Various medications are available to deal with this contagious infection. However, it is always advisable to take medicines under the guidance of healthcare professionals as these medications might have several side effects depending on the person’s medical history. Here is a list of some of the most effective home remedies to treat a toenail fungus.
You can find vinegar in almost every household. It is a common cooking ingredient in a few cuisines. However, in some cases, you will discover this item in some home cleaning solutions as well. Although there is no clinical evidence to prove vinegar’s effectiveness in treating toenail fungus, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support its potential for curing this condition.
Mix vinegar in a bowl of warm water. Now, soak your infection-affected toe in this mixture. The ratio of water to vinegar should be 2:1.
Various medical reports have shown that baking soda helps in soaking up excess moisture, which is one of the leading causes of toenail fungus. While doing a medical study, researchers found that baking soda can effectively prevent the growth of normal fungi by a considerable amount.
One of the easiest ways to use baking soda is to put it inside your shoes and socks so that it can soak up the moisture. Another great way to use it is to make a paste of water and baking soda and apply it directly to the infected nails. Keep it for 10 to 15 minutes before cleaning it up. You can repeat this process until the fungal infection clears.
Another effective treatment for toenail fungus is garlic. Garlic extract contains strong antifungal properties. According to some medical research reports, garlic oil is useful in dealing with this contagious infection.
You can chop a garlic clove and apply it to the infection-affected nails directly. Keep it for about 30 minutes before rinsing the area thoroughly. However, you need to be a bit careful while using the chopped garlic on the toenail fungus as raw garlic can cause a burning sensation on your skin.
Just like vinegar, mouthwash does not have any scientific evidence proving its effectiveness as a treatment option for toenail fungus. However, some medical studies have shown that some commercial types of mouthwash contain antifungal properties.
You can take mouthwash in a small bowl, dip your affected toenails in it, and leave it for a few minutes to soak it up.
Mentholated topical ointment
Usually, mentholated topical ointments contain ingredients like eucalyptus oil, camphor, and menthol which has antifungal properties. A medical study was conducted with some people who had toenail-fungus, and they were asked to apply this ointment on the affected nails. All the participants agreed to the fact that they were satisfied with the results of rubbing this ointment on the infected nails. However, more medical research studies on mentholated topical ointments are needed to prove its effectiveness as a treatment option for toenail fungus.
Apply the mentholated topical ointment to the infected nails at least once a day. You need to continue this for several weeks until you see a noticeable improvement.
Ozonized oil is ozone gas infused into oils. Ozonized sunflower oil is an excellent example of this. Various medical studies have reflected its effectiveness in treating toenail fungus. To get results, you need to apply ozonized oils to the infected nails twice in a day, and you should continue to use it for almost three months.
Other than all the home remedies mentioned above, a blend of certain types of essential oils such as clary sage oil, lavender oil, ylang-ylang oil, petitgrain oil, and jasmine oil can treat a toenail fungus. Also, one can introduce some healthy changes in their diet to treat toenail fungus naturally. One can add foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium, oily fish like salmon that are rich in fatty acid, foods that contain probiotics, lean protein, iron, etc. as these food items are useful in treating toenail fungus.