The scientific name of nail and toe nail fungus is onychomychosis. It appears as a light colored spot under the nail, which spreads in the entire nail and takes an entirely different look. The nail becomes yellow in color and the edges begin to crumble. Timely treatment is very important or else the fungus will grow and distort the nail and the color will become brown, black or green. And still if no treatment is available, then the nail will come off and the region will give a foul smell. It is sensible to depend on the home remedies for nail fungus or toenail fungus as the chemicals in most of the medicines available in the market are very harmful in nature and have side effects too.
Toenail fungus or Onychomycosis of nail plate is a fungal infection attacking the toenail. It is caused by a group of fungus named dermatophytes. The fungus consumes keratin, the substance making up the nail surface, leading to discoloration and disfiguration of the nail. Toe nail area is usually dark and damp, and thereby provides a congenial environment for the fungus to thrive.
The dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum is responsible for onychomycosis. It is a contagious nail disorder, and may spread from toenail to other body parts. Among the factors promoting the disease, we have abnormal PH level of skin, sensitive or traumatic nail surface, poor foot hygiene, warm and moist habitat, decreased immunity to fungus, wearing of tight fitting shoes, keeping the foot moist, heredity. The nail in case of toenail fungus, functions as a hard protective cover, allowing the fungus to thrive and multiply underneath.
1. Distal subungual onychomycosis - In this case the fungus attacks the nail bed, and the region beneath the nail plate.
2. White superficial onychomycosis - In this case, the superficial layers of the nail plate are attacked by fungus, leading to the formation of small white islands on the nail plate.
3. Proximal subungual onychomycosis - In this case the fungus penetrates through the proximal nail fold, affecting the nail plate.
1. Yellowish or brownish discoloration of nail.
2. Cloudy appearance of nail
3. Nail may become brittle, and may also fall off.
4. Thickening of nail
5. Crumbling edges of nail
6. Keratin debris or granules may accumulate underneath the free edge of the affected nail.
7. Nail may seem over grown.
8. Pain may be felt while wearing shoes.
9. The debris collecting round the edge of the nail may be foul smelling.
10. Blackish spots may occur at the sides of the nail.
Oregano oil is one of the best home remedies for nail fungus. It is effective in curing yeast and fungal infections. Edible oregano cannot be used for this purpose. Its function is equivalent to that of penicillin in destroying bacteria and yeast. Our body absorbs this oil quickly, so it should be taken with food in order to avoid a stomach upset and heartburn. Always remember to conduct an allergy test before using it, as it irritates sensitive skin and should not be applied around the eye area. Use the product in combination with vegetable oil, almond or olive oil. Apply it 2-3 times a day for 6 months.
Vinegar is among the important home remedies for toenail fungus. Soak the infected nails in vinegar solution for 20 minutes twice daily. Then dry them with a cotton cloth and continue with the process till the infection is cured. The most effective vinegar is apple cider vinegar. Eradicate the fungus from your nails by soaking them in Listerine mouthwash. The anti-bacterial properties in it that cures mouth infections help in curing the nails. Iodine is effective in curing the nails. You can also use hydrogen peroxide for the purpose.
Mix vicks vaporub with essential oils and apply it on the nails either by rubbing or brushing gives very good results. It becomes the most effective home remedies for nail fungus if the oil is oregano oil. You can rub Tea tree oil on your nails as it is an antiseptic that has anti-bacterial properties. The effected nails can be rubbed or sprayed with alcohol too. Chlorine bleach can be used for the purpose too. But one thing has to be kept in mind, and that is to consult a doctor if the condition does not improve.
The home remedies for toenail fungus are cost effective and available in each and every household. You must keep it in mind that the fungus grows in warm and moist conditions. It mainly occurs in winter. The tissue of the nails is mainly affected and the fungus keeps on growing if ignored. Use socks made up of cotton and clean them regularly. Do not wear tight shoes and don't repeat the socks and shoes in case you had the infection in it as yeast infection is contagious and spreads easily.
1. Wearing pure cotton socks is advisable.
2. One should wear breathable shoes.
3. Filing the nail properly so that local anti-fungal applications can smoothly penetrate is essential.
4. Drying the affected area properly is a necessity.
5. The patient should stop sharing his or her towel or wash clothes to check the spreading.
6. Consumption of sugar, dairy products and vinegar should be reduced.
7. A direct application of tea tree oil mixed with olive oil can help, for the combination acts as a natural fungicide.
8. Soaking the affected area in Listerine mouth wash can help a lot. It is an effective home remedy for toenail fungus.
9. Dabbing the area with a mixture of tea tree oil and lavender will reduce skin irritation.
10. Massaging the foot with AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) creams will help in shedding off the scaly, rough skin that is susceptible to the invasion by fungus.
11. Soaking the foot for half an hour in a basin containing Luke warm water and natural apple cider vinegar will help a lot.
12. Oregano oil has anti fungal and antiseptic properties. Application of a mixture of few drops of oregano oil and olive oil on the effected area will fight against infection.
13. A probiotic diet like yoghurt and kefir is essential for toenail infection patients.
14. Consumption of olive leaf extracts can be helpful, for it acts as an internal anti fungal agent.
15. Rubbing the area with substances like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide (3%) can prevent the growth of fungus.
16. Dusting shoes with anti fungal powder before wearing them can help a lot.