A type of fungi virus is responsible for nail fungus. Also known as onychomycosis and tinea unguium, nail fungal infections are considered as the most popular diseases of the nails, making up approximately 50% of nail abnormalities. This article from VKool.com will show you all basic information about nail fungus, such as causes, symptoms, and home remedies for nail fungus. Check out below!
I. Home Remedies For Nail Fungus – What Are Fungi?
Fungi are microscopic organisms which do not need sunlight to survive. In fact, some fungi also come with beneficial uses. Other fungi lead to infection and illness. Fungi live in moist, warm environments, containing swimming pools and showers. Also, they could invade the human skin through cuts which are so tiny that you could not even see them or through a small separation between the nail and the nail bed. Fungi, in other words, can lead to problems if the nails are usually exposed to moist and warm conditions.
II. Home Remedies For Nail Fungus – Toenails Vs. Fingernails
Acutally, nail fungus happens more often in the toe nails than in those fingernails. It is partly because:
- Toenails usually are confined in a warm, dark, moist environment, like inside the shoes, in which fungi could thrive.
- Toes often have less blood flow than do fingers, thereby making it more difficult for the immune system of your body to detect and stop infection.
III. Home Remedies For Nail Fungus – Main Causes Of Nail Fungus
In reality, fungal nail infections could be resulted from 3 different kinds of fungus, both alone and in combination.
- Dermatophytes: these are a kind of fungus that could grow on the hair, skin, and nails. They do not invade the deeper tissues of the human body. In reality, Trichophyton rubrum, the most popular dermatophyte, often leads to the majority of cases of athlete’s foot. In turn, athlete’s foot could infect the toenails. People could get infected by contacting with those objects which have dermatophytes on them, like shoes, clothing, nail clippers, shower and locker room floors, nail files, and carpet.
- Yeast: they are the kind of fungus that develops on the nails and skin. Normally, they are present on the body. Things such as antibiotic, illness, or birth control pill use and immune system issues might allow an overgrowth of yeast, thereby causing to a yeast infection.
- Molds: are a kind of fungus that popularly develops in soil and could develop on the nails and skin. They are not often passed among people. People could suffer from a fungal nail infection as they come in contact with fungus and it starts to develop on or under the nail. Fungi develop best in moist, warm areas, like the area around the human toes. However, you could have fungi on the skin without getting the nail infection. If you are susceptible to fungal infections, they will return, even after effective remedy and particularly if you do not take preventive steps.
Aside from the above causes of fungus, there are some factors which can enhance your risk of growing nail fungus, containing:
- Being older, owing to decreased blood flow, a lot of years of exposure to fungi, and slower developing nails
- Being male, particularly if your family history has nail fungal infections
- Perspiring heavily
- Working in the moist and humid environment where the hands are usually wet, like housekeeping or bartending
- Wearing socks as well as shoes which hinder ventilation and do not absorb perspiration
- Walking barefoot in the damp communal areas, like swimming pools, shower rooms, or gyms
- Lying with the person who suffer from nail fungus
- Having athlete’s foot
- Having a nail injury or a minor skin or a skin problem, like psoriasis
- Having circulation issues, diabetes, a weakened immune system
IV. Home Remedies For Nail Fungus – Signs Of Fungal Nails
There are many species of fungi which might affect nails. Nevertheless, by far the most common, is named Trichophyton rubrum. This kind of fungus has a tendency to infect your skin and manifest in the specific ways below:
- Begin at the ends of your nail and raise the nail up: it is named “distal subungal onychomycosis” and is the most popular kind of fungal infection of the nail – about 90%. It is more popular in the toes than fingers. It often begins as a discolored area at the corner of your big toe and then slowly spreads towards the cuticle. Finally, the toenails become flaky and thickened. In some cases, you could also see athlete’s foot in between the toes or skin peeling on the foot’s sole.
- Begin at the base of your nail and raise the nail up: this is named “proximal subungal onychomycosis” and is the least popular kind of fungal nail – about 3%. It is likely to the distal kind, yet it begins at the base of the nail – the cuticle – and then steadily spread towards the human nail tip. This kind almost always happens in those with the immune system which is ruined.
- Yeast onychomycosis: this is resulted from yeast named “Candida” and not by the Trichophytonfungus mentioned above. Usually, it is more popular in the fingernails and might be the most popular cause of fungal fingernails. Actually, Candida could lead to brown, yellow, white, or thickened nails. Some individuals who suffer from this infection also have yeast within their mouth or suffer from a chronic paronychia which is also strongly infected with yeast.
V. Home Remedies For Nail Fungus – How To Prevent Nail Fungus
In fact, no one knows where a particular person catches the fungus, because it is available everywhere. Nevertheless, because the fungus does thrive in moist, warm area such as sweaty feet, there are some specific areas that people should avoid or use with a lot of caution. Locker rooms, shower floors, or swimming pools are often suspected of being the main sources of fungus, though there are no particular studies proving that fact. Acrylic nails and nail polish also make the human nail less “breathable” and also make nail more susceptible to the problem of fungus. We all know that, fungi are everywhere – in the dust, the air, and the soil as well. Thus, hygiene measures like spraying socks or footgear might be sensible perhaps these measures could help somewhat. Yet, avoiding non-breathing, tight shoes or steering clear of the athletic facility floors might be the best prevention available. In addition, washing the feet daily and drying between the toes could help you prevent nail fungus. The fungi presented on the pets’ coats, such as dogs and cats, do not often lead to nail fungus. And, wearing white socks might not help you in preventing nail fungus.
VI. 16 Natural Home Remedies For Nail Fungus
Bleach is also one of the most popular natural home remedies for nail fungus. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology particularly recommends the use of bleach to block the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that is one type of bacteria causing one specific fungal nail infection named green nail syndrome. For the safest application, you should mix bleach (1 part) with water (100 parts). Then, soak the infected fingernail or toenail for at least fifteen minutes. Repeat this treatment twice daily faithfully, preferably before going to bed and in the morning. If the fungus doesn’t start to clear within 8 weeks, it’s necessary to choose for an alternative remedy or consult a physician.
Honey comes with hydrogen peroxide, which helps murder bacteria and heals burns on your skin as well. Click To Tweet Honey acts as an antifungal, that helps remove toxins from the foot, thus treating toenail fungus. All you have to do is try to apply a small tsp of honey to the toenail and later wrap the affected area gently with gauze. Alternatively, you can try to ingest a combination of 1 tbsp of honey and1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar on a regular basis to help combat infection.
3. Coconut Oil
A certified nutritionist & naturopathic physician, Dr. Bruce Fife, signs in his book that due to its immune-boosting compounds, coconut oil helps prevent diseases and also assists individuals in losing weight, managing irritable bowel symptoms, curing rashes, psoriasis and eczema, and removing harmful virus and fungi as well. Plus, the presence of Caprylic acid in the oil is one special active ingredient working as a natural fungicide. Moreover, coconut oil consists of the anti-fungal properties that help dissolve vulnerable fungus cells. For treating nail fungus, you need to take a small quantity of coconut oil in the hands and apply it on your infected nail and leave it to soak for a minimum of 15 minutes. Gently massage the infected nail and then let it dry naturally. The steps above should be repeated 2 to 3 times per day until you get cure from the nail fungus totally.
4. Corn Meal Soaks
Basically, one of the inexpensive home remedies for nail fungus is using corn meal mush. A lot of individuals have had success with this remedy to cure nail fungus infections and athlete’s foot, ringworms, as well as other fungal problems. You pour a 1-inch untreated cornmeal layer, white or yellow, into a basin and add just sufficient water to submerge your infected foot or hand. Leave the mixture to settle for half an hour to an hour. After this, soak the infected hand or foot in the basin for half an hour. At last, rinse off the mush and pat your soaked foot or hand dry by using a clean towel. This procedure should be repeated two times a day until your fungus infection completely clears up.
It is best to take one probiotics supplement containing at least 5-10 billion CFUs (colon forming units) of the lactobacillus bacteria every day to help encourage the immune system, hence promoting healthy nail growth, as per the University of Maryland Medical Center. Probiotic agents give an effective way to restore or maintain the healthy bacteria balance in the body by obstructing the spread and growth of infectious nail fungi. It’s recommended to use a probiotic supplement. You should choose the probiotic supplement that comes from one reputable pharmaceutical manufacturer.
6. Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is also one of the best home remedies for nail fungus. They can treat the nail fungus because of their anti-aging, antibiotic and antioxidant properties. As applied to toenail fungus, olive leaf extract helps reduce infection and restores the skin
around your nail. You only need to apply olive leaf extract of to the infected nail. Or you can orally use olive leaf capsules. It’s best to repeat the process regularly.
Read more: 18 Health & Beauty Advantages Of Olive Oil
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
When it comes to apple cider vinegar, there are a variety of benefits that you can take from it. And, one of little-known benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) is to control nail fungus naturally. Apple cider vinegar helps to soothe sunburns, manage blood sugar levels, balance pH in the body, and aid in losing weight and it is also an ingredient having anti-fungal properties, as per Dr. Josh Axe of the Exodus Health Center. This is mildly acidic and could help people prevent toenail fungus from developing and spreading. Concurrently, it can kill fungi and bacteria.
You can mix equal parts of ACV and water to create a combination. Then, soak the toenails into this solution for about 30 minutes each day. After finishing, you dry out the toenail thoroughly. If used daily for several weeks, you will recognize an improvement in your problem so rapidly.
Alternatively, you can make a scrub of anti-fungal exfoliating by mixing some coarsely ground rice flour with several spoons of ACV. Then, apply the mixture onto and around your affected nail before scrubbing slightly that area. Apply this several times per week. This treatment will also help you remove dead skin cells as well as keep your skin healthy and soft.
Or you can also mix well some tsp of ACV with coarsely ground rice flour. Then, apply this mix on the affected nail and gently scrub the area to fade the dead skin cells. Repeat the process regularly until your condition is improved.
Another choice is to mix 40 ml of ACV with 20 gms of copper sulfate. Stir well, pour the solution into one liter spray bottle, and top off with water. Afterward, spray on infected nails to murder fungus. Repeat the procedure regularly for best results
8. Tea Tree Oil
This type of oil has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties which help a lot in the cue of toenail fungus. Also, this oil is used to cure other types of skin infections.
Dr. Andrew Weil, current Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine,University of Arizona, suggests using tea tree oil can help combat fungus infection. However, he also cautions that using tea tree oil may not result in immediate results. To start, you mix several drops of the tea tree oil with 1 tsp of coconut oil or olive oil. Then, simply use one cotton ball soaking in the mixture and apply it onto the affected toenail. Wait for 10 minutes or so before using a toothbrush to scrub the affected nail.
Apply this method 2-3 times per day till you get a good result.
Alternatively, you can take tea tree oil (a teaspoon) and 1/2 tsp each of grapeseed or olive oil or orange oil. Mix them well and leave a cotton ball to dip in it a couple of minutes. Gently press onto the affected nail and let the liquid dry naturally on the nail. It’s recommended to repeat the process daily.
Or you can also pour some drop of the oil onto one cotton ball and later apply to your nail fungus. Then, rub it on your affected nail for about ten minutes. Gently scrub it on the affected part using a toothbrush. Repeat this process 2 times per day
9. Baking Soda
In the list of top natural home remedies for nail fungus, baking soda is an effective ingredient that might be available right in your kitchen now. This could help neutralize the foot odor. To make use of baking soda for fungus treatment, you add ½ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and ½ cup of Epsom salt to about 4 cups of hot water. Mix them well to get a good mixture. Then add ¼ cup of white vinegar to it.
Then, you soak your affected toenail into this mixture for approximately 10 minutes. After that, wash your toenails with clean water and dry the foot thoroughly. Do this routine twice per day for a few weeks to get fast improvement.
Simply, using soak & warm water wash your hands and pat dry. Next, mix baking soda (2 parts) and water (1 part) to make a paste. Using a cotton swab apply the paste on your entire nail and let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse the paste afterward and pat the nail dry. Repeat this process two times a day.
Alternatively, you mix one cup of vinegar and water and in it soak the affected fingers for about fifteen minutes. Then, dry your nails and mix baking soda (a few tablespoons) with water. Presently soak your fingers in this solution for about fifteen minutes. This procedure should be followed twice a day.
Another option is to prepare ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of borax powder and 1 cup of water. Then, add the baking soda and borax powder to the water and mix the ingredients well to create a fine paste. Thereafter, apply this mixture to your infected site two times a day. You had better follow this process every day.
10. White Vinegar
Similar to apple cider vinegar, white vinegar could also help you take control of fungal nail infections because it can fight the infection and restore pH levels of the human skin.
Vinegar contains antifungal properties and can completely kill fungal infections, as per Kathi Keville in the book “Herbs for Health and Healing.”
You can mix 1 part of white vinegar with 2 parts of the warm water. Then, soak your affected nail into this solution for about 15 minutes. Now, rinse it off and dry the nails thoroughly. Apply this cure twice per day to get the best results.
However, you should keep in mind that, if you own skin becomes irritated, then you need to add more water to that solution and repeat the process every other day, rather than daily.
11. Oil Of Oregano
In fact, oil of oregano has antibacterial, antiseptic, antiparasitic, antiviral, antifungal and analgesic properties, making it an efficient cure for toenail fungus. Georgetown University Medical Center conducted an experimental study and found that the P73 oregano herb, that is blend from Adeeva, can kill at least 30 various types of bad bacteria, consisting of the ones causing fungal nail infection.
You can mix 2 drops of oil of oregano with 1 tsp of olive oil. Then, apply the mixture onto the affected toenails and wait for 30 minutes or so. Now, wash it out and dry your toes thoroughly. Repeat 1-2 times per day for about 3 weeks to get good results.
Another option is to fill one dropper with orange oil and apply this in between infected nail, under and on it. Gently rub it and let it dry naturally. You should repeat the same process two times a day for getting completely relief from the nail fungus.
12. Listerine Mouthwash
The bottle of Listerine mouthwash in your bathroom can be a good remedy for toenail fungus, thanks to the antibacterial properties. It has some compounds and alcohol which acts as the strong antiseptic for keeping away fungi and harmful bacteria.
You can fill a small tub with the Listerine mouthwash. Or, you can combine the same parts of white vinegar with Listerine mouthwash. Then, soak your affected areas into this solution for about 30 minutes; scrub the infected area gently before rinsing it off. Dry thoroughly. Apply this method 1-2 times per day to get the best results.
Not many people know the ability of curing nail fungus of garlic. The truth is, garlic includes compounds like allicin and ajoene that have antifungal properties, helping treat toenail fungus.
Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, Dr. Mark Hyman suggests using crushed cloves of garlic as an excellent anti-fungal herbal remedy to promote the immune system. He also notes that the antimicrobial properties present in garlic can help inhibit the spread and growth of fungus in the body.
You can mix the garlic oil with the same amount of white vinegar. Then apply this mixture on and also around your infected toenail before covering the nail with a bandage. Wait for several hours before removing that bandage. Apply this method every day till the infection disappears.
Also, you can shorten the amount of time of healing up by eating 1-2 crushed garlic cloves every day.
Alternatively, you can take 3 cloves of garlic and crush them. Then, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to it and wait for 7 minutes. After this, spread this mix on your infected are. Wash it off after 20 minutes.
14. Lemon Juice
Lemon comes with many benefits, ranging from skin care benefits, hair care benefits to household benefits. However, it could be used as a natural treatment for nail fungus thanks to the citric acid presented.Using lemon juice can help in removing nail discoloration and encourages your nail care regimen, as per Dr. Oz from The Dr. Oz Show. Lemon juice has the anti-fungal and antiseptic properties can further prevent nail fungus from spreading.
To use it for this purpose, simply apply fresh lemon juice on your infected nail. Wait for 30 minutes or so before washing it out with water. As an alternative, you can mix the same amounts of lemon juice with olive oil. Then, use the mixture to massage your infected area. Wait for a few hours before washing it off. Olive oil will soften the skin whilst the lemon juice could control fungal infection.
Use either of these remedies several times per day for about one month or even longer till you notice good results.
15. Lavender Oil
The last but not least important tip when it comes to home remedies for nail fungus is to use lavender oil. Because lavender oil has some volatile compounds as well as antiseptic properties which could defeat any type of infection and prevent skin irritation. So, it can treat nail fungus effectively.
You just need to mix 5 drops of tea tree oil with the same amount of lavender oil to create a good solution. Use one cotton ball to apply this solution under the top edge of your affected area and also around it. Wait for 10 minutes or so before washing it out. Remember to dry thoroughly. Apply this method 2-3 times per day for several weeks to get positive effects.
16. Orange Oil
Similar to some other essential oils mentioned before, orange oil can be used as home remedies for nail fungus effectively. You can use a dropper to apply the pure orange oil between the toes, on and under the toenails. Orange juice is a great source of antifungal properties. As you combine this oil with grapeseed oil, which is full of antiseptic properties, the treatment is sure to fight off toenail fungus. If you have sensitive skin, you need to dilute the essential oil with the equal amount of carrier oil, like grape seed oil. Wait for 30 minutes or so before rinsing it off. Do this routine 2-3 times per day to get good results.
These above are all necessary information you need to know about nail fungus and home remedies for nail fungus. Which treatment works the best for you? Share your ideas with us below this post. We will feedback all soon!