Toenail fungus is usually characterized by swelling and inflammation as well as yellowish, crumbling nails. There are many factors that can contribute to nail fungus such as poor hygiene, abnormal pH levels of the skin, constant exposure to moisture, and compromised immune system among others. Most of the time, toenail fungus is treated with anti-fungal medicines that are taken orally, topical ointments, or surgical removal of the nail. However, these treatments may have some side effects like dizziness, rashes, blisters, headaches, and even fever and diarrhea just to name a few.
Fortunately, there are safer and more effective ways in dealing with such fungus and that is through these natural treatments that you can do at home.
- Tea Tree Oil. This particular oil has fungicidal and antiseptic properties which makes it an ideal choice when it comes to treating nail fungus. You will need to clean the areas surrounding the affected nail with rubbing alcohol then apply the undiluted oil directly onto the damaged nail to let the oil soak through. Leave it for ten minutes then scrub the nail with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you are planning on applying the oil directly onto your skin, you should mix it with carrier oil like almond oil or olive oil. Repeat this treatment every day until a new nail grows.
- Coconut Oil. The presence of caprylic acid in coconut oil is one reason why this treatment is guaranteed to work because it has the ability to penetrate the cell wall of the fungi. When this happens, the coating of the cells of the fungus is easily dissolved which in turn can destroy the fungus. You only need to apply a small amount of coconut oil on the affected nails and leave it for the nails to absorb for 15 minutes.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. This is one of the best treatments available when it comes to nail fungus. Apple cider vinegar can either be ingested or applied topically. For this treatment, you should mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part Epsom salt and 6 parts hot water. Set aside the mixture until the water becomes warm to the touch but not too hot that it will burn your skin. Soak your feet into the water for about 30 minutes to destroy the fungus. If you want the oral treatment, combine two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of warm water. You can make this drink sweeter by adding a teaspoon of honey.
- Baking Soda and Sodium Borate. Since bacteria often flourish in acidic environment, using alkaline baking soda can actually make it difficult for the fungi to grow. Aside from baking soda, sodium borate or borax can also help reduce the presence of fungi in your toenails as it is considered a strong fungicide. What you need to do is to combine equal parts of sodium borate and baking soda with some water to create a paste. Wet your feet first then gently rub the paste onto the affected nails. You should do this twice in a day over a two week period.
- Lavender Oil. For those with mild toenail fungus, you can use lavender oil to treat it. Just add a few drops of lavender oil on the affected toenail before you sleep and let it soak overnight. You can cover your feet with wool socks to prevent the oil from rubbing off. Skip socks that are made from synthetic materials as they can aggravate your condition. You should follow this treatment for a week after your nails have become healthy to ensure that there are no traces of fungi left.