Toenail fungus can happen from time to time and can cause discomfort not to mention distress as the affected nail transforms into a yellowing and crumbling nail that is unsightly to see. There are many factors that can cause fungus to grow under the nail bed such as poor immune system, weak blood circulation, exposure to moisture, and wearing socks that are made from synthetic materials.
Most people with toenail fungus often turn to modern medicine such as topical ointments or even anti-fungal medicines that can be taken orally. In the more severe cases, surgically removing the nail seems to be the best approach. However, these medications may cause some side effects such as rashes, dizziness, diarrhea or, in some cases, even more pain. Fortunately, there are alternative treatments available that pose little to no threat to your health and these are:
- Tea tree oil. Thanks to its fungicidal and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil can be used to treat toenail fungus. You need to clean the area first with rubbing alcohol before adding a few drops of undiluted tea tree oil so that the oil can seep into the nail. Let the oil sit for 10 minutes then gently scrub with a toothbrush. If you are going to apply tea tree oil directly to your skin, you should mix the same amount of carrier oil for better results.
- Listerine mouthwash. You’re probably surprised to see your mouthwash being recommended for toenail fungus. It appears that the antiseptic properties of this mouthwash can actually help treat the fungus in your nails. To use this remedy, fill a tub with equal parts vinegar and Listerine mouthwash. Soak the foot with damaged nails in it for 30 minutes then scrub the nails gently after. Rinse afterward then dry your foot thoroughly. You should repeat this remedy at least twice in a day to speed up the healing process.
- Lavender oil. If you have a mild case of toenail fungus, you can use lavender oil to speed up the healing process. You only need to add a few drops of lavender oil on the affected nail before you go to bed to let the oil soak into your nail. Wear wool socks after to prevent the oil from being removed. This treatment should be done for one week or until the affected nail becomes healthy once more.
- Oregano oil. Another home remedy that can remove toenail fungus is oregano oil. What makes this oil a good solution for this nail problem is its antiseptic, antiparasitic, analgesic, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. For this remedy, simply combine two drops of oregano oil with one teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the solution to the affected toenail and leave it for 30 minutes. Rinse afterwards then dry completely. Repeat this remedy at least three times in a day.
- Coconut oil. The presence of caprylic acid in coconut oil is one of the main reasons why this is a good solution for toenail fungus. What this medium-chain fatty acid does is that it can penetrate deep into the cell wall of the fungi or Candida leaving it to dissolve afterwards. Simply apply a small amount of coconut oil in the damaged nail and let it soak for 15 minutes.
Although there is nothing wrong with using modern medication to solve toenail fungus, the side effects that you might experience may not be something you would want to look forward to. If you are looking for a safer alternative, the remedies mentioned above can be tried out if you want to reduce the appearance of yellowing nails on your feet.