Nail fungus is caused by fungal infection due to trapped moisture in your feet when you wear shoes for a long time. Toenail fungus could also be caused by poor foot hygiene. Endeavor to wash your feet with soap and water regularly.
Nail fungus can cause discoloration of the nails, itching of the nail region and pain.
Factors that increase your chances of having nail fungus include; over-exposure to moist environments especially in the case of sweaty shoes and socks, poor hygiene, weakened immune system, abnormal skin pH levels, minor skin or nail injury, having deformed nails or a nail disease, and diabetes.
Common symptoms of nail fungus typical involve a change in the nail such as; nail brittleness, change in shape of nail, cracking of the outer edges of the nails, debris trapped under the nail, loss of shine or luster of nail surface, white or yellow streak especially on the sides of the nail, and thickening of the nail.
Here are some tips and good practice, to consider, when dealing with nail fungus;
- Endeavor to keep your skin clean and dry.
- Opt for open or ventilated shoes as much as possible.
- Endeavor to change your socks and shoes frequently.
- Endeavor to wash and dry your nails properly if you suspect they have come in contact with a fungal infection.
- In order to avoid acrylic nail fungus, avoid using nail polish. Furthermore, nail polish tends to weaken nails and its surrounding skin.
- Regularly trim your nails to keep them short.
- Ensure you take proper care of your nails.
- Avoid sharing footwear.
- Avoid sharing tools that you use for manicure and pedicure.
Below are some home remedies to help treat nail fungus;
1. Castor Oil
Apply castor oil to the affected nail. Castor oil has numerous healing properties due to its anti-fungal and antibacterial nature. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11771574)
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you find apple cider vinegar too strong, you can dilute it in olive oil before usage. Soak your feet or hands in a solution of water and apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar prevents the nail fungus from spreading due to its mildly acidic nature. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties which help kill fungi and bacteria. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25219289)
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another anti-fungal that can be used to treat nail fungus. Tea tree oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties that makes it effective in controlling the growth of toenail fungus. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9055360)
This is an antiseptic and antibacterial that is great for treating nail fungus. Apply a paste of turmeric powder to the affected area. Leave for 30 minutes. Rinse off thereafter. Curcumin, in turmeric has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that help stop the spread of nail fungus. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4022204/)
Garlic contains sulfur, potassium and it also has anti-fungal properties. Apply a mixture of garlic oil and apple cider vinegar to affected nail. Garlic contains active ingredients, such as allicin and ajoene, which are effective for treating toenail fungus due to their antifungal properties. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC203719/)
6. Baking Soda
Soak feet in diluted baking soda. Baking soda is effective in curing nail fungus as well as neutralizing foot odor. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22991095)
7. White Vinegar
Dilute white vinegar in water and soak feet in it. White vinegar is effective in fighting toenail fungus as well as stabilizing the skin’s pH Levels. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4483703/)
8. Oregano Oil
Apply oregano oil to the affected part. Oregano Oil is a very effective treatment for toenail fungus because of its analgesic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17897206)
Soak affected foot in a solution containing listerine mouthwash for 20 minutes. Listerine has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that protects and fight against bacteria and fungi. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16758789)
Apply fresh lemon juice on the affected nail. Rinse off after 20 minutes. Lemon juice has both potent antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that makes it effective in treating toenail fungus. The citric acid in lemon juice also inhibits the spread of the nail fungus. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708628/)
11. Lavender Oil
Use cotton ball to apply lavender oil to the affected nail area. Lavender oil has antiseptic properties and active volatile compounds that can help stop the spread of nail fungus promptly. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621348/)
12. Hydrogen Peroxide
Soak affected nail in a solution of diluted hydrogen peroxide and water for 20 minutes. Rinse off thereafter. This is an effective home remedy for treating nail fungus.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2364421/)
13. Coconut Oil
Apply coconut oil to the affect nail. Monolaurin, in coconut, has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a potent remedy for nail fungus. coconut oil would also heal any damaged skin around the nail fungus region as it also would nourish the skin and protect it from harmful free radicals. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4924139/)
14. Neem Oil
Apply neem oil to affected nail. Neem oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that helps cure nail fungus. Neem oil would also nourish and moisturize the nail to help the nail look healthy and lose it fragile look caused by the nail fungus. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791507/)
Add yogurt to your daily diet. Yogurt is rich in probiotics. These probiotics make yogurt an effective remedy for nail fungus as including yogurt in your daily diet would help control the spread of the nail fungus. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25481057)
Apply chamomile tea poultice to the affected nail. Chamomile tea has potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that makes it effective in treating nail fungus. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210003/)
17. Olive Oil
Apply olive oil to the affect nail with nail fungus. Olive oil has antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial properties that makes it suitable for eliminating nail fungus and reduces the chances of the nail fungus from recurring. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5028442/)
18. Lemongrass Oil
Apply a mixture of lemongrass oil and any other carrier oil (such as coconut oil or olive oil) to the affected nail. Lemongrass has potent antimicrobial properties that not only cures the nail fungus, it also prevents recurrence and helps prevent nail fungus symptoms such as nail brittleness. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18553017)
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