Toe nail fungus is a common disease. Although it can be embarrassing, frustrating and uncomfortable, it is not life threatening. Those looking for a home remedy for nail fungus should be relieved to know that there are several home remedies that can be used to effectively treat this common condition.
Toe Nail Fungus Definition
Also referred to as onychomycosis, toe nail fungus can affect any of the nails on the feet, but are more likely to affect the big toe nail and the little toe nail. It is characterized by discoloration in the nail and sometimes causes disfiguration.
Toe Nail Fungus Causes
Toe nail fungus is caused by deratophytes, which are a group of fungus that feed on the keratin found in the nail. Because it is contagious, toe nail fungus is often spread by coming in contact with an infected person or with common surfaces that are used by a person infected with a toe nail fungus. Examples of these common surfaces include communal showers and swimming pools.
Wearing tight shoes or socks, particularly when feet become damp due to perspiration also increases risk of developing a toe nail fungus.
Though toe nail fungus is largely passed from one person to another, it may also be inherited, the result of abnormal skin pH levels or a signed of weakened immunity.
Toe Nail Fungus Symptoms
A person who has a toe nail fungus may experience the following symptoms:
- One or more discolored toe nails (usually brown, yellow or spotted)
- A thickening of the toe nail(s)
- A foul-smelling build up beneath the nail
- Nails that crumble, crack or fall completely off
If the affected toe nail has thickened, some people may also complain of pain or discomfort when wearing shoes.
Toe Nail Fungus Remedies
Others have effectively used the following home remedies for nail fungus in the past:
- Tee tree oil (Apply daily until fungus disappears. Lavender oil can also be added to increase the antiseptic and antibiotic properties)
- Soak feet in warm water and apple cider vinegar daily
- Soak feet in a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide daily
- Soak feet in rubbing alcohol daily
- Apply a paste of turmeric powder and water to the infected toe nail daily
- Apply oil of oregano mixed with olive oil to the infected nail daily
After soaking feet, showering or bathing it is imperative that the feet be completely dry before wearing shoes or socks. Also, it is important to always wear protective shoes when walking in common areas.
Toe nail fungus can also be avoided by increasing probiotics in the diet through foods like kefir milk and natural yogurt. Foods such as white vinegar, refined carbohydrates and dairy products should be avoided as much as possible, especially by those who have contracted a toe nail fungus in the past.
By practicing a healthy diet and proper hygiene, toe nail fungus can be avoided. It is especially important to avoid contact with commonly used surfaces if infected with a fungus even while using natural cures and home remedies to treat it.