Getting ready for your annual visit on the beach, and you notice that unpleasant yellow toenail. As unpleasant and embarrassing, it can be cured, at your home, and probably with ingredients you have in your kitchen or med cabinet.
But what is that yellow stain? Fungal infection can present itself anywhere on your body, and their presence is quite normal, just like healthy bacteria on your skin. But when it starts to overgrow, you can get an infection. This kind of infection can affect your nails, finger or toenails, and it is called onychomycosis, and it takes quite some time to develop fully. It usually start with a small and subtle white or yellow dot on your nail, and in time it gets bigger and bigger, and it smells unpleasantly, and it can really do damage on your nails.
There are two option in treating the toenail fungal infection, one is the conventional, doctors prescribed medicine, and the other one is natural homemade. The first option includes possible side-effects as trouble breathing, hives, rashes, blisters, fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and all the things you can read on the precaution paper inside the medicine. The other option is to give it a try using homemade remedy, using traditional herbal medicine, natural ointments, fruit juices and dry goods, without the risk of possible side-effect, as long as you stick to the recipe, and use it exactly as described.
Most effective and mostly used homemade remedies for toenail fungus:
- Vicks VapoRub – a topical ointment you probably have in your toilet cabinet. Containing camphor and eucalyptus oil, it can help treating toenail fungus; a study in 2011 even confirmed it had a “positive clinical effect” in the treatment. Simply apply a small amount of the ointment on the toenail at least once per day, until the infection is gone, and continue using it for a week after, just to be sure it is really gone.
- Tea tree oil – a natural disinfectant with fungicidal and anti-bacterial properties, making it a good choice in treating toenail fungus. Other substitute is orange oil, it works just as well. The best way to use it is to mix the two oils, 1 teaspoon tea tree oil with ½ teaspoon of orange oil, dip a cotton ball in the mixture and apply gently on the affected area. Do this for at least a month!
- Apple cider vinegar – antifungal and antibacterial, like most acids. But this one is natural, not as aggressive as other acids, and you have it in your kitchen. Mix one part of apple cider vinegar with six parts of water, and add some baking soda. Heat the water, add the ingredients and let your feet soak in it for at least 30 minutes twice a day. The apple cider will kill the fungus, and the baking soda will stop it from growing back. Easy, right!
- Oregano oil – a natural antibiotic, it provides antibacterial, antifungal antiseptic, antiviral and analgesic properties mostly because it contains thymol, which has been proven it has antibacterial properties. When using this remedy to treat toenail fungus use cotton swab dipped with small amount of oregano oil twice a day and apply it to the infected area. Avoid using it in combination with other ointments, because it can cause a rush or allergic reaction (e.g. combination with tea tree or orange oil).
- Corn meal – this is the most interesting remedy of all when treating toenail fungus. Naturally corn hosts one form of fungus that is harmless to human, but quite deadly to Candida – a common fungal parasite in people. Use a big enough bowl to fit your feet in it, and add one cup of cornmeal and two quarts of water. Wait for an hour for the water to soak in to the cornmeal and soak your feet in it for at least half an hour. This is a safe procedure, since cornmeal is totally harmless to your skin, you can use it daily, or every couple of days.
- Pau d’arco tea – the inner bark of this South American tree offers antifungal properties, and studies confirm its effectiveness on toenail fungus. Soak your feet in a prepared tea of two tea bags for 30 minutes every day.
- Olive leaf extract – it contains an active substance called oleuropein, and it is considered to have antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral and also immune boosting properties. You can apply it directly to the damaged nail, or you can even ingest it in capsule form (one capsule twice per day is more effective than direct use. Just be sure to drink plenty of water during this treatment.
- Garlic – everybody knows of this vegetables antifungal properties, and its health benefits (and antisocial properties also). However, because of the allicin and ajoene, compounds found in garlic, you can treat the infected places directly. Mesh up the garlic and mix it with white vinegar, cover the toenail fungus infected places, and bandage it for a few hours. Use it every day until the fungus is gone.
- Mouthwash – you use it to kill bacteria in your mouth, and it has the same effect on your toenail fungus. Mix a 50-50 proportion of mouthwash and vinegar and soak your toes for 30 minutes every day until the fungus is gone.
- Better diet – treat yourself with better antifungal diet by making sure you get the nutrients you need:
- pro-biotic yogurt
- iron supplements (capsules or natural sources) to prevent brittle nails
- food rich with essential fatty acids
- lots of Calcium and Vitamin D
At the end, some advices how to prevent toenail fungus from reappearing:
- use powder regularly, keep your shoes dry as much as you can
- wear cotton socks, avoid synthetic
- have your own manicure and pedicure set
- dry your feet after shower
- public pools and barefoot area are never recommended
- if using a nail salon, make sure they sanitize their equipment correctly!