Toenail fungus is caused mainly by a fungus belonging to a group of fungi called dermatophytes. The fungus enters the nail, normally through a small cut or break in the nail. Anyone can get it, but it is more common in older people, especially those who have diabetes or a weak immune system.
The first sign of an infection is normally a white or yellow spot under the tip of the nail. The nail can become thick, brittle, crumbly and discolored. It can separate from the nail bed, be painful and have a slightly foul odor. This condition is contagious and can take months to get rid of, even when taking medications.
Medications can be very expensive and have unpleasant side effects. Even worse, they may not work. Below we will discuss how to naturally treat toenail fungus. Although these remedies can also take months to work, they are more cost effective and are usually without side effects if used properly.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, contains antifungal, antiseptic and analgesic properties. This oil has been used for many years to treat fungal infections. Wash your foot and dry it thoroughly. Apply the oil directly on the surface of the nail and underneath the front of the nail. Leave your foot uncovered for as long as you can. Do this two to three times a day. When applying for the first time, use only a small amount to check for sensitivity. Buy 100 percent pure tea tree oil and never ingest the oil.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is another natural product claimed by many to be an effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is a liquid derived from the white membranes, pulp and seeds of grapefruit. Add 5 to 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract per tablespoon of water. After washing and drying your foot, apply to the affected area (as described in tea tree oil) two to three times a day. Do not use the extract in its undiluted form and do not get it in your eyes.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Lavender Oil
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help make the skin more resistant to fungus by restoring the proper pH balance of the skin and lavender essential oil has antimicrobial properties. Add 1 cup of ACV and 10 drops of oil to 2 quarts of warm water. Soak your nail in the solution for 15 minutes once a day. Afterwards, dry your foot thoroughly and apply tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract.
Garlic is a powerful antimicrobial herb. To use this natural remedy for toenail fungus, wash and dry your foot, crush some fresh garlic cloves, place on the affected site, leave on for 30 minutes, and wash and dry your foot. You can also make a garlic oil ointment by combining 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped garlic cloves. You can store this solution in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Now that you know how to naturally treat toenail fungus, let us briefly discuss how to prevent it from coming back. Wash and thoroughly dry your feet once or twice a day. Keep your nails clean and trimmed. Wear socks made from natural fibers like cotton to allow your feet to breathe. Wear well ventilated shoes, preferably made of natural material like leather. At night, sprinkle baking soda inside your shoes to dry up any moisture. You can also rotate wearing shoes to allow them to dry.
Mayo Clinic: Nail fungus - https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nail-fungus/DS00084
Health 911: Nail Infections - https://www.health911.com/nail-infections
Articles Unlimited: Garlic: A Natural Solution to Toenail Fungus by Dr. Jonathan N. Group, B.S - https://articlesunlimited.holisticnetworkexchange.com/garlic-natural-solution-toenail-fungus.html
Photo by Dr. David Weiss / Flickr
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