Onychomycosis, also known by the name Tinea Unguium, is a common fungal infection of the nails. This condition exhibits various symptoms including nail thickening, nails turning white or yellow as a consequence of discoloration, and detachment of the nail from the nail bed.
The development of fungus is initiated in environments with moisture and warm temperatures. As a consequence, toenails are more susceptible to this infection since our feet are mostly shielded from the surroundings by our footwear. This provides the fungus with ideal conditions to thrive and grow. Further complications might also lead to cellulitis of the lower leg.
Onychomycosis can be caused by various kinds of fungus including dermatophytes and Fusarium. A recent study suggests that approximately 90% of toenail fungus and 75% of fingernail fungus are caused by dermatophytes, majorly Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton rubrum.
People suffering from this infection might also run the risk of getting inflicted upon by conditions like athlete’s foot, other nail diseases, poor immune function, etc. This infection takes time to grow and intensify, so it might go unnoticed in the initial stages.
This is a communicable infection and can spread through methods of direct or indirect contact. Apart from the medical treatment, home remedies for fungal nail treatment include the following:
1. Listerine and White Vinegar
Listerine, an antiseptic mouthwash with the properties to remove bacteria and fungus from your mouth can also be employed with vinegar for the treatment of onychomycosis. Also, vinegar due to its acidic nature, makes the nail unfavorable for the fungus to thrive.
In this remedy, you take a container that is large enough to accommodate your nails. Then you add equal proportions of the mouthwash and vinegar to it. Thereafter, you keep your nails soaked in this solution for about 45 minutes, and then clean them with water. Follow this procedure once or twice on a daily basis and get clean nails in 1-2 months.
2. Tea Tree Oil
In the early 1920s, tea tree oil was employed by dentists to treat wounds because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Its healing properties also help in the treatment of wounds while protecting them from the emergence of any infection.
To employ this method, clean the infected area on the skin with water and dry it using a towel. Then apply the tea tree oil on the nails and leave it undisturbed for 10-15 minutes. Lastly, scrub it off the nails using a toothbrush. Keep doing this twice a day for a minimum of one month and see the results for yourself.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda with its antifungal properties is very effective in treating onychomycosis.
You start by mixing 2 parts of baking soda with 1 part of room temperature water. Then stir it thoroughly to form a paste. Using a cotton swab, spread the paste on the affected nails and on the skin surrounding them. Leave it undisturbed for about 10-15 minutes and then wash it off with water. Follow this regularly until you see the results.
Garlic with its antimicrobial properties is very effective in curing fungal infection of the nails. Added to this is the benefit of garlic strengthening our immunity to protect ourselves from any further attack by the virus. Mixing it with white vinegar boosts the potency of this remedy to a great extent.
In this remedy tip, you crush some garlic cloves and mix them with white vinegar. Following this, soak the infected area in this formed solution for 10 minutes on a daily basis, until you get the desired results.
5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil with its advantages associated with skin and hair is beneficial in combating fungal infections. The fatty acids existing in the oil incorporate themselves into the fungal membrane, thus preventing its cell integration and ultimately destroying it.
In this method, you also need to apply some coconut oil to the infected area and secure it with a gauze or a bandage. Leave it like this for a few hours and then repeat this process with a new bandage. Change it three times daily to cure the infection and keep continuing this process to prevent the infection from striking back.
Over to you…
These remedies are an effective alternative to medical treatments. But, make sure to consult a doctor if the infection doesn’t go away.