What is Nail Fungus?
Also known as Onychomycosis , nail fungus is very common worldwide.
Nail fungus is caused by tiny organisms that infect the fingernails and
Nail fungus happens below the fingernails or toenails, making it difficult
to reach and cure at times. The fungus thrives in places that are warm,
moist and dark. This is the reason why many who wear shoes constantly in
warmer climates have toenail fungus infections.
Common Causes of Toenail Fungus
Toenails are affected more by the nail fungus than fingernails. This is
because of the ideal conditions present in the toenails for the breeding
of the fungus. Toenail fungus occurs when the fungus gets under the
Common causes of toenail fungus may include:
-- A break in the nail, helping the fungus to enter.
-- Toenails that are weak due to wearing very tight-fitting shoes.
-- Wearing the same shoes daily without allowing them to dry thoroughly in
between wearing them.
-- Most people cut toenails extremely close to the skin, causing multiple
small cuts in the skin. These cuts allow the fungus to enter and spread.
-- Whenever your feet are damp for extended periods of time, the chances
of getting the fungus increases.
Signs That Indicate Toenail Fungus
There are certain signs and symptoms that will warn you of toenail fungus.
-- Toenails get flaky
-- Toenails get brittle
-- Toenails keep getting chipped
-- Toenails get a yellow, black, or brown tinge or spots
-- Toenails get thick and pain while wearing shoes
-- A bad smell emanates under the toenails
-- While walking, the skin under your toenails feel a stinging pain due to
the fungal infection.
Home Remedies to Treat Toenail Fungus
The moment you notice any symptoms of toenail fungus you can follow
certain home remedies that will prove very effective in eliminating the
spread of the fungus before it spreads. Toenail fungus is contagious, so
the sooner you eliminate the fungus, the better.
Following are some home remedies that use commonly available ingredients
to stop the growth of the fungus and eventually eliminate it.
Fill a basin with warm water and vinegar in equal proportion (any vinegar
will do, but apple cider vinegar has proven more effective). Soak your
toenails in this solution for about 20 minutes. Wipe your toes and
toenails thoroughly with a dry towel and then with super absorbent paper.
This should be done twice daily till symptoms disappear.
Tea Tree Oil
The uses of tea tree oil are many. Tea tree oil is a natural and powerful
fungicide and antiseptic. Rub the affected toenail/s with a cotton ball
dipped in tea tree oil. Do this twice daily, morning and just before going
to bed (three times if possible) for maximum effect, until the fungus is
Almost all homes will have this mouthwash. Soak the affected toenail/s in
Listerine for about 20 minutes twice daily. The antiseptic will help
eradicate the fungus.
Rubbing alcohol is easily available at any pharmacy. Soak the affected
toenail/s in rubbing alcohol for about 20 minutes twice daily (morning and
just before going to bed). Dry thoroughly using super absorbent paper
Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) is easily available at any pharmacy. Soak the
affected toenail/s in pure hydrogen peroxide (3%) for 20 minutes twice
daily (morning and just before going to bed). Some may feel the pure
undiluted solution a bit harsh. Mix half water and half hydrogen peroxide
and soak feet. Dry with super absorbent paper towel.
The efficacy of using Vicks for treatment of toenail fungus is not very
clear. Many have found that using Vicks on the affected toenail/s has
helped, and many have found no benefit. Vicks is known to stop the growth
of the fungus, not eliminate it. You will have to use Vicks until the
infected toenail grows out and a new one replaces it. Generally, it is
advisable to try the other options instead of this one.
Try and avoid public shower stalls and bathrooms because these are places
where the fungus thrive and you can be infected by the fungus left behind
by someone else. Never use nail clippers belonging to someone else for the
same reason. Whenever you are getting your nails clipped in a salon, make
sure that the nail clipper has been disinfected. Nail fungus spreads, so
the moment you know that you have nail fungus get it cured.
If you have not worn those sandals of yours for long because of toenail
fungus, try out the home remedies. In most cases than not, they work very
effectively. Get out those unused sandals; you will need them to flaunt
your wonderful toenails in a very short while from now.