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Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis in scientific terms, is a condition wherein an off-white colored spot is formed on the toenail. Being a quite common condition, it affects many people every year. Most of the persons affected by it often seem to overlook it, but ignoring this condition might lead to serious complications later on. Starting small, it can also affect the adjoining fingernails if not looked after. But the toenail changes color and shape after several activities, so how do you identify if it's toenail fungus?
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
- The pungent odor from the affected area
- Nail seems to turn rigid
- Discoloration to a brownish or off-white shade
- The brittle or rugged texture of the nail
- The foul smell emanating from the area
Causes of Toenail Fungus
Before we discuss the treatment for toenail fungus, it is essential to understand the causes behind it.
- Infection from yeast or mold
- Old age
- Insufficient blood circulation to the feet
- Compromised immune system
- Athlete’s foot
Once we identify it, we neglect it in our busy schedule, and seldom do we go to the physician to get it treated. Thankfully, there are several home treatments available to help you get rid of this condition. All these remedies are entirely harmless and have no side-effects whatsoever. So, to save your time in your busy day, here are some easy and effective home remedies that are time as well as pocket-friendly.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is beneficial for health in many ways, due to its natural antifungal properties, and it is listed on the list of best home remedies for getting rid of toenail fungus. The best way to use it is by using it as an ingredient of a foot soak to treat toenail fungus.
Apart from adding an aromatic flavor to our platter, garlic also possesses some antifungal properties. Garlic can be crushed or chopped to place on the affected area for about half an hour to let it work its magic. It is cost effective and smelly, but a more pleasant option can be the consumption of garlic capsules, available at any local drugstore.
3. Baking Soda
As gullible and straightforward as it may sound, it is one of the most effective methods to cure this condition. Having a lot of anti-fungal properties, applying a paste of baking soda and water on the infected area may help cure the disease quite effortlessly. Alternatively, adding baking soda to a bucket of water and soaking feet into it is equally compelling.
4. Coconut Oil
Amongst all the other available oils, coconut oil is the most readily available oil, plus its antifungal properties promote it on top of the order for this condition. Spreading coconut oil on your palm and applying it over the infected area works seamlessly.
5. Antifungal Soap
Available at any general store, this soap is quite pocket-friendly and quite capable. Its antifungal properties help cure the toenail fungus condition quite deftly and without much pain or time-consuming either. Use it along with your regular soap and massage the lather over the toenail to see it work its magic.
The commercial mouthwash formulas available in the market today give us a refreshing breath, but it is not just able to do that, if not for anything else, it can surely be used as a temporary solution for curing toenail fungus by dipping the toe in the mouthwash for soothing relief.
7. Vicks VapoRub
It is always seen in TV commercials for its potent healing properties against the cold and cough, but we have never heard of it as an antidote for toenail fungus. It is one of the most commonly used effective ways to get rid of toenail fungus. The camphor and eucalyptus oil amongst the many other ingredients used in the vapor-rub is highly effective against the infection. Just apply the cream on the affected once a day makes the infection fade in just a couple of days.
8. Change in Diet
Changing eating habits is mostly the cure for almost all the diseases out there and if not the cure, it surely helps boost the healing process. There is not exactly any evidence of a particular food item that can help heal the infection, but foods rich in nutrition that don’t appeal your taste buds much, but do please your immune system. Food rich in vitamins, minerals, probiotics, protein, and iron, and as well can help boost the process.
Tips to Avoid Toenail Fungus
There is a famous saying that "Prevention is better than cure." The same holds for toenail fungus. Follow the below-mentioned tips to reduce the chances of toenail fungus affecting you.
- Make sure that you wash your hand and feet regularly with an antifungal soap.
- Wear sweat absorbing socks and never wear a pair of socks for more than one day.
- When in a pool area or locker rooms, wear footwear.
- Make sure you regularly sprinkle the anti-fungal powder on your shoes.
- Avoid using nail polish or artificial nails.
These remedies are straightforward to follow and can be quickly done at home. The rate of recovery might vary, according to the particular remedy or the combination of remedies that you choose. With home remedies, you need to be a little patient and persistent with your efforts. Once you start using a remedy, make sure you continue it 'til you notice any visible changes in your toenail fungus.