Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a very common problem. Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, yellowing, thickening or crumbling of the nail. It is usually not painful, unless the infection spreads. Toenail fungus, as the name suggests, is the fungal infection of the toe of the foot. The infection is commonly seen in professional swimmers as well as in people with sweaty feet. However, the infection can occur in any person who comes in contact with the people (or their clothes, towel, socks etc) who are already suffering from toenail fungus.
The infection is caused by a fungus that can grow in leaps and bounds under wet conditions. People who never bother keeping their feet dry often end up with the infection. However, the infection is easily treatable though it requires regular and long treatment.
Treating Toenail Fungus Treatment
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic and can help prevent toenail fungus from spreading. At the same time, it kills bacteria and fungi.
This is another popular method of treating fungal toenail infection at home. However, using liquid bleach too leaves your nail discolored. Prepare a solution by mixing one part liquid bleach to two parts water. Soak your infected foot in this solution for 15-20 minutes.Wash your foot under running plain water after throwing away the bleach solution. Repeat the treatment after three hours. The treatment should be done twice a day for three weeks or until the infection disappears completely.
Garlic is known for its antifungal properties and this is one reason it can be successfully used in the treatment of fungal infection of the toenail.However, this treatment require plenty of time and patience since you will have to use fresh garlic paste (and not the commercially available one) for treatment. Peel 7-8 cloves of garlic and crush them using mortar or pestle or a rolling pin.Apply the crushed garlic (be sure to scoop up the juices as well) over the infected area and leave on for 30 minutes. Clean the area using damp cloth and re-apply the garlic paste after an hour. The treatment should be done 3-4 times during the day. This is time consuming but it will fasten the removal of fungi from your skin.
Keep Your Foot Dry At All Times
This is very important because the fungi find it easier to grow and multiply when the environment remains moist. You can use paper tissues, cotton towel and even hair dryers to keep your skin clean and dry always.Do not forget to wipe area in between the fingers when drying your feet. This becomes especially important if you already have toenail fungus. The fungus tends to attack the areas on the foot that have not been dried and have been left moist.
In a medium sized basin, add one cup of oatmeal powder and two cups of water to form a thick paste. Add some more oatmeal powder if the consistency of the paste is thin.Now dip your infected toe in this paste and stay there for 20-30 minutes. Get yourself an interesting book to pass the time. Now wash off using warm water and dry your foot completely. This treatment should be done twice a day for 4-5 weeks. Oatmeal powder will not discolor your nail.
Get Treatment For Sweaty Feet
Some people tend to sweat a lot especially on the feet. This is one of the main causes of toenail fungal infection. In order to remain infection free you must make it a point to keep your feet dry. Wear only cotton socks (if you have to wear socks) and wash your socks every day to keep them clean and fresh. Also, wash your feet with medicated soap and cold water to keep them cool and to avoid sweating.
Sprinkle cornstarch powder on your feet and inside your socks after every couple of hours especially if you work outside under the sun. Cornstarch powder has the ability to absorb moisture from the skin leaving it absolutely dry. However, use only brown cornstarch powder for treating the problem of sweaty feet. People who are already infected with toenail fungus can also make use of brown cornstarch powder to keep their feet moisture-free. If your infection does not go away within three weeks of starting the home treatment then take medical opinion as soon as possible.
Boric acid has very strong acidic properties that make it ideal for eliminating the infection causing micro-organisms including fungus. Boric acid is easily available at drug stores and should be used for curing fungus of the toenail. Prepare solution of boric acid powder by mixing three tablespoons of the powder with 450ml of water. Pour the solution in a medium sized basin and soak your infected foot in the treated water for 20 minutes.
Throw away the water and clean the foot with plain water. Completely dry the toe using paper tissues or hair dryer. Repeat the treatment after three hours. Do the treatment twice a day for three weeks to completely get rid of the infection. Using this treatment will also help restore the original color of your nail. You can also prepare paste of boric acid and water and apply this paste over the toenail and leave it overnight. In the morning wash the foot using warm water.
This chemical compound is strongly acidic in nature and is used as an ingredient in many cleaning and bleaching products. The flip side of using hydrogen peroxide for curing fungal infection is that it will leave your nail looking all yellow. However, this is a minor side effect when you look at how well hydrogen peroxide will help you get rid of the fungus once and for all. Never use hydrogen peroxide undiluted or you will burn your skin.
Pour half cup hydrogen peroxide in three cups of water. Pour this solution into a basin and dip your infected toenail in this water. Leave for 20-25 minutes. Throw away the water and wipe your foot with a damp cloth. This treatment should be done at least three times a day to fasten the elimination of the fungus from the skin and the nail. Continue with the treatment until all traces of the fungal attack have been removed.
Baking soda is a readily available staple in most kitchens that can also be used to cure toenail fungus. It will also help neutralize foot odor.