Toenail fungus, also known as onchomycosis ia a very common fungal infection of the toenail. Common symptoms include; inflammation, thickening, crumbling, swelling or yellow discoloration of the toenail.
This fungus seems to thrive most under certain medical conditions such as compromised immune system (HIV), abnormal pH levels of the skin, continuous exposure to moist environment, sweaty shoes and socks, poor hygiene and weak circulation.
The fungus tends to thrive under certain conditions, such as abnormal pH levels of the skin, a weakened immune system, continuous exposure to a moist environment including sweaty shoes and socks, poor hygiene and diabetes.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread and cause the nails to crack, split and even complete loss of the toenail.
Luckily there are many inexpensive treatments for toenail fungus. Also, various home remedies can cure this infection within a short while
This article lists the top 11 home remedies for toenail fungus.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of the most potent remedies for toenail fungus. ACV is mildly acidic and helps prevent toenail fungus from spreading, at the same time killing the fungus responsible for the infection.
Mix equal part of apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt, and hot water. Let the water cool and then soak your toenail in this solution for 30 minutes. Wipe your toenail dry. Repeat this process for few weeks to notice significant improvement.
Alternatively, make an antifungal exfoliating scrub with a coarsely ground rice flour with a few spoons of ACV. Apply this paste on the affected nail and gently scrub the area. Repeat this process for a few times a week.
With this remedy, the dead skin cells will peel off and your skin will be soft.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another excellent remedy for toenail fungus. This oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties that help in the treatment of toenail fungus. This oil can also be used in the treatment of other skin infections.
First, wash your feet clean and wipe dry. Then, apply undiluted tea tree oil directly on the after toenail and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Thereafter, gently scrub the nail with a soft bristle toothbrush.
Another option, mix a few drops of tea tree oil in one teaspoon of either olive or coconut oil. Use a cotton wool to apply the mixture on the affected toenail and leave it for 10 minutes. Thereafter, use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently scrub the affected toenail. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times daily until you see improvement.
3. Oregano Oil
Oregano has antiseptic, antibacterial, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral, analgesic and antifungal properties. This makes its oregano oil an effective remedy for toenail fungus.
Mix a few drops of oregano oil into one teaspoon of either olive oil or carrier oil. Dip the affected toenail with this mixture and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Rinse it off and wipe the toenail dry. Repeat this process once or twice daily for few weeks until you see positive improvements.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is alkaline in nature and this creates an unfavorable condition for the fungus to survive. This compound is readily available in most kitchens and can be used as home remedy for toenail fungus.
Make a mixture of one-half cup of baking soda, one-fourth cup of hydrogen peroxide and one-half cup of Epsom salt to four cups of water. Thereafter, add one-fourth cup of white vinegar to the mixture.
Dip the affected toenail in the solution for 10 minutes. Then wash with clean water and wipe your foot dry.
Repeat this process twice daily for a few weeks.
5. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is packed with both antiseptic and antifungal properties. The citric acid in lemon juice also prevents the toenail fungus from spreading.
Apply the fresh juice on the infected toenail and leave it for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then, rinse it off with warm water.
Alternatively, mix equal amounts of lemon juice and olive oil together. Use this mixture to massage the infected toenail. Leave it for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before rinsing it off. This helps soften your skin and control the fungal infection.
6. Listerine Mouthwash
Listerine mouthwash contains ingredients such as menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus which kills bacteria and germs in the mouth. It can also be used as home remedy for toenail fungus.
Fill a small basin with Listerine mouthwash, or make a mixture of equal parts of Listerine mouthwash and white vinegar.
Soak the infected toenail in this solution for about 30 minutes, then gently scrub the infected toenail. Rinse off and then wipe the affected are dry.
Repeat this process once or twice daily until the infection clears off.
7. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil composes of several volatile compounds as well as antiseptic properties. This makes it an effective remedy for the treatment of toenail fungus as well as other skin infections.
Apply few drops of lavender oil to the infected toenail and let it soak. Cover your feet with a pair of socks to prevent the oil from rubbing off.
Alternatively, mix a few drops of each of lavender and tea tree oil. Apply this solution to the top edge of the affected toenail.
Leave it for at least 10 minutes, thereafter rinse it off and wipe your toe dry.
Repeat two or three times a day for several weeks.
Garlic contains organic compounds like allicin and ajoene which possesses antifungal properties that help in the treatment of toenail fungus.
Make a mixture of garlic oil with equal amount of white vinegar. Apply this mixture on the infected toenail and cover the infected toenail with a bandage. Leave the bandage on for a few hours before removing it. Repeat this daily until the infection clears off.
Note: You can make your own garlic oil by frying two to three crushed cloves in two teaspoons of olive oil and then straining the oil
9. Orange Oil
Orange oil is another natural antifungal and thus can be used as home remedy for toenail fungus.
Use a dropper to apply orange oil on toenails and between toes. Orange oil may be too strong for those with sensitive skin, so you are advised to dilute the orange oil with an all-natural carrier oil such as grapeseed oil.
Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, and then wash it off. Repeat two to three times daily for improvement.
Note: Orange oil can cause allergies, it is recommended to test orange oil on a small spot of skin before applying it to infected nails.
10. White Vinegar
White vinegar is one of the most effective home remedies for toenail fungus because it fights the fungal infection and helps in skin restoration.
Make a solution of one part of white vinegar with two parts of warm water. Soak the infected toenail in this solution for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
Rinse it off and wipe your toenail dry. Repeat this twice daily until the infection is gone.
Note: This can cause skin irritation, so it is recommended to add more water to the solution before applying.
11. Coconut Oil
One of the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil is caprylic acid. This acid has the ability to penetrate the cell wall off fungi thereby effectively destroying them.
Apply a thin layer of coconut oil on the infected toenail and let it so for 15 minutes. Then, rinse it off and wipe it dry.
Repeat this twice or thrice for several weeks for improvements.