Do you suffer from nail fungus, but you would rather skip doctor visits and lab tests and try a safe and effective natural nail fungus treatment? Most people choose the same approach, for several reasons. Why do Americans prefer home remedies and over the counter treatments to prescription based medication?
On one hand, there are few treatment options, most of them involving long-term administration, high prices, and bothersome side effects. On the other hand, nail fungus is not a life threatening or painful condition to be worth the time, effort, and money investment, most sufferers looking to treat it for aesthetic considerations.
What nail fungus treatment options do they have? Keep reading to find out!
Nail Fungus Treatment Over the Counter
Various antifungal ointments and creams are available over the counter, both online and in pharmacies. The problem with them is that they rely on ingredients known to fight skin infections, and may not be able to penetrate the nails.
To ease penetration and improve effectiveness, specialists recommend trimming and thinning your nails with a file before applying the treatment. The whole process will be easier and faster if you first soak your feet in warm, soapy water. Rinse again after thinning, and dry the nails with a soft towel before applying the treatment.
Natural Nail Fungus Treatment Options
You will be surprised how many antifungal agents you have in your home. There are also essential oils you can buy and use not only to fight the infection, but also for cooking, deodorizing your home, or hydrating your skin. Let’s take a look at the most popular home remedies for nail fungus.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Lotions, creams, and balms containing tea tree oil can make an acceptable toenail fungus treatment, but, for best results, use essential oil. Apply it on a cotton ball, and then hold the cotton ball against the affected nails for maximum 10 minutes.
You can also mix the tea tree oil with coconut or olive oil and baking soda, then pour some drops on a new toothbrush and scrub your toenails with it. Repeating this nail fungus treatment routine 2 or 3 times a day should help you see results within a few weeks.
For severe infections, more frequent applications may be necessary (4 or 5 times a day during the first 7 to 14 days of treatment). You should continue to apply the treatment until any signs of infection disappear, or the nail grows enough as to allow the complete removal of the infected part.
2. Vinegar Paste
Due to its mildly acidic pH, vinegar makes a powerful antifungal agent. To give it time to act and the necessary texture to cover your nail and stay on it, mix it with flour, to create a vinegar paste. To make this paste, simply mix some flour and vinegar until obtaining a smooth and thick mixture. Wrapping your feet in clear cellophane and letting the paste act as long for as long as possible are simple ways to boost this nail fungus treatment’s effectiveness.
3. Fresh Lemons
Lemons too have an acidic pH, so, just like vinegar, they can help you treat athlete’s foot and nail fungus. All you need is some freshly squeezed juice. You can pour it on a cotton ball, and then apply it directly on the infected nail. Let it act for 30 to 45 minutes, and then rinse the treated area with warm water.
If you don’t like or can’t find lemons, limes or oranges should do the trick. However, keep in mind that navel oranges and grapefruit may interfere with some medications, so you should avoid them if you are taking any treatments, or at least consult your doctor.
Needless to say, you should not use the juice you buy from the grocery store as nail fungus treatment. Always use freshly squeezed juice, even juice containing some fruit pulp. The first results usually appear after 1-2 months of treatment, so don’t lose your patience.
4. Oregano Oil
Used as such or in pastas, it can prove just as effective as tea tree oil. For best results, apply it twice a day for several weeks in a row, and let it act at least half an hour on the affected area. Besides inhibiting the fungus, it should also hydrate and improve your skin’s texture and appearance.
5. Lavender Oil
It is an excellent cleanser of superficial or debuting fungal infections. It works great on its own, and even better mixed with tea tree oil in equal parts. For applications, soak a cotton ball and use it to reach as far underneath your infected nail as you can. If your nail is broken, apply the oil directly to the exposed area. Let the oil/oils act between 10 and 20 minutes during each nail fungus treatment session.
It has strong antifungal properties thanks to its allicin content. To treat nail fungus, just mix some crushed garlic or some drops of garlic oil with a bit of white vinegar. Apply the mixture on the infected area and around it, cover it with a bandage, and let it act for a few hours. Repeat this routine daily until the fungus disappears.
No matter if you get rid of nail fungus with the above home remedies or with the treatment your doctor prescribed, it is important to be aware of the risk of recurrence, and of the importance of preventing recurrences and future infections.
How to Avoid Needing Nail Fungus Treatment
- Wash your feet frequently with water and soap, rinsing and drying them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Keep your nails dry and short, trimming them and filing down any thickened areas.
- Wear comfortable shoes or open-toe footwear and sweat-absorbent socks, to allow your feet to breathe and avoid sweat moisture.
- Avoid wearing old footwear that could contain fungi and cause infections, or treat them with antifungal powders before putting them on.
- Always wear slippers or impermeable sole footwear in communal dark and damp areas, where fungi and mold could thrive.
- To avoid exposing your nails to germs, stop trimming the skin around them, and avoid footwear that could cause blisters.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly after touching an infected nail.
To sum up, you could regain your health without some expensive and difficult to follow nail fungus treatment. However, it is important that you monitor the infection and contact a doctor if you notice the home remedy you are using doesn’t work. You also need to take prevention measures and keep your feet dry and comfortable, as far away from fungi and mold as possible.