Do you suffer from the white or yellowish spot on the tip of your toenails? Then it progresses into something making your toenails thick but brittle or crumbly, changing its shape and also the toes become darker. With these characteristics, chances are, you are having a toenail fungus. This is quite an uncomfortable sight but worry not as there are natural remedies to treat them.
What is Toenail Fungus and How Do You Treat it?
Toenail fungus is also known as onychomycosis which is a common foot problem. It is an infection where it involves the inflammation process and causes the crumbling effect on your toes as well as the yellow discoloration of your toenails. The problem spreads if not treated and the thing about this problem is that it thrives in a moist condition like having poor foot hygiene or if you have sweaty socks and we shoes. It also happens to people with abnormal pH levels and a weak immune system.
Cause of Toenail Fungus
The problem is caused by candida or what causes the yeast infection, dermatophytes and non dermatophytic mold types. As the infection progresses, it can easily spread into the other toenail.
Another cause for toenail infection is the use of contaminated equipment for pedicure. You can easily get the fungus by sharing nail files or clippers which are not thoroughly cleaned after using.
Those with compromised immune system can also get the infection. This include the senior citizens, who have auto-immune disease, people with wear natural defenses and even with those with poor blood circulation in their limbs.
Those who have suffered from skin diseases like psoriasis can also be affected with the problem. And if you are on long course of treatment for antibiotics when you wil most likely develop or be infected with toenail fungus.
How Long Does it Take to Cure Toenail Fungus
Treatment for this problem depends on the severity of the infection. For some reasons, expert say that it can be difficult to treat it because the entire nail is actually affected by the fungus after it colonize the entire nail bed. This means that an entirely new nail bed is needed for the treatment to be considered successful. But you can’t just remove your nails and it will take a long time for it to grow. So the treatment process is long. There is a combination of treatments to be successful such as using anti-fungal creams and using homemade remedies to help treating your infection.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Nail Fungus
Tea Tree oil Treatment
Tea Tree oil do not jut have antifungal properties but it is also used as an antiseptic and an antibacterial remedy. It can be used to treat dandruff problems as well as skin infections. Simply add a few drops of the tea tree oil to a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil then use a cotton ball, apply it on your affected toenail and leave it there for 10 minutes.
Oil of Oregano
The oil of oregano is helpful in treating the infection too. Aside from antifungal properties, it can be used as an analgesic, antiviral, antiparasitic, antiseptic and antibacterial treatment. It is very useful to keep an oil of oregano in your home. Just mix 1 drop of the oil of oregano to the olive oil (1 teaspoon) then put the mixture on your toenails then let it stay there for 30 minutes. Rinse and thoroughly dry your toes.
Using coconut oil possesses medium chain fatty acids where it helps in fighting the fungus lying in your nail beds. These fatty chains target the membrane of the fungus thereby leading to fungal death. Simply apply the coconut oil on your toes but make sure to wear gloves to avoid cross contamination.
Grapefruit Extract as Remedy
Using the juices of grapefruit is quite helpful when conservatively treating toenail fungus. You can use the extract like a nail polish and apply it twice to the affected area.
Snakeroot Leaf Extract
If you have snakeroot leaves at home, then you can apply it on your toes with fungal infection. There were studies which shown that it is equally effective as ketoconazole so you can also use this as an alternative to treating dandruff.
Water, Vinegar and Vicks Vapor Rub
This seems to be an effective home remedy for toenail fungus where you mix 50-50 of water and vinegar. Then you soak your feet about 30 minutes on a nightly basis. Then apply Vicks Vapor Rub before you sleep or in the morning whenever you feel like it.
Dangers of Traditional Treatment Options
Traditional treatments are very good options when it comes to treating the problem like toenail fungus conservatively. However it is also important to take in consideration the severity of the problem. It can be helpful if the doctor sees and diagnoses your feet so that they can suggest anti-fungal medications and treatment options to use to help get rid of the problem as soon as possible.
If home remedies don’t work out, your doctor will prescribe you with topical anti-fungal medications like Ciclopiroxilamine, ciclopirox and many more. But for a more advanced or progressive there are laser treatments like the Noveon-type laser treatment, Pinpointe-type laser therapy and the Fox Diode laser therapy. It kills the fungi by heat so there is no need to remove your affected nail bed.
Surgery is the least and last option maybe depending on again on how severe your infection is. There is a surgical debridement where it removes the affected nails and the even the affected surrounding tissue. This will ensure that the fungi is removed and infection is stopped. If there is a surgical removal of the nail bed it is expected to grow back but may take a little longer.
Toenail fungus affects millions of people and admittedly, they are embarrassed and developed low self-esteem because of such diagnosis. Once you see the signs and symptoms it is always best to ask the advice of your doctor and not delay the treatment process.
About the Author
Johny is a successful writer and loves to write well researched and high quality content on different topics related to foot care, nail care and plantar fasciitis. He is currently writing for feetremedies.com. He is an expert advisor and keeps blogging about nail care tips and natural solutions for feet related problems.