Top 5 remedies for toenail fungus

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Toenail fungus is a common problem for a lot of people, being easily transmitted from one person to the other. The antifungal treatments that are available on the specialized market almost always cause nasty side-effects, so it makes sense to be interested in natural remedies as well.

In this article, we will present the top five remedies for toenail fungus, helping you understand how effective these actually are when it comes to restoring the healthy aspect of the toenails.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is often recommended as a natural remedy for a wide range of problems, including when it comes to fungal infections affecting the toenail(s). The acidity of the apple cider vinegar is more useful than you might think, as it will keep the fungal infection from spreading. Used as a natural remedy, apple cider vinegar has both antifungal and antibacterial properties, being able to prevent the bacterial infection of existent lesions as well.

If you are interested in using this natural remedy for toenail fungus, all you have to do is add some apple cider vinegar to an equal quantity of water. Mix well and soak your toenails in the resulting mixture. In general, it is recommended to keep your toenails in the solution for about half an hour each day. As soon as the time is up, make sure that you dry your nails really well, as excess moisture can favor the overgrowth of the fungus. Repeat the application on a daily basis, for a couple of weeks or until you notice positive results.

Apple cider vinegar can also be used in combination with ground rice flour; by mixing apple cider vinegar with rice flour, you will obtain an exfoliating scrub that also has antifungal properties. Once you have mixed the two natural remedies, apply the resulting paste on the affected toenails. Perform a gentle massage and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. As already mentioned, you need to dry your nails thoroughly, in order to keep the risk of fungal overgrowth down to a minimum. You can repeat the scrub several times per week, until you improve your condition. Keep in mind that such scrubs can also eliminate the dead skin cells that result from the fungal infection, helping you maintain soft skin.
Tea tree oil

tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is one of the most often recommended natural remedies for various skin infections, as it has both antiseptic and antifungal properties. If you want to escape the toenail fungus, take a few drops of tea tree oil and mix them with a little bit of olive oil (best quality required). Then, apply the resulting mixture on the affected toenails, using a cotton ball for an efficient application.

Allow the tea tree oil and olive oil to act for about ten minutes. If you want to increase the efficiency of the application, you can use a clean toothbrush, in order to perform a gentle scrub at the level of the affected nail. The application can be repeated two or three times per day, until you notice improvements whereas the health of the toenail is concerned.

According to a study[1] published online, in the European Journal of Tropical Medicine & International Health, a cream containing tea tree oil extract represents an efficient solution against toenail fungus (onychomycosis).

The study draws attention to the fact that the prevalence of such fungal infections has increased in the past few years. This condition can cause the destruction of a person’s entire nail unit, so finding more efficient treatments is imperative. The study was meant to demonstrated how efficient and well-tolerated a cream containing tea tree oil extract actually is, for patients suffering from toenail fungus.

There were 60 people who took part in the study, both men and women, aged between 18 and 80. All of them were diagnosed with toenail fungus, having different diagnosis times (from 6 to 36 months of disease). The participants to the study were split into two different groups, one receiving the actual cream and other a placebo solution. Their condition was evaluated after a period of 16 weeks and, upon assessment, it was discovered that approximately 80% of the patients were successfully treated. No relapse occurred upon follow up, so it can be confirmed that tea tree oil is an excellent remedy against such fungal infections.

Baking soda

Baking soda is something that we all use in the kitchen, without being aware of how many beneficial properties it has, when it comes to our health. Not only does it have antifungal properties, helping you deal with toenail fungus, but it can also neutralize the foot odor which is characteristic for this condition.

If you want to benefit from its healthy properties and get rid of the toenail fungus, try out the following combination: baking soda (1/2 cup), hydrogen peroxide 3% (1/4 cup), Epsom salt (1/2 cup) and hot water (4 cups). Mix everything well and, then, add white vinegar (1/4 cup). Once you have obtained the solution, it is time to soak your affected toenails. Keep them in there for about ten minutes, then rinse the solution off with lukewarm water. As with other natural remedies, it is highly important to dry your toenails thoroughly. The application can be repeated two times per day, for a couple of weeks or until you notice the desired results.

Lemon juice

lemon
Lemon juice has always been recommended as a natural remedy for beautiful skin, being able to brighten a person’s complexion and eliminate small imperfections. But did you know that lemon juice also has antiseptic and antifungal properties, representing an excellent remedy for toenail fungus? Well, it is quite true and, what is more importantly, lemon juice is rich in citric acid, which can prevent the fungal infection from spreading to one toenail to the other.

The application is quite simple. All you have to do is squeeze some fresh lemon juice and apply it with a cotton ball at the level of the affected toenail(s). Make sure that the lemon juice acts for at least half an hour on the respective nail, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

You can also use fresh lemon juice to perform a gentle massage on the affected toenail(s). For the best results, mix lemon juice with olive oil, in equal quantities. Then, use the resulting mixture to massage your toenails and get rid of the fungal infection. This time, you can maintain the application for a couple of hours, before rinsing it off with water. Keep in mind that olive oil can hydrate and nourish damaged skin, while lemon juice disinfects and eliminates fungal overgrowth. The application can be repeated several times per day, for a couple of weeks or until you have noticed improvements.

Lavender oil

Lavender oil is one of the best essential oils out there, being especially appreciated for its amazing smell. In regard to toenail fungus, lavender oil can represent an excellent natural remedy to try out, as it has both antiseptic and antifungal properties. Applied at the level of the affected nail, it can eliminate the fungal infection and prevent the irritation of the skin surrounding the respective nail.

In order to benefit from its healthy properties, it is recommended to mix a couple of drops of lavender oil with tea tree oil (similar quantities). Then, apply the resulting mixture on the affected toenail(s), using a cotton ball for a more efficient application. Make sure that the solution is applied not only on the affected toenail but also on the skin surrounding it. Keep the solution on for about ten minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. When done, dry your toes thoroughly. Repeat the application two or three times per day, for several weeks or until the health of the toenail improves.

According to an article[2] published online on Science Daily, lavender oil has a genuine, powerful antifungal effect. The article presents a study that was undertaken by scientists from the University of Coimbra (Portugal) and published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The study has demonstrated that lavender oil can be used to treat fungal infections and particularly the ones that have failed to respond to other forms of treatment.

For this study, lavender oil was distilled from a local shrub and further tested, in order to discover how it would work on various fungal infections. At this moment, it is known that there are not many antifungal drugs available on the market and many of the ones that are present can lead to discomforting side-effects. Moreover, in the past few years, fungi have developed resistance to existent treatments, so it makes sense for scientists to be turning to natural remedies, such as lavender oil. Essential oils could represent the future in treating fungal infections, with lavender oil being one of the most recommended solutions.

Final word

If you have been battling with toenail fungus for some time now, do not hesitate to give natural remedies a try. As you have seen, these are easy to use and they have many benefits to offer in return, thanks to their antiseptic, antifungal and even antibacterial properties.

References
[1] Journal of Topical Medicine and International Health, “Treatment of toenail onychomycosis with 2% butenafine and 5% Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil in cream”, Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-3156.1999.00396.x/full
[2] Science Daily, “Lavender oil has potent anti-fungal effect”, 2011, Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214201842.htm


About the Author Amy Williams

Amy is a foot massage therapist that has worked with doctors specializing in podiatry while helping numerous clients through various foot conditions. She has reviewed 100s of related foot health products for plantar fasciitis, toenail fungus and more.

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