Nail fungus. One of life’s most unpleasant surprises. Be it toenail or fingernail, having this condition can seriously affect your life … trust me, I’ve seen it happen.
The medical name for this uninvited guest that would not leave is onychomcosis and like any other fungus, it thrives in moist, warm, dark places. That’s why toenail fungus is more common than its fingernail counterpart. The shoes you wear all day long are the perfect breeding ground for this disease.
This condition can also be caused by mold or yeast, but regardless of the underline cause, it’s still called nail fungus … must’ve been a PR move.
How do I know I have it?
Well, if you see a white or yellow spot on the tip of your nail, then you have it. This is just the first stage, after this, as the infection progresses you nail will become thickened, brittle/crumbly/ragged, change shape, become darker in color, or get dull. If you leave this problem unchecked for too long it will result in onucholysis, which basically means your nail becomes separated from the nail bed. This is painful and extremely uncomfortable.
And that’s not even the worst of it. Left untreated, nail fungus never goes away, and even if you use creams and pills your doctor prescribes, you might not get rid of it for good.
This is where natural homemade remedies come into play. Unlike the worthless (but costly) treatments that all the doctors prescribe, natural remedies actually work and are proven to drive the infection away once and for all. Below we’ll take a look at 3 of the most efficient remedies that you can make in your own home.
- Tea Tree/Orange Oil Rub
The natural anti-bacterial and fungicidal properties of the tea tree oil makes it one of the most powerful remedies for nail fungus. Although not as potent as tea tree oil, orange oil has shown promising results in making nails fungus-free. Just remember to dilute the essential oils before you use them.
-1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
-1/2 teaspoon of orange oil (optional)
-1/2 teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil
As soon as you notice the tell-tale signs of nail fungus, mix together 1 of tea tree oil, ½ teaspoon of orange oil, and ½ teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and apply to affected nail pressing it on gently but firmly so the liquid comes out. Let this dry naturally. Alternatively, you can place 4-5 drops of tea tree oil in enough water to soak your feet in, and do that for 15-20 minutes. Both treatments should be done faithfully morning and evening.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar Soak
While not having any fungicidal properties, baking soda has fungistatic ones. This means that it stops fungus from growing and spreading. And if you’re wondering, yes nail fungus is contagious. Getting back to the baking soda, the reason is such a great weapon against fungus is because it is alkaline, which destroys the acidic environment in which fungus flourish. So if fungus love acid, why are we using vinegar? Well, because it’s just a weak acid that actually helps kill fungus without altering the PH. of the nail.
-4-5 tablespoons of baking soda
-1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
-Something to soak your feet in
First, mix 1 cup of your chosen vinegar with enough water to soak your feet in. Soak for 15 minutes, and then pat dry with paper towels. Follow this by adding several tablespoons of baking soda to enough water to soak your feet in, and soak for 15 minutes. Pat feet completely dry with paper towels. Do this twice a day. The idea is that the vinegar will kill off the fungus, while the baking soda will then inhibit the growth of more.
- Coconut Oil
I’ll impart with you a small science lesson, so bare with me. In order to survive, fungus cells must maintain their fungal membrane intact. That’s why most antifungal treatments are design to target this membrane. Medium chain fatty acids actually have fungicide properties. This is why coconut oil is such a devastating tool against nail fungus. The fatty acids found in the oil, insert themselves into the fat layer of the fungal membrane and disrupt it. This leads to cell degradation and ultimately to the destruction of the fungus.
Bear with me-I am about to get a little bit scientific here, but I find this to be an exciting way to combat fungus without using harsh chemicals. Medium chain fatty acids are almost miracles in
-A bit of coconut oil
-Gloves or a sink and soap to wash hands between applications
Wearing gloves or washing your hands between applications (if you have more than one affected nail) rub coconut oil onto the area and let it absorb and dry naturally. There is no need to gob a whole bunch on-a thin layer will do. Repeat 2-3 times daily.
Preventions is always better than treatment. It takes months to get rid of a nail fungus, it only takes 5 min a day to properly wash your feet and hands. Hygiene is the key element in preventing your nails from becoming home to nasty fungus.
Other ways you can make sure that you don’t get this infection is by changing your socks daily, don’t walk bare foot in the locker rooms or showers at your gym, as often as possible wear open toed shoes and trim your nails weekly.
If by chance you do get infected, then start treatment immediately and don’t stop even after you see the fungus disappear. Keep applying the treatment at least a month after the infection is gone.