The very sight of discolored nails is quite disheartening. No one wants a nail infection that mars the beauty of their nails, but what if it happens? What if there is a growth of fungus on your toenails? It is not only unsightly, but the experience can be painful too. If not taken care of at early stage, the fungus grows deeper in your nails causing discoloration or thickening of nails. Here are some easy ways for how to get rid of toenail fungus. Try these remedies and get your healthy nails back.
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus(1) or onychomycosis is a common condition wherein there is a fungal growth on your toenail. It may initially appear as a white or yellow dot on your nail tip, but slowly it spreads causing discoloration and making your nails brittle. As the nail fungus further deepens into your nail, it causes it to thicken or crack.
What causes toenail fungus?
The growth of fungus causes the toenail infection. The most common toe fungus that affects your nails is dermatophyte. Besides it, molds and yeast may also cause the infection. Following factors may contribute to the growth of fungus on the toenails:
- Weak Immune system
- Poor personal hygiene
- Imbalance in the pH level of the skin
- Toe region exposed to the moist environment for a prolonged period
Toenail Fungus symptoms
An infected toenail may show the following signs
- Brittle or crumbly
- Discolored (white, yellowish or dark colored)
- Foul smell
Types of toenail fungus
Following are the kinds of toenail fungus
- White Superficial onychomycosis: White-colored deposition on the nail plate.
- Yeast onychomycosis: It causes yellow, brown or thickened nails due to the growth of the yeast called candida.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis: The infection starts from nail cuticle and rises to the nail tip.
Natural Remedies for Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus ruins the appearance of your pretty nails. It can embarrass you. People suffering from such condition resort to wearing closed footwear, but that does not solve your troubles.
Do you now that the infection is contagious, it can spread to other nails? Hence instead of hiding it, treat it with some simple home remedies for toenail fungus mentioned here. These effectively help in treating the infected nail and relieve you of all your troubles.
Foods that can help treat toenail fungus
1. How to cure toenail fungus with Garlic?
Garlic is an effective remedy for treating toenail fungus. It has excellent properties that can kill the fungus and prevent it from damaging your nail(2).
How to use?
- Take a fresh garlic clove
- Crush it
- Place the crushed garlic on the affected nail
- Leave it for around thirty minutes
- After that wash off the area with water
- Repeat this remedy daily until the infection clears.
- Alternatively, you can also ingest garlic or take garlic capsules that treat the problem from inside.
Benefits of Garlic
Garlic has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties which make it an effective remedy for treating fungal infections. Those looking for how to kill the growth of fungus on the nail can try using garlic. It gives surprising results in no time.
Those with sensitive skin must do a skin patch test before using garlic. Rub some garlic on your arm, if it stings badly, then do not use this garlic remedy.
2. How to get rid of toenail fungus with onion?
Onion, like garlic, is a potent remedy for treating toenail fungus. Those unsightly yellow toenails can be effectively corrected by using onion. So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and grab an onion(3).
How to use?
- Take an onion and cut its slices
- Rub a slice of onion gently on the affected toenail
- Repeat this process daily to get rid of the toenail fungus.
Benefits of onion
Rubbing onion on the infected nail inhibits the growth of fungus on the toenail. It fights off the build-up and clears the infection fast.
If you have sensitive skin or a history of allergy, then do a skin patch test before using this remedy. In case of intense burning sensation, wash off the area immediately.
Foods to eat
A weak immune system is one of the prime reasons for fungal infections. To prevent such infections, it becomes necessary to eat a balanced diet that supplies you with all the essential nutrients that ward of such diseases. Following foods can effectively shield you against toenail fungus
- Foods rich in protein that promote healthy nails like eggs, soy, etc.
- Foods rich in iron that prevent brittle nails like spinach.
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon.
- Foods rich in Vitamin D and calcium.
Foods to avoid
Poor immunity results from foods that provide you with unnecessary fats, sugars, and calories. To prevent fungal infection, you need to avoid the following foods:
- Foods with refined carbohydrates
- Foods high in sugar content
- Fried foods
Herbal treatments for Toenail fungus
1. How to treat Toenail fungus with Chamomile tea?
Chamomile(4) is a fantastic herb with powerful properties. Those looking for how to get rid of toenail fungus can use it to heal the distorted nail.
How to use?
- Put a chamomile tea bag in a cup of water
- Take it out after some time and squeeze out the excess water. After that place the tea bag on the infected nail.
- Repeat this remedy two to three times a day to see effective results.
Benefits of Chamomile
Chamomile is one of the effective home remedies for toenail fungus. It has soothing properties that calm the inflamed skin and further inhibit the growth of fungus.
Those who have suffered from allergic reactions from plants belonging to the daisy family like marigolds must avoid this remedy. Topical application of chamomile may also cause allergic reactions and the development of rashes.
2. How to cure toenail fungus with Snakeroot Extract?
Snakeroot extract is obtained from plants of the sunflower family. Studies have shown that snakeroot extract is quite effective in treating the black toenail fungus. Its effect on the infection is similar to that of various prescribed medications.
How to use?
- Apply the snakeroot extract on the fungal growth.
- For the desired results use this remedy every third day of the week in the first month, then two times a week in the second month and only once a week in the third month.
Benefits of Snakeroot extract
Snakeroot extract has potent antifungal properties that make it an effective remedy for how to get rid of toenail fungus. Application of it in the prescribed manner will eliminate the fungus causing the infection.
Use the snakeroot extract as prescribed. Do not overdo the application of the extract as it may cause an adverse effect.
Use Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
1. How can Tea Tree Oil help in getting rid of toenail fungus?
Essential oils are potent plant extracts that can treat numerous health condition and infections as well. Tea Tree Oil(5) is one of the potent oils which finds use in treating various skin troubles. It can also significantly inhibit the fungal growth that is damaging your toenail.
How to use?
- Add two to three drops of tea tree essential oil in a teaspoon of coconut oil or any other carrier oil.
- Soak a cotton ball in the blend
- Apply the mixture using the cotton ball on the infected toenail
- Let it stay for about ten minutes
- After that, rub the nail gently with a toothbrush
- You can repeat the process two to three times a day.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is antifungal and antiseptic. The application of the oil kills the fungus and prevents its further growth. Scrubbing the nail helps in clearing the build-up on the toenail. Tea tree oil also has strong inflammatory properties that soothe the skin and ease the pain (if any) due to the infection.
Tea tree oil is highly potent and can cause an allergic reaction. Thus, before using the remedy, rub a small amount of diluted oil on your arm, it stings a lot, then rinses the oil immediately.
2. How to use Lemongrass Essential Oil for treating toenail fungus?
Another essential oil which comes in the list of natural remedies for treating toenail fungus is Lemongrass Essential Oil(6). It is highly effective in fighting the white toenail fungus.
How to use?
- Mix a few drops of lemongrass Essential Oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil
- Apply this blend on the affected area with a cotton swab
- Use this remedy daily until the infection clears.
Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass Essential oil can effectively treat the toenail fungus owing to its strong antifungal and antibacterial properties. Application of the oil not only kills the fungus but also prevents other symptoms of the infection like fragile and crumbly nails.
Using Lemongrass Essential oil in undiluted form can harm your skin. Hence you must dilute it with a carrier oil.
Read More: Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
Home Remedies for clearing toenail fungus
1. How to get rid of toenail fungus with white vinegar?
Do you that white vinegar can also treat those awful and unsightly discolored nails? The common kitchen ingredient can help you get rid of the toenail fungus easily at home. So what are you waiting for? Try this effective home remedy and clear the fungal growth quickly.
How to use?
- Mix white vinegar with warm water in the ratio 1:2
- Soak your toe in the solution with the infected nails dipped correctly in it for around 15 minutes
- After that wash your toe with plain water and dry the infected nail.
- Repeat this remedy at least two times a day to get the desired results.
Benefits of White Vinegar
White Vinegar has potent properties that fight the fungal growth on the toenail. It helps restore the pH level of the skin inhibiting the growth of the fungus. Use this remedy to get rid of the yellow toenail fast.
White Vinegar has acidic properties that may cause burning sensation. Avoid using it on open cuts and wounds.
2. How to treat toenail fungus with lemon juice and olive oil?
Another effective home remedy that can fight the fungal infection on toenail is the mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. Regular application of this mixture will give you your beautiful nails in no time. Know how this natural treatment works to give you amazing results.
How to use?
- Squeeze out the fresh lemon juice
- To the juice add an equal amount of olive oil
- Apply the mixture on the infected nail
- Gently massage the blend and leave it for a few hours
- After that, rinse it off and pat the nail dry
- Repeat this remedy daily to get the desired results.
Benefits of Lemon juice and olive oil mixture
Lemon juice has strong acidic and antimicrobial properties that fight off the fungal infection. It soothes your skin and controls the growth of fungus. Olive oil moisturizes the skin and keeps it soft and supple. Use this remedy daily for some time, and you will get smooth and beautiful skin devoid of any infection.
Lemon juice may irritate sensitive skin. Hence, those with a history of allergy must rub a small amount of the lemon juice on their arm to check their skin’s sensitivity to the lemon.
Natural treatments for clearing toenail fungus
1. How to cure toenail fungus with Sea Salt?
Sea salt is a cheap and easy remedy for treating toenail fungus. The natural treatment helps in curing the fungal growth and preventing the infection.
How to use?
- To a bowl of water add half a cup of sea salt
- Soak your feet in the sea salt solution for at least thirty minutes
- After that rinse your feet and pat them dry.
Benefits of Sea Salt solution
Sea salt is one of the most effective ways for how to get rid of toenail fungus. It not only prevents the fungal growth but also pampers your feet. You can dip your feet in the solution as and when you want to treat the fungal growth and rejuvenate yourself. It gives you excellent results.
After dipping your feet in the solution do moisturize them as the sea salt solution will dry your skin.
2. How to get rid of toenail fungus with coconut oil?
Coconut oil is the safest natural remedies for how to get rid of toenail fungus. The oil is known to contain numerous beneficial properties that can help treat various skin and hair troubles.
Also Read: Super-Effective Essential Oils for Skin
How to use?
- Take some amount of coconut oil
- Rub it in your fingers to liquefy it
- After that apply the oil to the infected region
- Massage it for some time so that it penetrates deep in your skin
- Repeat the process for two to three times a day to get the desired results.
Benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, a fatty acid which is known to fight candida and several other fungi. It penetrates through the tough cell wall of the fungus and destroys it. Thus, coconut oil effectively kills the fungus that causes the infection. Further, the nourishing properties of the coconut oil give you smooth and supple skin. It is an easy and effective way to treat the ugly toenail fungus.
Coconut oil is a safe treatment for toenail fungus. But some people are allergic to the oil. Rub a small amount of oil onto your arm; if it causes rashes or redness, then you might have coconut oil allergy. In such a case avoid using this remedy.
How to prevent Toenail Fungus?
Following a healthy and hygienic lifestyle can prevent toenail fungus(7). Here are some tips that can be useful in avoiding the growth of fungus on toenails
- Wash your feet regularly to keep the microbes at bay.
- Keep your nails trimmed and smoothen their edges with a filer.
- If your feet sweat a lot, then wear sweat absorbing socks or change your socks at regular time intervals.
- Wear shoes made of breathable material
- Use sterilized tools for the pedicure.
- Wear footwear when in the locker rooms or at the poolside.
Toenail fungus is bothersome. You must treat it on the very first sign of its development to minimize the damage. It does not limit to a single nail but spreads to the other nails causing further damage. The infection is contagious; hence you must treat it.
Following the preventative measures and hygienic lifestyle can significantly lessen the probability of developing the fungus. However, even then if you develop the infection, then try the remedies for how to get rid of toenail fungus mentioned above. These give you significant results without any side-effects.