Stop Toenail Fungus Using These Natural Treatments

how to cure toenail fungus

Toenail fungus, called onychomycosis in medical terms is a common fungal infection caused to the toenails.

The color of your toenails changes to either brown, white or yellow. It may also cause nail thickening or nail cracking. There are a lot of ‘over-the-counter’ medications to treat this ailment, but they have a lot of side effects like dizziness, upset stomach, acidity and jaundice.

Did You Know?

1. Toenail fungus accounts for up to 30% of all skin infections
2. The older you are, the more chances of getting toenail fungus
3. Dermatophytic fungi. is the reason for a majority of toenail fungus
4. Men are more often affected by toenail fungus than women
5. 1 out of 3 patients have to toenail fungus

There are also many other remedies which are equally effective. Given below are the most popular, Essential Oils, natural home remedies and foods that cure fungal infections(1).

CURE 1: Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus

1. Coconut Oil for Toenail Fungus Treatment

coconut oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Coconut oil is one of the best remedies to treat Toenail fungus at home. Because of its antioxidant properties, it boosts your immune system. It treats toenail fungus and helps towards restoring the normal health of your nails by consistent usage.

When your toenails are infected with fungus, they not only look discolored and brittle but also give out a foul smell. It’s high time that you treat this condition before you see symptoms like malformation and swelling.

The antifungal properties of coconut oil help you to get to the root of the infection. Let’s see how can coconut oil be used to treat toenail fungus effectively.

How to use

  • Start with cleaning your feet thoroughly
  • Let them dry completely.
  • Warm a small amount of coconut oil
  • Apply it directly by giving a gentle massage to the skin and the nail bed, especially on the cuticle.
  • Let the oil stay there for at least 15 to 20 minutes. This gives the skin time to absorb the oil. After this, wash your feet and pat them dry.

How many times:

You can apply warm coconut oil to treat toenail fungus 2 times a day.

Benefits:

Coconut oil has Lauric acid, Linoleic acid, and caprylic acid that are excellent in treating various kinds of skin ailments. They are also responsible for getting rid of toenail fungus.

2. How to use Epsom Salt for Toenail Fungus Cure

Epsom Salt is a natural anti-inflammatory substance that combats against fungus, reduce pain and also improves circulation. Epsom Salt gets rid of toxins from the body which is also good for foot’s health. In addition to killing fungus and reducing pain, it also eliminates bad odor of the feet.

Epsom Salt Foot Soak

How to Use

Ingredients
  • An empty bucket big enough to fit both your feet
  • Lukewarm Water – half a bucket
  • Epsom Salt – ¼ cup
  • A dry and clean towel
Procedure
  1. Half fill the empty bucket with lukewarm water
  2. Add ¼ cup Epsom salt to it
  3. Mix well until the salt dissolves in the water
  4. Trim your toenails
  5. Put both your feet into the bucket
  6. Make sure that both of your feet get immersed in the solution
  7. Soak your feet for about 30 to 60 minutes
  8. Remove your feet and dry them completely with a dry towel

How many times:

Follow this procedure 2 times a day. Once in the morning and once before you go to bed.

Benefits:

The anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties of Epsom salt act against the fungus present on the nails and skin, thereby promote healing. As Epsom salt exfoliates the skin, it leads to healthier feet. The foot soak offers a relaxing effect to the feet which promotes better circulation.

Precautions:

After the procedure, make sure that you dry your feet completely and free of moisture as it is the major reason for fungus growth and spread.

3. How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus with Snakeroot Extract

snakeroot extract
Image:ShutterStock

Snakeroot extract has ciclopirox which has antifungal properties.

How to use

Ingredients
  • Water
  • Snakeroot extract
  • A small container to mix the above
Procedure
  1. Take snakeroot extract in a small container
  2. Add an equal amount of water
  3. Mix well
  4. Apply this mixture on the affected area
  5. Leave it for about an hour
  6. Then wash with clean water

How many times:

Do this 2 times a day

Benefits:

Snakeroot extract alleviates the symptoms of toenail fungus very effectively and does not pose any side effects.

[Read: Coconut Oil for Toenail Fungus]

CURE 2: Foods for treating Toenail Fungus

1. Apple Cider Vinegar for Toenail Fungus treatment

Apple Cider Vinegar can be orally ingested and also for external application. As it can kill many types of fungus and harmful yeast, it is ingested orally. It can be applied externally to kill toenail fungus. Let us know how it is used.

How to use

Ingredients
  • A large basin
  • Distilled Water 5 cups (enough to completely soak your feet)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 3 cups
  • A clean and dry towel
Procedure
  1. In a foot basin, add 5 cups of distilled water
  2. Add three cups of Apple Cider Vinegar to this
  3. Mix well
  4. Soak your feet in this solution
  5. Make sure that the affected area also gets fully immersed
  6. Let your feet soak for 30 minutes
  7. After this, remove your feet
  8. Wipe them dry with a clean towel

How many times:

Perform this 2 times a day.

Benefits:

The antifungal properties of the Apple Cider Vinegar restores the pH balance of the toenail and the skin surrounding it. Apple Cider vinegar, being acidic, acts against the alkaline atmosphere of fungal growth and kills it.

2. Garlic

garlic benefits
Image:ShutterStock

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

Ingredients
  • 1 fresh garlic clove
Procedure
  • Take a fresh garlic clove
  • Crush it
  • Place the crushed garlic on the affected nail
  • Leave it for around thirty minutes
  • Wash it off with clean 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:

Garlic has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties which make it an effective remedy for treating fungal infections.  Those looking for easy ways to kill the growth of fungus on the nail can try using garlic. It gives surprising results in no time.

Precautions

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 go for this remedy.

3. Onion

onion benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Onion, like garlic, is a potent remedy for treating toenail fungus. Those unsightly yellow toenails can be effectively treated by using onion. So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and grab an onion.

How to use

Ingredients
  • Onion
Procedure
  • 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 toenail fungus.

Benefits:

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.

Precautions:

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.

[Read: Foot Soak for Toenail Fungus]

CURE 3: Natural Remedies for Toenail Fungus

1. How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus with Bleach

Toenail fungus is hard to be treated as the fungal spores are situated beneath the toenails. Many people use bleach as a potent formula for treating toenail fungus because it kills 99.9 percent fungus, bacteria, and germs. As bleach helps to disinfect, it is very obvious that it can be used to treat this infection. You also should know the right way to use it.

How to use

Ingredients
  • I gallon clean water
  • 1 tablespoon bleaching powder
  • Foot soak basin
Procedure – 1
  1. Add 1 gallon of clean water to a foot soak basin
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of bleaching powder to it
  3. Mix well
  4. Soak your feet completely in the solution for about 30 minutes

How many times:

Do this 2 times a day

Procedure – 2
  • Coat the infected area of the nail with petroleum jelly
  • Add 2 drops of bleach to it
  • It forms a paste-like texture
  • Let this stay for about 15 minutes
  • Then wash with clean water and dry

Benefits:

Bleaching powder is an easy substance to lay hands on. It acts effectively on fungal infections.

2. Olive Leaf Extract

Olive Leaf benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Oleuropein is an active compound present in the olive leaf which has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It also offers immune boosting qualities(3).

Extract the juice from 2 – 3 leaves of olive oil and apply it directly on to the affected area. You can even go for olive leaf extract capsules and ingest them.

Benefits:

Applying olive leaf extract prevents dryness and cracking of fungus-ridden nails. Olive oil is one of the best remedies for restoring healthy toenails.

[Read: Vinegar for Toenail Fungus]

3. Castor Oil for Toenail Fungus Cure

Sometimes, it is very late before you find out, you have a fungal infection. Before it is too late, use castor oil which is very easy to lay hands on as it is found in every kitchen. Below is the method on how to use this to treat toenail fungus.

How to use

  • 1 cup castor oil
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 3 cups of water
  • A foot basin
Procedure
  1. Mix all the three ingredients in a foot basin
  2. Mix well
  3. Soak your foot in this mixture for about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove your foot from the basin
  5. Let the skin absorb the oil
  6. After 15 minutes, wash your feet
  7. Pat them dry

How many times:

Do this once a day.

Benefits:

The natural antifungal properties of castor oil treats toenail fungus very effectively. The ricinoleic acid helps in reducing the inflammation that can be a result of a long-standing fungal infection.

CURE 4: Essential Oils for toenail fungus cure

1. Tea Tree Essential Oil for Toenail Fungus Cure

Tea tree oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Tea Tree oil is considered the best essential oil for Toenail fungus cure because of its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

How to use

Procedure – 1

Mix 3 to 4 drops of Tea tree oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil. Soak a cotton ball to this mixture and apply it on the affected area 2 times a day.

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Procedure – 2

Add 5 drops of Tea tree oil to half an ounce of coconut oil. Mix well and add this mixture to half a bucket of warm water. Soak your feet in this water for about 20 minutes.

Before following any of the above procedures, ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly and keep your nails dry and clean so that you don’t spread infection.

[Read: Oregano Oil for Toenail Fungus]

2. Oregano Essential Oil for Toenail Fungus Cure

Oregano essential Oil has antifungal properties, which make it one of the most effective remedies for treating toenail fungus. But, while applying Oregano oil, make sure you add it to a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil. You can also use jojoba oil or olive oil too as carrier oils. Applying Oregano oil directly can lead to skin irritation, burning, and redness.

How to use

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon of Coconut oil or Olive oil 3 drops of Oregano essential oil A small container to mix both the above
  • A small cotton ball
Procedure
  1. Put a teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil in a small container
  2. Add 3 drops of Oregano essential oil to it
  3. Mix well for an even consistency
  4. Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and apply on to the affected area

How much to use:

You can apply this mixture whenever you have ample time at home so that you do not cover your feet. After applying this mixture, keep the affected area uncovered as covering may lead to the rebuilding of fungus due to moisture. Let the mixture stay for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

Benefits:

The antifungal and antibacterial properties of oregano essential oil kills fungus and bacteria that cause infection due to toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and other nail infections. This mixture works effectively by inhibiting fungal growth on the skin and on the nail.

3. Thyme Essential Oil

thyme essential oil benefits
Image:Shutterstock

Thyme essential oil is one of the best home remedies for the natural treatment of toenail fungus. It contains thymol that is a potent antifungal and antiseptic compound which has been scientifically proven to be highly effective in the cure of fungal infections. It can kill the fungus and inhibit the spread of the fungal infection.

How to use

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon thyme essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • A small bowl to mix both of the above
Procedure
  1. Add one tablespoon olive oil to a small bowl
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of thyme essential oil to this
  3. Mix well
  4. Wash and tap your toes dry

Apply this on the affected areas. Don’t forget to rub it between the fingers of the toe. Also, brush the affected nail with the oil for about 7 minutes.

How much to use:

Do this daily 1 time

Benefits:

The antibacterial properties of Thyme essential oil kills fungus and bacteria that cause infection due to toenail fungus.

[Read: How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus]

4. Clove Essential Oil

The eugenol contained in clove essential oil is incredibly beneficial for the inhibition of fungal infection. Use this for the treatment of different fungal infection diseases like big toe fungus, athlete’s foot, jock itch and more. Its content of important biologically active compounds makes it one of the most potent home remedies of fungus feet.

How to use

Ingredients
  • 8 to 10 drops of Clove essential oils
  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil
  • A small container to mix the above
Procedure
  • Add 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil to a small bowl
  • Now add 8-10 drops of clove essential oil
  • Mix well
  • Wash your feet well and pad them dry
  • Rub the affected nail with this solution.

How much to use:

You can do this 2 times a day and each session should be at least 5 minutes. Do this for 5 minutes, twice daily for the fungal infection to get wholly cured.

CURE 5: Supplements for treating toenail fungus

1. Zinc

Zinc is rich in antioxidant properties, which is very vital for protecting the cells and organs from damage that may be caused by free radicals. It helps to treat nail fungus by fighting and removing bacteria from the infection.

2. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an effective supplement in treating toenail fungus as it treats nails that are brittle and break easily, which is a sign of low vitamin B12 in your body. A vitamin B12 deficiency may cause nail fungus or similar infections as the nails are weak and prone to conditions. Fingernails may also turn dark if proper vitamin B12 is not taken.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps in keeping the nails hydrated and also fights and gets rid of free radicals, due to its antioxidant properties. Low intake of vitamin C results in brittle and dry fingernails. In addition, it can also result in hangnails.

[Read: Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus]

Healthy Nail Tips

  • Keep your nails clean and dry to help prevent bacteria and fungus from collecting under them
  • Cut your fingernails and toenails straight across and rounded slightly in the center. This keeps them strong and helps you avoid ingrown nails
  • If your toenails are thick and difficult to cut, soak your feet in warm salt water for 5 to 10 minutes, and then apply urea or lactic acid cream. This will soften the nails, making them easier to trim.
  • Wear proper fitting shoes and alternate shoes on a regular basis. Tight shoes can cause ingrown toenails.
  • Don’t try to self treat ingrown nails, especially if they have an infection. See a dermatologist.
  • Avoid biting your fingernails. You can transfer infections between your fingers and mouth. Also, nail biting can damage the skin around your fingers allowing infections to enter.
  • Nail problems are more common if you have diabetes or poor circulation. At the first sign of a problem, see a dermatologist.

Quick and Useful tips when you are being treated for toenail fungus

  • Maintain clean and dry feet
  • Use waterproof footwear at swimming pools and other public wet areas.
  • Wear fresh and clean socks daily.
  • Trim your nails regularly.
  • As  they can promote moisture retention, it is good to avoid tight hosiery

FAQs

1. How long does it take to get rid of toenail fungus?

If you are taking any medicine to apply to the nails, you can get rid of the infection. This treatment prevents additional fungus from growing while the nail grows. Usually, fingernails grow within 6 months but a toenail might take a minimum of 12 months to grow.

2. Can Hydrogen peroxide kill toenail fungus?

Hydrogen Peroxide can be used as an effective treatment against toenail fungus which involves soaking the affected nails in peroxide solution. The fungus is destroyed because of an increase in oxygen levels, ultimately leading to the growth of healthy nails.

3. Does toenail fungus go away by itself?

Toenail fungus is an infection and does not go away on its own. If not treated, the infection spreads to the complete nail and destroys it completely. Moreover, as a fungal infection is painless, people might not know that they have a problem.

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