Home Remedies for Toe Fungus
If you ever get toenail fungus, don’t let it go unchecked. Worst case is you can lose your nail after it becomes warped and discolored. Or the infection can enter your bloodstream. The fungus growing under your nail is a microscopic organism that can cause infections, according to the Mayo Clinic. Worst cases may require prescribed medication, but if you catch the fungus soon enough, there are simple home remedies that may restore your nail to health with some dedicated time and attention.
The symptoms and signs of this condition are easy to detect. Your nail will appear yellowed or darkened, and it may be brittle and crumbling. There may be an odor. Sometimes it is painful.
Florida-licensed cosmetologist Debra K.McKee has seen many cases of common toe fungus over the years in her beauty salon. “Patrons come in for a pedicure and do not recognize their symptoms,” she says. “I have seen it mostly in older adults. You get more buildup of dead skin tissue under the nail as you age. Dead skin cells are a sponge for moisture, one of the conditions that can cause the fungus.”
Achieving a disease-free nail is not going to happen overnight. “Keep your toe moisturized with oil and apply an anti-fungal agent you can buy at a pharmacy,” McKee suggests. She also recommends soaking the toe twice a day in a solution of 1 tbsp. white vinegar to 1/2 gal. of water. “Vinegar is a natural antiseptic and deodorizer,” she says. If there is no change, McKee advises her patrons to seek medical treatment.
Make a paste with lukewarm water and baking soda and rub it on the affected area; then rinse and dry the foot, suggests The World’s Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets. Do it daily. The health book also recommends that you “wear cotton socks, change your shoes twice a day, apply antibacterial drying powder and foot deodorant and avoid spicy foods if they cause your feet to perspire.”
Tree Tea Oil
Mentioned frequently as an antidote to toenail fungus is tea tree essential oil. “Used topically tree tea oil heals virtually all skin conditions,” says Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd Edition. Tree tea oil is best used in the early stages of the disease.
Toenail fungus, related to athlete’s feet, can take months to stop, according to the editors of Uncommon Cures For Everyday Ailments. Applying tree tea oil or grapefruit seed extract at least twice a day.
Preventing Toe Fungus
Walking barefoot at public swimming pools and wet floors in gym shower rooms is not advised because toenail fungus can be contagious.
To prevent getting toenail fungus, do not let your feet get sweaty in your shoes. Toe fungus flourishes in humid and moist environments. It is helpful to wear sandals to let the air circulate. Buy properly fitting shoes that are breathable and keep them dry and clean to wear. Bicycle riding and hiking in some hot climates will make you more prone to this fungus, but with proper foot care it can be prevented.
Even with the best of care some people get toe fungus. Home remedies work for many people, but not all, so seek medical care if necessary.