How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a very common problem. Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, yellowing, thickening or crumbling of the nail. It is usually not painful, unless the infection spreads.

The fungus tends to thrive under certain conditions, such as abnormal pH levels of the skin, a weakened immune system, continuous exposure to a moist environment including sweaty shoes and socks, poor hygiene and diabetes.

If left untreated, toenail fungus can cause cracking, splitting and even complete loss of the toenail. The good news is that toenail fungus is curable and can be treated inexpensively. Various natural home remedies can cure the infection in one or two months.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic and can help prevent toenail fungus from spreading. At the same time, it kills bacteria and fungi.

  • Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Soak your toenail in this solution for 30 minutes daily. When done, dry your toenail thoroughly. When used daily for a few weeks, you will notice improvement very quickly.
  • Another option is make an antifungal exfoliating scrub by some coarsely ground rice flour with a few spoons of apple cider vinegar. Apply this paste on and around the affected nail and gently scrub the area. Do this a few times a week. This remedy will also help get rid of dead skin cells and keep your skin soft.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antiseptic as well as antifungal properties that help a lot in the treatment of toenail fungus. This oil is also used to treat other kinds of skin infections.

  1. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in one teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil.
  2. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture on the affected toenail.
  3. Leave it on for 10 minutes, and then use a toothbrush to gently scrub the affected nail.
  4. Do this two or three times daily until you are satisfied with the results.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a readily available staple in most kitchens that can also be used to cure toenail fungus. It will also help neutralize foot odor.

  1. Add one-half cup of baking soda, one-fourth cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and one-half cup of Epsom salt to four cups of hot water. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, and then add one-fourth cup of white vinegar to it.
  2. Soak the affected toenail in this solution for about 10 minutes.
  3. Wash with clean water and dry your foot thoroughly.
  4. Repeat the process twice daily for several weeks.

4. White Vinegar

White vinegar is one of the best ingredients for treating toenail fungus because it fights the infection and helps restore the skin’s pH.

  1. Mix one part of white vinegar with two parts of warm water.
  2. Soak the affected toenail in this solution for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off and dry the affected area thoroughly.
  4. Repeat twice daily until the fungus is gone.

Note: If your skin becomes irritated, add more water to the solution and repeat the process every other day instead of daily.

5. Oil of Oregano

Oil of oregano has antiseptic, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral, analgesic and antifungal properties. This makes oregano oil an effective treatment for toenail fungus.

  1. Mix two drops of oil of oregano in one teaspoon of olive oil.
  2. Apply this mixture on the affected.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Then, rinse it off and dry your toes thoroughly.
  5. Repeat once or twice daily for three weeks to see positive results.

6. Listerine Mouthwash

Listerine mouthwash, which kills bacteria and germs in the mouth, can also be used to treat toenail fungus. The mouthwash has several compounds as well as alcohol that act as a strong antiseptic to keep away harmful bacteria and fungi.

  1. Fill a small tub with Listerine mouthwash, or a combination of equal parts of Listerine and white vinegar.
  2. Soak the affected foot in this solution for about 30 minutes, and then scrub the infected toenail gently.
  3. Rinse it off and dry the affected area thoroughly.
  4. Repeat this remedy once or twice daily until the infection clears.

    7. Garlic

    Garlic contains compounds like allicin and ajoene which have antifungal properties that can help treat toenail fungus.

    • Mix garlic oil with an equal amount of white vinegar. Apply this mixture on and around the infected toenail and cover the treated toe with a bandage. Leave it on for a few hours before removing the bandage. Repeat daily until the infection clears. (If garlic oil is not available, you can make your own by frying two crushed garlic cloves in two tablespoons of olive oil and then straining the oil.)
    • You can also eat one or two crushed garlic cloves daily.

    8. Lemon Juice

    Lemon juice has both antiseptic and antifungal properties. The citric acid present in lemon juice also will help stop the toenail fungus from spreading.

    • Apply fresh lemon juice on the infected toenail. Leave it on for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
    • Another option is to mix equal amounts of lemon juice and olive oil and use this mixture to massage the infected area. Leave it on for a few hours before rinsing it off. The olive oil will help soften your skin, while the lemon juice will help control the fungal infection.

    Use either of these remedies a few times daily for one month or longer until you notice positive results.

    9. Lavender Oil

    Lavender oil has several volatile compounds and antiseptic properties that can fight any kind of infection and prevent skin irritation.

    1. Mix five drops each of lavender oil and tea tree oil.
    2. Use a cotton ball to apply this solution under the top edge of the affected toenail and surrounding area.
    3. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes, rinse it off and dry your toes thoroughly.
    4. Repeat two or three times a day.

    10. Orange Oil

    Orange oil also has antifungal properties, and thus can be used to treat infected toenails. Orange oil can cause allergic reactions and can have side effects, so it is important to test some orange oil on a small spot of skin before beginning use of this remedy.

    1. Use a dropper to apply pure orange oil between your toes and on and under your toenails. If you have sensitive skin then dilute the essential oil with an equal amount of carrier oil, such as grape seed oil.
    2. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
    3. Repeat two or three times daily until you see improvement.

    The effectiveness of these natural remedies depends a lot on their proper use and application. Use these remedies for at least one or two months to see positive results. With patience and persistence, you can cure your toenail infection and prevent further complications.

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