Onychomycosis, or more widely known as toenail fungus, is a fungal infection which appears when dermatophytes fungi begins to grow under your toenail.
It normally causes the affected nail to become thick, crusty, distorted and discolored. Once the infection worsens, the nail might start separating itself from the nail bed, resulting in bad odor and a lot of pain.
Some of the leading factors that can cause or worsen toenail fungus are: wearing socks and shoes for longer periods of time, lack of personal hygiene, not drying the feet well after taking a bath, walking barefoot in public shower or pools, sharing a footwear with an infected person, and a weak immune system.
Although this condition is really ghastly, it can be treated with some simple home remedies, which will control the infection and prevent more damage to the nail.
These are the best 10 home remedies for treating toenail fungus.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda has an alkaline nature that although not able to kill the fungus, it will prevent it from growing and spreading. What’s more, it helps by alkalizing the skin’s pH level.
- Make a paste by mixing one part warm water and two parts of baking soda. With a cotton ball, apply the paste on your affected toenail, and allow it to stay for about 20 minutes. After this, wash it off. Do this twice a day, in a one-month period.
- Prepare a solution by adding 1 cup of white vinegar and 4 tablespoons of baking soda into 3 cups of lukewarm water. Soak your feet in it for about 15 minutes, and then dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Repeat this two times a day for at least a month.
- Another alternative is to sprinkle some baking soda in your footwear and to let it stay overnight. The next morning dump the powder out before putting them on. In this way, the baking soda will not only absorb the bad odor, but it will also prevent the fungi from attacking the toenails.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
The antimicrobial properties of apple cider vinegar makes it ideal for treating toenail fungus. Its mild acidic level will prevent spreading of the infection, and it can help destroy the fungus which causes the infection.
- Make a solution by mixing equal amount of lukewarm water and apple cider vinegar. Soak your infected toenail in it for 30 minutes. Then, pat dry it thoroughly to remove all moisture around and on the toes, and use even a hair dryer if necessary. Repeat this procedure every day, for several weeks.
- Another option is to mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of rice flour (coarsely ground) to make an exfoliating scrub. Mix until you get a thick paste, and apply it on your toenail. Use toothbrush to rub it gently for about 5 minutes, to eliminate the dead skin cells. Wash your feet well, and dry them thoroughly using a soft towel. Do this procedure every other day, for a period of 1-2 months.
3. Oregano Oil
You can use oregano oil in the treatment of toenail fungus thanks to its antifungal and antiseptic properties.
Make a solution from 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin The How to Zone and 4-5 drops of oregano oil. Apply it on your affected toenail using a cotton ball. Let it act for 10 minutes, and then scrub the top nail layer with a toothbrush. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this once a day for 3 week-period
4. Tea Tree Oil
Thanks to the present antiseptic and antifungal properties, tea tree oil can help kill your toenail fungus (1).
- Use rubbing alcohol to clean the infected area. Then, apply several tea tree oil drops on it. Do this treatment at least once daily, for a period of one month.
- Another option is to soak your feet in lukewarm water with 4-5 drops of tea tree oil, for about 25 minutes. When done, dry your feet thoroughly. Repeat this twice a day for a period of one month.
- You can also mix the content of a vitamin E capsule with a little tea tree oil. Rub your infected toenail with the mixture, and let it stay for 30 minutes. After that, wash them with lukewarm water and dry them thoroughly. Repeat this twice a day, for a period of one month.
The ajoene compound found in garlic is extremely effective in the treatment of this condition.
- Fill a small tub with lukewarm water and add finely crushed 7-8 garlic cloves. Soak your affected toenail in the foot bath for 30 minutes, and dry the area well. Apply a little petroleum jelly on the affected area. Do this treatment every day until the infection disappears completely.
- As an alternative, you can make a mixture of olive oil and 2-3 freshly crushed cloves of garlic. Rub it on the infected toenail using a cotton ball, and then warp the area with a gauze bandage. Keep it on for a few hours and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this once or twice a day for a few weeks.
- To harden the spreading and thriving of fungus, consume 1 or 2 fresh garlic cloves a day.
The antiseptic properties of Listerine help in the treatment of toenail fungus. Thymol is one of the main components of Listerine, which provides antifungal effects that help destroy the fungus fast.
Make a solution by mixing apple cider vinegar and Listerine in equal amounts. Place a thick cotton pad soaked in the solution over your affected toenail. Wrap your toenail with tape or small bandage to prevent the cotton pad from displacing. Let it act for about 45 minutes. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the infected toenail. Do this remedy once a day for a period of one month.
Make a thick paste from 1 tablespoon of freshly prepared turmeric powder and some water. Apply it on the infected area and let it act for 3 hours. After this period, wash it off with lukewarm water and pat dry. Do this twice a day until the infection is completely gone.
8. Indian Lilac
Neem, or Indian lilac, possesses antiseptic and antifungal properties which are ideal for treating and preventing spreading of toenail fungus.
- Make a paste my mixing handful of grinded Indian lilac leaves with some water, and add a tablespoon of turmeric powder. Spread the paste on the infected toenail and let it stay for an hour. Wash with lukewarm water and dry the area thoroughly. Do this twice a day until the infection is gone.
- As another option, place a cotton ball soaked in neem oil on the affected area. Repeat this twice a day for at least a month.
The antifungal properties of onion can successfully kill the toenail fungus.
- Gently rub thick slices of onion on the infected toenail for about 5 minutes. Let the onion extract act for at least 20 minutes before rinsing the area with lukewarm water, and don’t forget to pat it dry. Repeat this two times a day for a quicker results.
- As an option, use cotton ball to apply the extracted juice from crushed onion pieces on the affected area. Secure it with a tape or bandage, and let it stay for an hour. Rinse with lukewarm water and dry the area thoroughly. Repeat this remedy two times a day.
10. Coconut Oil
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil act as natural fungicides, for an effective treatment of toenail fungus.
- Rub some extra-virgin coconut oil on the infected toenail, and allow it to absorb and dry by itself. Do this 2-3 times a day until the infection is completely gone.
- Make a solution from oregano oil and coconut oil in 1:5 ratio. Apply it on your affected area by gently massaging it, and let it stay for 10 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water and dry it well. Repeat this remedy 2 times a day for at least 4 weeks.
For a successful treatment, follow these remedies consistently. Also, trim and fill your nails every week to keep them short.