Nail fungus, otherwise known as Onychomycosis, is caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes that infect the finger and toe nails. Over 35 million people around the world suffer from nail fungus. Given this fact, a lot of people are looking for natural ways to cure this type of fungal infection to grow healthy and clean nails.
But first, how do you know if you have nail fungus?
Nail fungus are more likely to infect toe nails than finger nails. And the the big and little toe fingers are most likely to get harmed. Yes, nail fungus is harmful because it feeds on the keratin that makes up the surface of the toe nail, thereby causing disfiguration and discoloration of the nails.
Symptoms of nail fungus are quite easy to identify. Once infected, the nail becomes yellow or brown. Oftentimes, it is accompanied by nasty-smelling dirt that accumulates under the nail. If left untreated, the nail will crumble or break and eventually fall off.
If these symptoms are noticed at an early stage and treated at once, it will be easier to get rid of the fungus and faster for the nail to return to normal. However, it can be a lot troublesome for others. Over-the-counter anti-fungal creams don’t usually work because they can hardly go through the nail bed to kill the fungus. Anti-fungal oral treatments, on the other hand, may have adverse side effects that may harm your body organs. So before you turn to strong medications, it is best to apply natural treatment first.
Here are a few home remedies that you may use to get rid of your nail fungus:
Tea tree oil and lavender oil Drop equal amounts of tea tree oil and lavender oil on a cotton ball and smear it on the affected and surrounding areas of the affected nail. In addition to the anti-fungal properties of the tea tree oil, lavender helps in fighting the infection and prevents skin irritation.
Oregano and Olive oil Apply blend of oregano essential oil (2 drops) and olive oil (1 teaspoon) on the affected area every day for not more than 3 weeks. Oregano has natural antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic and anti-fungal properties.
Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar If infection has just started, soak your feet in vinegar for at least 20 minutes a day. This method may not work for people with heavy infection because it can’t get down to the root of the infection. You may also try a mix of warm water and apple cider vinegar in equal amounts. Soak your hands or feet in your mixture for about 20 minutes, then dry thoroughly.
Listerine The antiseptic properties of this mouthwash fights off infection. Soaking your infected nails in Listerine will leave them clean thereafter.
What you eat will also help in getting rid of fungus infection. For people who suffer nail fungus, include probiotics in your diet. The good bacteria in probiotics will help your body get rid of the fungus. Best food sources of probiotics are cultured dairy products such as natural cheese, yogurt, kefir and buttermilk.