This may be why many people try home remedies instead. With these 10 ways to treat toenail fungus at home, you can say goodbye to this pesky problem within weeks!
1) Use tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an effective natural remedy for treating toenail fungus. The oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help kill the fungus and promote healing. Plus, it’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Here’s how you can use it to treat your toenail fungus:
1. Mix equal parts tea tree oil and water in a small bowl.
2. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it to the affected nail.
3. Leave the mixture on for about 30 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
4. Repeat this process once or twice daily until the fungus is gone.
2) Get a salicylic acid product
Salicylic acid is one of the most common treatments for toenail fungus. You can find it in a variety of over-the-counter products, including gels, creams, and pads. Before using any of these products, be sure to read the instructions carefully. In general, you’ll need to apply the product to the affected area once or twice a day for several weeks. You may start to see results within a few weeks, but it can take up to 12 weeks for the infection to completely clear. If your symptoms don’t improve after 12 weeks, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
3) Wear flip-flops in public
Wearing flip-flops in public places is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of toenail fungus. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments, so it’s important to keep your feet as dry as possible. If you must wear closed-toe shoes, make sure to change your socks often and alternate shoes so they have a chance to air out between wearings. You can also treat your shoes with a fungicide spray.
4) Moisturize from the top down
It’s important to moisturize your skin if you want to treat toenail fungus. Moisturizing from the top down will help the lotion penetrate your nails and skin. Be sure to use a quality lotion that won’t irritate your skin. Apply the lotion liberally, and massage it into your skin until it’s absorbed. You can do this once a day, or as often as you like. Apply the lotion in addition to your normal moisturizer before bedtime, when your feet are resting on their heels with the soles up. Use an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream: If you have milder cases of nail fungus, then using an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream might be all you need. Creams are applied twice daily for two weeks and should not be used on broken skin or nails. If using a cream doesn’t seem to work after two weeks, try an oral medication: For more serious cases of nail fungus where other treatments haven’t worked well enough, an oral medication may be necessary. Oral medications come in tablet form and are taken three times daily for six months.
5) Keep your nails short
Keep your nails short and trim them regularly. This will help prevent the fungus from spreading. You can also use an emery board or nail file to file down the infected area. Be sure to disinfect your tools after each use. Scrub under your nails with a brush dipped in rubbing alcohol to kill any remaining bacteria that may be living there.
6) Olive leaf extract
You can find olive leaf extract as a tincture or in capsule form at most health food stores.
Oleuropein is an active ingredient that’s found in olive leaf extract that’s antifungal, antibacterial, and immune boosting. Applying olive leaf salve directly onto the fungus or ingesting olive leaf capsules twice daily is more effective than olive leaf salve in treating toenail fungus. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water during this treatment.
7) Vicks VapoRub
Vicks VapoRub is a popular ointment that is often used as a cough suppressant and decongestant. However, did you know that it can also be used to treat toenail fungus? A study published in the Journal of Family Practice found that Vicks VapoRub was effective in treating toenail fungus. Here’s how you can use it:
1. Clean and dry your feet thoroughly.
2. Apply a normal layer of Vicks VapoRub on your affected toenails.
3. To use, at least once a day.
8) Oregano oil
Oregano oil is a potent antimicrobial that can help treat toenail fungus. Plus, it’s relatively easy to find and doesn’t require a prescription. Here’s how you can use oregano oil to treat your toenail fungus:
1. Soak a cotton ball in oregano oil and apply it directly to the affected nail.
2. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
3. Repeat this process two or three times a day until the fungus clears up.
4. You can also add a few drops of oregano oil to a foot bath and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
It’s anecdotal evidence that vinegar can be used to treat toenail fungus, but it’s still a fairly safe home remedy you can try. One part vinegar to two parts warm water can be applied to the affected area daily for up to 20 minutes. The mixture is left on the nails before being washed off with soap and water. As an alternative, soak your feet in a solution of one cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with two cups of warm water every day for 20 minutes. Repeat this process twice daily if you’re experiencing fungal infections on more than one nail.
10) Adjust your diet
Diet and health go hand in hand: the healthier the foods you eat, the better chance your body has of fighting off conditions such as toenail fungus.
Eat the following foods to provide your body with the nutrients it needs:
- probiotic-rich yogurt
- enough protein to support nail regrowth
- enough iron to prevent brittle nails
- a diet rich in essential fatty acids
- foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, such as low-fat dairy products