Toenail fungus (knows as onychomycosis in the medical word) is a very unpleasant infection that effects your toenails and is often spread through wet floors such as the ones you can get in contact with around swimming pools.
This fungal infection is characterized by a discoloration of a toenail (or several). The toenail turns yellow or brown (less often white) and causes the nail to thicken or sometimes also break. The people suffering from this unpleasant infection often feel very insecure about the appearance of their feet which can cause social isolation. This is especially a problem during summertime when people tend to wear sandals or go barefoot on the beach.
Fortunately, there are many remedies that can be used to treat this infection. There are several antifungals oral prescription drugs such as terbinafine (Lamisil) or fluconazole (Diflucan) available that are traditionally used to treat toenail fungus. The major downside of these treatments is the number of side effects they cause. Some of them can become very serious and include dizziness, jaundice, serious skin irritations and stomach problems.
Instead of these powerful but somewhat risky substances, you might want to try using these popular homemade remedies instead.
1. Vicks VapoRub
Vicks VapoRub is not designed to treat fungal infections, instead it is meant to help with coughing and other problems of the upper respiratory tract. The rub consists of eucalyptus and camphor which are effective substances to reduce the effects of a cold. Interestingly, they also help with toenail fungus. There has even been a scientific study on this in 2011 which has proven that Vicks VapoRub had a positive clinical effect. Just apply a small amount to the affected area once or twice a day.
Ageratin extract is designed to fight fungal infections and consists of plants from the sunflower family. Amazingly, the extract has been scientifically proven to be just as effective against fungus as Cyclopirox (one of the most common prescription drugs to combat this diagnosis). All you have to do is apply the drug to the affected area every three days. It is important to continue treatment for a few months to make sure the fungus is eradicated completely. Ageratin extract can be hard to find in local stores, which makes the best way of buying it an online health store.
3. Melaleuca (Tea tree oil)
Melaleuca is an essential oil and can be used to treat fungus infections due to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. The oil is often also called tea tree oil. Studies conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health have indicated that the substance likely has a positive effect on toenail fungus. The oil is very easy to use, all you have to do is to rub it onto the affected nail twice a day. Tea tree oil can be found here.
4. Oregano Oil
Another very effective oil to help with fungus is Oregano oil. It’s especially its component Thymol which offers antifungal as well as antibacterial properties that have been proven by a 2016 review. Similar to Tea tree oil, all you have to do is to apply this pleasant smelling substance to the affected nail twice a day. You can also mix Tea tree oil and Oregano oil and apply them at the same time. Keep in mind, that the mix of these two substances might cause irritations so start with a small amount to check for allergies or other problems. Similar to other natural remedies, Oregano oil can easily be found online.
5. Olive leaf extract
Most people are very familiar with olive oil but did you know that olive leaf extract also offers valuable substances? Oleuropein, one of the most valuable components found in olive leaves, is considered to offer antimicrobial and immune-stimulating properties. Most importantly, it also offers antifungal properties which help with toenail fungus. The oil can be taken orally accompanied by a meal (twice a day) or applied directly to the affected toe nail. Make sure to drink plenty of water during this treatment. The oil can be found online.
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