Nail fungus not only leads to ugly, discolored and damage nails, it also causes undue pain and irritation. If not taken care of in time it can lead to other serious conditions.
This is unsightly and embarrassing for the sufferer but also dangerous for others since nail fungus can easily spread from one person to the other. There are many OTC as well as prescribed medications for this conditions though none too effective or fast. However, one can try a number of home remedies to treat nail fungus and see natural benefits and results.
Nail fungus treatments – Home remedy options
Traditional and natural home remedies for treating nail fungus include –
Tea Tree Oil – A natural antiseptic, tea tree oil acts fast on the nails, kills the nail fungus and prevents further growth. Mix pure tea tree oil with olive oil and apply over affected area. Keep the nail soaked in the solution for about 15 minutes and then scrub well. This should be continued for several weeks. The healing formula will seep deep into the nail bed and heal from within. After sometime you will find the top layers of the fungus slowly disappearing from the nail surface. One can also combine it with a few drops of lavender oil which has strong anti-bacterial properties to heal faster.
Apple Cider Vinegar – This is one of the most popular home remedies for treating nail fungus. Mix apple cider vinegar with warm water and soak the nails in the solution for some time. Then pat toes or fingers dry. Vinegar is a natural exfoliator with mild acidic content which will remove the dead skin and tissues from around the nails and thereby prevent infection. This keeps skin soft and free from cracks and cuts. Other than this you can mix the vinegar with rice powder and softly rub it on the nails to exfoliate. However, make sure you apply no pressure which could lead to abrasive pain.
Listerine Mouthwash – The powerful antiseptic in Listerine can be as good for your nails as it is for your mouth. Soak your toes and fingers in the mouthwash and let the alcohol and the powerful compounds like salicylate thymol and euchalyptol. These not only prevent further growth but also slowly erode the fungus off the nail. You can make the solution even more powerful by combining Listerine with vinegar or lemon juice. For initial and less serious cases, you can pour this solution in hot water, soak your foot or finger nails for some time and then dry the nails well. For severely affected nails you might have to keep it soaked for a longer time. Soak cotton well in the solution and tie it around the affected nail with a soft cloth, keep it for as long as possible, then remove the cotton and air dry the nail.
Vicks VapoRub – The basic ingredients in Vicks VapoRub are petroleum jelly, essential oils and menthol. The very nature of the ointment makes it easy to infuse into the infected area. Deep penetration enables the whole nail to feel the healing effects and see the infection slowly recede over time. For best results apply the ointment generously over the nail and then cover your hands in gloves or your feet in cotton socks.
Green Tea Extract – Green tea extract or Camellia Sinensis is known to contain powerful antifungal properties. It can definitely affect and diminish the presence of Candida glabrata though there are no proven medical theses on its effect on dermatophytes. But it is not a stretch to believe that with all its natural goodness, green tea will quite effective in treating nail fungus.
Other natural remedies include extracts from grapefruit seeds which are rich in antimicrobial qualities; extracts of snakeroot leaves which have the ability to remove fungus from the nail surface; mixture of oregano and olive oils combine antiparasitical, antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal as well as analgesic effects and have been known to heal nail fungus quite effectively. One can also mix thyme and oregano oils together to treat the fungus. However, this makes for a very potent mix and caution is recommended over continuous use as it can negatively affect the organs like heart, liver and kidneys.