Toenail Fungus Home Remedies: Get Rid of Ugly, Thick Nails
Are you embarrassed by unsightly, thick, yellowish-brown toenails? If so, your problem may be toenail fungus or onychomycosis. Affecting 10% of Americans, toenail fungus is condition where a fungus called dermatophytes live underneath the nail and feed on keratin. Keratin is a protein that nails are formed from.
Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus survives in some conditions better than others. Consequently, there are conditions and factors which increase your likelihood of developing toenail fungus. These risk factors are:
- Abnormal pH level of the skin
- Injury to the nail
- Poor foot hygiene
- Weak immune system
- Age - The chances increase with age.
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
Prescription Medications for Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is very hard to eliminate, and it takes time. However, there are both prescribed medications and home remedies available. The following are currently prescribed medication for toenail fungus.
- Sporonox or itraconazole
- Diflucan or fluconazole
- Fulvicin or griseofulvin
- Lamisil or terfinabine
Taken orally with the exception of Penlac, not only are these medications be expensive, but they can cause side-effects liver damage. Therefore, you have to have periodic liver enzyme level tests. Side effects can include an upset stomach and headaches.
Many times these medications are not anymore effective than the home remedies. Furthermore, the home remedies are much less expensive. Therefore, you may wish to try the home remedies initially.
Toenail Fungus Home Remedies
All of the home remedies are topical applications. If you have very thick nails, you might want to consider filing down your toenail. This enables the application to penetrate the toenail more eaasily.
- Apply a 50/50 mixture of Listerine and vinegar twice daily.
- Apply one part vinegar to two parts water twice daily.
- Apply tea tree oil twice daily.
- Apply a 50/50 mixture of tea tree oil and lavendar oil.
- Apply a 50/50 mixture of olive oil and oregano oil.
- Apply Vick's VapoRub twice daily.
- Apply coconut oil twice daily.
How to Prevent Toenail Fungus
If you don't have toenail fungus, prevention is the best defense. Even if you have successfully eradicated toenail fungus, you don't want to get it again. More than likely, the same conditions which allowed the fungus to develop before are still there. To prevent toenail fungus, the following advice is helpful:
- Avoid public showers, swimming pools, and spas with barefeet. Live spores can be on the surfaces and transmitted.
- Do not share towels or shoes with other people.
- Dry feet thoroughly.
- Do not use your towel again after drying an infected area.
- When possible, wear sandals or open shoes during warm weather since nail fungus likes dark environments.
- When at home, go barefoot whenever possible..
- Wear breathable shoes.
- Wear cotton, wool, or silk socks. These socks allow the feet to breathe.
- If your feet get damp or wet, change socks and shoes as soon as possible.
- Keep toenails cut short.
- Avoid nail polish if you have the infection.
- Reduce sugar intake. Too much sugar in the diet may make the body more susceptible.
- Sprinkle athlete's foot powder inside your shoes. The organims that causes athlete's foot is the same organism that causes toenail fungus.
Although not all of these remedies have worked for all people, each one has had successes. You may have to experiment with different remedies until you find the one that works. Bear in mind, successfully treating toenail fungus takes dilligence, time, and patience. It may take 6 to 8 months for the infection to disappear and a new nail grown.