Finally, it is the season to wear your favorite sandals or high heels and spend your time in the pool. Not for you? Maybe you have problems with your feet that you want to hide from others? Nail fungus is one of the common problems of those who don’t like wearing sandals in summer. Fungal nail infection disfigures toenails and brings the person lots of discomfort. What causes nail fungus, can it be cured only with home treatment and how to take care of nails? Looking for answers to these questions, then keep reading the article.
Nail fungus is a typical infection that starts as a white or yellow spot usually under the tip of your toenail, but it could occur in your fingernail too. The infection gets in through a split in your nail or cuts in your skin. As the fungal infection takes root, it becomes more obvious that something is seriously wrong. It may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and decay at the edges. It may also spread to other toenails.
If the infection is mild and doesn’t present a problem for you, you may not require treatment. If the fungus becomes painful and your toenail has become thick and discolored, there are some home remedies for nail fungus and treatment that can help you. However, be warned that even if treatment is successful, the nail fungus may come back.
Why does nail fungus can appear?
Nail fungus infections are caused by certain fungal organisms (fungi). The most common of which is a fungus known as dermatophyte. A further cause of nail infections can be yeast and molds. Besides, yeast and molds in the body also can cause nail infections. Here are some other causes why fungal nail infection can appear:
Age. Nail fungus can develop in people at any age, however it is more common among older adults. As you get older, reduced blood flow, slower nail growth, and additional years of being exposed to fungi contribute to the problem.
Heavy sweating. Excessively sweating can increase the risk of developing nail fungus.
A minor nail or skin cut or a skin condition, like psoriasis.
A history of athlete’s foot (ringworm on the foot). Fungus can spread from one nail to another, but not to someone else.
Problems with blood circulation and low immune system.
Walking barefoot. Walking barefoot in damp areas where many other people walk as well, like swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms.
What Are the Most Effective Home Treatments For Nail Fungus?
1. Hydrogen peroxide
This is able to kill fungus that affects toenails. You can wipe hydrogen peroxide on infected toenails using a clean cloth or cotton ball. You can also make a foot bathe up using hydrogen peroxide and cool water. Soak feet for about 10-20 minutes. Then rinse feet with warm water and dry. For better results apply hydrogen peroxide to your foot and foot nails.
2. Baking soda
Make a foot soak out of baking soda and warm water. You can also create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water and putting it directly onto the foot. Let the past remain on the infected area for about 10-20 minutes. After that use warm water to rinse and make sure the foot is dried completely
Furthermore, baking soda can be sprinkled directly on the feet or in the shoes just like foot powder can. Be sure that your feet are dry before applying, then put on a clean pair of socks. The baking soda keeps away dampness while the healing properties work to eliminate the toenail fungus.
3. Epsom salt
Giving your feet a good soak in a bath of Epsom salt can help to ease the effects of foot fungus. Simply mix one cup of Epsom salt into two quarts of warm or even hot water and soak your feet for around 10-20 minutes. After soaking your foot moisturize your skin to prevent irritation.
4. Black tea
What makes black tea a good home treatment for nail fungus is – tannic acid. Tannic acid dries the feet out, kills bacteria, and aids in closing the doors of the feet so that sweating is reduced. All you have to do is boil two quarts of water and then place five to six tea bags in the water. Once the tea has cooled, soak your feet for around 30 minutes.
5. Apple cider vinegar
You may not have known this, but vinegar is an anti fungal ingredient that can be mixed with water to make an ideal foot soak. So, apple cider vinegar is great because its acetic acid component will aid in whitening toenails that have been discolored. Not only that, it will also stop the infection from spreading to other toes. Two parts vinegar to one part warm water should do it, and soak your feet for 20 minutes every day.
Home Remedy Is Not Enough
In order to get faster effect and prevent fungus spreading you need medical treatment too. Especially, when you have severe form of fungal infection home treatment is not enough and you have to talk to a doctor. Depending on severity of condition and the cause of infection treatment can be different. Your doctor may prescribe the following anti-fungal drugs:
Oral antifungal drugs
These drugs clear the infection and help the growth of new infection-free nail. It takes about four or more months to eliminate an infection. Oral antifungal drugs may cause side effects to your liver.
Nail creams also help with nail fungus. You need to rub little amount of cream into infected nail. Nail cream won’t work if your nail is very thick, therefore you need to thin the nails. Your doctor may remove the hard surface of your nail and thin it with special tools.
Medical nail polish
There are also medicated anti-fungal nail polishes that fight with fungal infection. You need to paint it on infected nail just once a day and once a week wipe the layers. After that you start again a new application. This type of treatment last for almost a year.
Some fungal nail infections do not respond to medications or home remedies. In this case your doctor may recommend you temporary or permanent nail removal depending on condition of your nail. Surgery allows to apply antifungal drugs directly the infected area under the nail.
Is It Possible to Completely Get Rid of Nail Fungus?
Yes, thanks to the natural remedies mentioned above and some others, toenail fungus can be completely eliminated. Over the counter remedies can work as well, and so can doctor prescribed medication. What you have to understand is that the infection itself is not permanent. It can come back simply because of the environment in which our feet exist every day. We don’t even realize it, but we put our feet through quite a lot every single day of our lives.
Nail hygiene is an important step whether you want to prevent nail fungus or get rid of it. Part of keeping our feet healthy and infection free is to ensure that we do our part in keeping them clean, dry, and properly protected from the elements. But even if you have a recurring problem with nail fungus and treatment, don’t despair. There are natural remedies out there that can help you. Some work better than others for certain people, but there is one out there for you.