Toenail fungus is the layman’s term for onychomycosis. The condition is caused by a group of fungi also known as demophytes that live on the skin and keratin which is found in the nails and hair. With toenail fungal infection, the culprit gets into the nail where once it is settled, it begins to grow. You will notice that the nail becomes discolored, from brown, yellow, to brown. Afterward, the toenail will harden and thicken. Your nails will be brittle and it will eventually fall off.
The bad news is that toenail fungus can be from exposure in affected areas like public showers, locker areas, and even swimming pools. Fungi enjoy damp and humid areas. People with a specific health condition such as diabetes or immune system problems are more likely to contract the condition.
It may seem too simple, but toenail fungus is not that easy to get rid of. A treatment can last from several weeks up to months at a time.
But before we discuss the treatment, let us get down to the core of what causes it in the first place?
Why do you get toenail fungus?
Molds and yeast are caused by nail infections. Fungal infections may affect all people no matter what age. The nails are dry and brittle. The cracks found in the nails are the entry point of the fungi.
Toenail fungus begins from athlete’s foot. From one nail to another, it can spread all throughout. Toenail is quite contagious, so it can go from one nail to another. However, It is hard to transfer from someone else. Aside from diabetes and immune system function, there are other risk factors, such as:
- Age: The older the age, the lower blood flow. You get to be more exposed to fungi and the slow growth of nails will just worsen things for you
- Sweating: Excessive sweating will keep your skin moist and prone to fungal infection
- Skin conditions: Psoriasis will have you becoming prone to contracting diseases
- History of athlete’s foot: As mentioned earlier, if you keep having athlete’s foot, you are definitely susceptible to getting toenail fungus.
So, how do you fight off a toenail fungal infection if you, unfortunately, contracted it? If you can’t afford to get it checked by a physician (or if the situation is too mild), then here are some home remedies that can help out.
1. Baking Soda
The baking soda seeps away the moisture that can lead to toenail fungus. According to a particular study, baking soda prevents the growth of fungi by a large mark. The application of baking soda to stop fungal infection is pretty simple. Just put a decent amount inside your shoes and socks to get rid of the moisture. But to say goodbye to toenail fungi, make a paste from baking soda and water. Apply the paste on the affected area. Let it sit there for 10 minutes. Do this as many times a day until the fungi clear.
2. Mentholated ointment
You may have already had this in stock at home because this can be used for coughs and colds. The same active ingredients in mentholated ointments — menthol, camphor, or eucalyptus oil.
This seems to have some sort of effect, but this is not totally proven to be effective. Just apply the ointment to the affected nail once every day for many weeks.
This is definitely used more than just cooking. There are no evidences that it is quite effective. Soak you problematic nail in one bowl of mixture warm water and vinegar. The possible ratio is 2:1.
Another secret found in the kitchen, this can treat the toenail fungus lurking about. Garlic extract has particularly shown positive effects. Its oil can put an end to specific fungus strains as reflected in laboratory samples. Even chopped garlic cloves will do. Leave it on the affected nail for no more than 30 minutes.
5. Essential oils
These healing oils not only calm down the system, each one has specific advantages, too. When it comes to toenail fungus, lavender and jasmine are some of the favorite choices to shoo away the infection.
Now, if not of this works, then you should be wise to go get it checked by a podiatrist or general practitioner. After all, if it happens to you regularly, it should be a cause of concern.
If you keep ignoring it, then complications are definitely going to arise.
Toenail fungus is not that bad, to begin with. However, it can be more painful and can wreak damage to the nails. A lot of infections will stem out from this measly problem.
Unfortunately, if you have diabetes, the problem lies in decreased blood circulation and nerve supply. Additionally, you can be at risk with cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. Even the simplest injury can cause more complications.
But, it should go without saying that if you do not do anything to prevent this from reoccurring, you would be encountering it from time to time. Honestly, there are no proven results that suggest dietary changes can get rid of toenail fungus.
Your new diet consists of a lot of nutrients. Eating foods that are rich in minerals and vitamins that can promote healthy nail growth and development.
Here are some things you need to include on your diet:
- Foods rich in vitamin D and calcium.
- Foods that are rich in fatty acids like salmon
- Foods that contain probiotics like yogurt.
- Foods that have lean protein.
- Foods that are rich in iron like spinach, for example.
Also, aside from an all-new healthier diet, you should always trim your nails and wash your hands and feet regularly. When choosing shoes that are made with breathable materials. If you find sweat-absorbing socks, perfect! However, if not, change your socks regularly. Get rid of all your footwear or disinfect them. If you want to get your nails done, choose a nail salon that sterilizes their tools. Better yet, get rid of artificial nails and nail polish altogether.