Nail fungus is a common condition for many people, and often manifests as a whitish- yellow spot beneath the nail, both on the fingers and on the toes.
Depending on the extent of the fungal infection, you may suffer discolored nails that will often become thicker and disintegrate at the edges. This infection typically affects a few nails at any one given time, and will rarely affects all nails at the same time.
The medical term for this condition is onychomycosis. Some of the causes of this infection include varied pH levels of the skin, poor immune response, excessive moisture around the nail as well as poor hygienic environments. In some cases, nail fungus occurs as a symptom of diabetes. Left unattended to, the fungus can lead to the splitting of the nail, and eventually the nail falls of. The good news, however, is the fact that this fungus is easily treated using a wide range of home remedies. These remedies are not only convenient, they are also quite affordable for the most part. Use the remedies below to treat nail fungus over a short period of time, and with fewer side effects.
1. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 3 Drops of tea tree oil, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, cotton ball and a toothbrush.
Tea tree oil is on the forefront of the treatment of nail fungus, thanks to its potent anti-fungal properties. The oil also acts as an antiseptic, which effectively helps clear the infection and prevent its spread from below the nail. Tea tree oil is mixed with olive oil which acts as both a carrier oil and helps with dilution. The latter is extremely important for people with sensitive skin in order to prevent irritation.
- Add the tea tree oil to the olive oil and mix well to get an even oil mixture.
- Soak the cotton ball in the oil mixture for a few minutes before applying the oil on the affected nail.
- Allow the oil to remain on the nail for 10 minutes. During this period, you may need to use a toothbrush to help you scrub the area around the nail.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for quick healing.
2. White Vinegar:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: White vinegar and warm water.
White vinegar is your go-to home remedy for the management of nail fungus. It is particularly effective for cases where the infection results from an imbalance of the skin’s pH levels. This is because white vinegar destroys the fungi and helps maintain the normal pH ranges of the skin. You may need to dilute the white vinegar with water to prevent your skin from getting irritated. In addition to this, if you have sensitive skin, you may need to use this remedy on alternate days as opposed to daily use.
- Mix the white vinegar with the warm water using the ratio 1:2 for white vinegar: warm water.
- Soak your nail in the vinegar solution for 10 minutes to allow the solution’s healing process take effect.
- Rinse the nail with warm water and dry properly. Use this remedy daily, keeping in mind the nature of your skin.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of water and a clean piece of cloth.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an ideal remedy for the treatment of nail fungus. ACV is slightly acidic, and this feature helps it restore the skin’s normal pH values. Its anti-fungal properties also come in handy as they help destroy the fungi present beneath the nail. Just as is the case with vinegar, you may need to dilute ACV if you have skin sensitivity.
- Mix both the ACV and warm water in a shallow bowl.
- Soak your nail in the resulting solution for 20 minutes, all the while rubbing it gently.
- After about 5 minutes, dry the nail completely.
- Use this remedy severally daily and you will begin to notice remarkable improvements in the condition of your nail.
4. Orange Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Orange oil, a dropper and a carrier oil such as olive oil.
Orange oil is used in the natural treatment of nail fungus due to its rich anti-fungal properties that help deal with the infection. A few drops of this oil used on a regular basis make a lot of difference. It is important, however, to note that since a number of people may be allergic to citric products, it helps to carry out a patch test on a discreet part of the skin. Additionally, the use of a carrier oil helps prevent adverse skin reactions.
- To prevent irritation, start off with a patch test. Typically, apply a drop or two to your skin and watch for any reactions.
- If there are none, proceed to mix equal amounts of the orange oil and olive oil, say three drops of each type of oil.
- Mix the two well before soaking your nail in the mixture.
- Do this for about 30 minutes to allow for the healing process to set in.
- Use this remedy at least once daily.
5. Baking Soda and Sodium Borate Mixture:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of sodium borate, warm water and a clean piece of cloth.
Infections arising from the nail fungus tend to thrive in acidic environments. This is why the use of baking soda comes in handy as far as treatment options are concerned. By creating an alkaline environment, the baking soda helps fight the infection. Sodium borate on the other hand, is commonly referred to as just borax, and has potent anti-fungal properties. The combination of the two makes for an excellent natural remedy in treating nail fungus.
- Mix the two powders in a shallow bowl so that the ingredients are well-dispersed.
- Add water in small bits in order to create a paste with the desired consistency.
- Soak the affected nail in warm water prior to using this paste.
- Rub the paste on the infected nail so that it covers the entire area of the top of the nail or finger.
- Allow the paste to remain on the nail for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
- Use this remedy twice everyday until the nail fungus is cleared.
6. Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 3 Drops of pure coconut oil and cotton wool.
If you are looking for a simple and effective remedy in the management of nail fungus, your best choice would be pure coconut oil. Coconut is rich in fatty acids, and especially Caprylic acid. This acid’s ability to fight off fungi makes it a desired remedy as it effectively clears out the nail fungus. If you are interested in the specific mechanism of this action, then you should know that the integrity of the fungi wall is key to its survival.
When the structure of this fungal wall is disrupted as is the case with the insertion of caprylic acid in the wall, then the fungi is destroyed. This paves the way for the nail’s healing, making coconut oil a preferred choice. The oil has also been shown to have great benefits for the skin, so there are no restrictions as far as this remedy is concerned. The only thing you must be certain about is that you are not allergic to coconuts.
- Using a dropper, put 3 drops of the coconut oil on each affected nail and then dab with cotton wool.
- Rub the excess oil on the infected nail with the use of the wool.
- Let the oil remain on the nail for about 15 minutes.
- Use this remedy daily until the infected nail is completely healed.
7. Oil of Oregano:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 3 Drops of oregano oil, an equivalent amount of olive oil (this is the carrier oil) and cotton wool.
Oregano is a popular home remedy for a wide range of infections, and this is attributed to its potent anti-fungal properties. The application of this oil on the infected nail allows for speedy healing. Use olive oil as a carrier oil in order to reduce the likelihood of skin irritation around the infected nail.
- Mix the oregano oil and olive oil well.
- Place 3 drops of the mixture on the affected nail and rub the excess with cotton wool.
- Cover the nail with the cotton wool containing the oil for 20 minutes.
- Use this remedy twice daily until the fungal infection clears.
8. Lavender Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min (preparation) and overnight application.
What You Need: 3 Drops of lavender oil, cotton wool and a pair of clean socks (if the infected nail is on any of the toes).
Lavender oil has excellent anti-fungal properties that make it the perfect remedy when dealing with nail fungus. Simply apply the oil on the affected nail and let it stay overnight. If the affected nail is on the toes, you may need to wear socks in order to prevent the oil from running off. Note, however, that the socks you wear should not be made of nylon or other synthetic materials as these have the capacity to aggravate the infection.
- Place 3 drops of the lavender oil on the affected nail and rub in using cotton wool.
- Allow the oil to remain on the nail overnight, and wear cotton socks if you are treating toe nail fungus.
- Keep up with this remedy for a while after the infection clears to lower the chances of re-infection.
9. Corn Meal Soak:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 1 Cup of cornmeal, 0.5 gallons of warm water, a clean basin and a clean towel.
Corn naturally contains fungi that does not pose any harm to the human body, but is known to be deadly to Candida. Candida is the most common cause of nail fungus, and this makes corn an effective home remedy. The best way to benefit from this remedy is to soak the infected nails in water containing the corn as indicated in the directions below.
- Place the corn in a clean basin and pour in the warm water.
- Stir the mixture and allow the mixture to stand still for half an hour.
- Proceed to soak the infected nails in it for another half an hour.
- Rinse the nails with warm water after the 30 minutes elapse and make sure you dry completely.
- Use this remedy as often as possible.
Other home remedies that you may use for the treatment of nail fungus infections include extracts from olive oil that cure the infection, taking probiotics that help lower the rate of fungi growth within the nail and your choice mouthwash which is an excellent antiseptic. As a general guide, you are advised to use these remedies until the old nail has fallen off and has been replaced with the new nail.