Nail fungus affects people of all ages however it is more common in men than in women and in the elderly than the young. Older men and women are particularly at risk due to factors such as bad circulation in the extremities like the hands and feet. This means your immune system has trouble reaching your nails to fight the infection.
Symptoms of nail fungus are:
- The nail becoming thickened and discoloured: white, black, yellow or green
- Accumulation of smelly debris
- Thickening of the affected nails
- Crumbling and ragged nails
- Loosening (detaching) of the nail
- Appearance of spots on the sides of nail
- Inflamed and painful skin underneath and around the nail
So how can you treat this fungus without resorting to expensive methods? Considering the infection tends to recur, you may like to try some of these natural remedies and save the article so you have them on hand.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one of the best remedies for toenail fungus because ACV is mildly acidic and can help prevent toenail fungus from spreading. At the same time, it kills bacteria and fungi. Mix one part ACV and one part Epsom salts with six parts hot water. Soak feet up to twice daily for at least 30 minutes to kill fungus. Another option is make an anti-fungal exfoliating scrub by mixing some coarsely ground rice flour with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Apply this paste on and around the affected nail and gently scrub the area.
2. Tea Tree Oil
It’s both an antiseptic and anti-fungal remedy! Apply undiluted tea tree oil directly to the affected nails and let it soak in. After about 10 minutes, gently scrub the nail with a soft toothbrush. Repeat daily.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which means it has the ability to penetrate the cell wall of the infection. Every day, apply a thin layer of coconut oil to infected areas and let it soak in for at least 15 minutes.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is great for fighting the fungi and also helps neutralise foot odour.
Add one-half cup of baking soda, a quarter of a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and one-half cup of Epsom salt to four cups of hot water. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, and then add one-fourth cup of white vinegar to it. Soak the affected nail in this solution for about 10 minutes.
5. White Vinegar
Like ACV, white vinegar is one of the best ingredients for treating nail fungus because it fights the infection. Simply mix one part of white vinegar with two parts of warm water then soak the affected nail in this solution for 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water if it stings.
And one more, though it isn’t natural:
6. Listerine Mouthwash
We all know mouthwash kills bacteria and germs in the mouth, but it can also be used to treat nail fungus. The mouthwash has several compounds as well as alcohol that can really reduce the fungi. Simply combine equal parts of Listerine and white vinegar into a shallow bowl and then soak your nail for 30 mins. Scrub the solution into the nail then rinse and dry.