Toenail fungus can be unsightly, but it’s a common problem. You might have some inflammation, swelling, discolouration, thickening or brittleness of the nail, and if there is an infection it could be somewhat painful.
It occurs when the fungus is left to thrive in an environment — such as when you have a weakened immune system or have your feet continuously exposed to moist environments (including sweaty socks and shoes).
If you don’t look to treat it, the fungus can wreak havor on your nails causing cracks, splits or even a complete loss of the nail.
There are a range of over-the-counter treatments available in chemists and supermarkets, including Canestan, Daktarin and Loceryl, but treatment doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, various home remedies can cure the infection in the same time as a chemical product.
Here are four of the best ways you can get rid of your toenail fungus.
1. Apple cider vinegar
You know all about the many uses of apple cider vinegar, and getting rid of your toenail fungus is just another one you can add to the list. Because it’s mildly acidic apple cider vinegar can not only prevent the fungus from spreading but it can kill the bacteria causing the fungus in the first place.
- Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water.
- Soak your toenail in the solution for about 30 minutes each day, and when done make sure you dry your toenail thoroughly.
Read more: Feet problems that are easily fixed
Do you have any mouthwash in the medicine cabinet? It’s great for killing the bacteria and germs in your mouth, and it can also be used to treat the fungus in your nails. Mouthwash has several compounds and alcohol, which acts as a strong antiseptic to keep the nasty bacteria away.
- Fill a small tub with mouthwash (you can also use a combination of mouthwash and white vinegar, equal parts).
- Soak the affected toe in the solution for around 30 minutes, and then scrub the toenail gently.
- Rinse the foot and dry the affected area thoroughly.
- You’ll want to use this remedy at least once a day until the infection clears.
3. Lavender oil
Lavender oil has anti-fungal properties, which makes it an effective remedy if you have a mild case of toenail fungus.
- Apply a few drops of lavender oil to the infected nail each night and let it soak while you sleep.
- Wear a pair of cotton or wool socks to prevent the oil from rubbing off.
- Continue the treatment for a few weeks, even if the fungus looks to have cleared.
4. Baking soda
Baking soda is alkaline, therefore it doesn’t support the environment fungus loves to thrive in. In fact, baking soda will actually prevent toenail fungus from spreading because it creates an uninhabitable environment for it. As an added benefit, baking soda will help to neutralise foot odour.
- Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, a 1/2 cup of Epsom salts and 4 cups of hot water.
- When mixed thoroughly add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
- Soak the infected toenail in the solution for around 10 minutes.
- Wash with clean water and dry your foot thoroughly.
- Repeat the process daily over several weeks.
Of course, if you don’t see improvement or the fungus looks to spread or causes you pain definitely make some time to consult with your health care professional.