Toenail fungus can be a common problem amongst people of all ages, and occurs when an infection enters between the small cracks in your toenails, or even a tiny cut. The condition can be characterized by a number of annoying symptoms that may arise, such as; nails turning yellow or white, nails turning thicker or harder, and also crumbled or splitting toenails can occur. The nail fungi thrive in hot and moist conditions, as the ones usually present inside your socks or shoes. Also, the fungus is infectious amongst people and can therefore spread when contact is made with
items or floors that have been exposed to the fungi spores. Examples can be: being barefoot in public showers, sharing personal nail appliances like clippers or nail files. The toenail fungus can be a big irritation for the person affected by it, making for an uncomfortable experience to wear shoes, stand still for prolonged periods, or just walk/run. Discovering the best treatment for toenail fungus is important as leaving the infection untreated can cause the fungus to spread to other toenails, and even your skin. That brings us to the main part of this article; namely, how to treat toenail fungus.
Conventional treatment for toenail fungus:
- Nonprescription antifungal medicine
Nonprescription medicine can be purchased from your local pharmacy in the form of creams, lotions or nail polish. This type of treatment can be sufficient in a lot of cases.
- Prescription of stronger medicine
If the milder types of medicine do not work there are other stronger medicines designed for toenail fungus removal. However, these options require a prescription from a doctor.
- Antifungal pills
A third options is taking antifungal pills orally. These pills are usually expensive and can have bad side effects. Despite of this, it offers the best chance of dealing with the problem of nail fungus.
- Removing the damages area of skin
If the issue doesn’t resolve itself by easier treatment options a doctor might need to remove parts of the toenails. If the fungus has spread to far the entire nail might have to be removed.
Natural treatment options:
A number of natural options aimed at treatment for toenail fungus also exist. These treatments are most suited for mild cases and should not replace conventional treatments unless prescribed by a doctor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar has gained popularity amongst followers of natural alternative medicine as a treatment option for various less serious ailments, having its use ranging from topical application, to being used as a health drink when mixed with water. The ACV is an acidic liquid that kills bacteria and fungi. As a suggested treatment option for toenail fungus:
Step 1 – Mixing equal parts apple cider vinegar with water making a footbath solution.
Step 2 – Soak your feet in the footbath for about half an hour, and proceed to repeat every day.
Improvements in your condition should be noticed in only a few weeks when repeated daily.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate, is a white powder, usually used as a leavening agent when making baked goods. The powder has an acid neutralizing effect as the compound is highly alkaline. Baking soda is easily available and can be used to treat toenail fungus and is effective in getting rid of smelly feet.
Step 1 – Find a bowl to mix your solution, then start by adding 1 cup of vinegar with water.
Step 2 – Soak your feet in the solution for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3 – Dry your feet with a paper towel.
Step 4 – Repeat the process, but this time replacing the vinegar with about 4 tablespoons of baking soda.
This remedy should be performed twice a day, for a number of days.
- Coconut Oil
A third option in the combat against toenail fungus is the use of coconut oil. The idea of this treatment is that the medium chain fatty acids within the cocnut oil can act as a natural fungus neutralizer. The fatty acids, naturally abundant in the cocunut oil, interfer with the membrane of the fungi causing it to eventually break down.
Step 1. Apply coconut oil to the affected toenail or area. It is recommended to use gloves when more than one area is to be treated, alternatively, washing your hands between treating each area.
Step 2. Repeat a couple of times each day.
If no effect is achieved using the natural treatments, you should consult a doctor.