SHAFAQNA- Toenail fungus is a chronic and potentially contagious problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can have a significant impact on your social life, particularly if the fungus spreads to your fingernails – a frequent occurrence.
There are several different types of toenail fungus and as such, the symptoms, progression and treatment can vary slightly depending upon the precise ailment that’s infecting the nail bed. One of the most common ailments is called Onychomycosis; there are four different sub-types of this condition. Onychomycosis accounts for a significant portion of all nail infections, with up to eight percent of all adults affected!
Nail fungus often begins as a small spot of white, yellow or green that appears under the nail, typically near the edge. This is often paired with an array of other symptoms that worsen as the infection spreads deeper below the nail. Ultimately, the fungus can affect the entire nail, including the nail bed – the area where the new nail grows from; this causes all new nail growth to be infected as well.
Symptoms of toenail fungus include:
· A white, yellow or green patch of discoloration under the nail, typically near the edge;
· Painful or sore nails;
· Thickened nails;
· Discoloration, often yellow, green or black;
· Crumbling at the edges;
· Rough, abnormal nail surface texture;
· Foul odor;
· Distorted nail shape;
· Scaly skin around the nail;
· Inflammation, redness and swelling under and around the nail; and
· The nail may separate or lift from the nail bed.
Main Causes For Toenail Fungus
Onychomycosis can be caused by several different types of fungus, including dermatophytes, candida (better known as the yeast that causes yeast infections) and non-dermatophytic varieties of mold.
Toenail fungus is often a chronic problem. Once you develop toenail fungus on one nail, it easily spreads to other nails due to direct contact between the skin of the toes and nails. It can also spread via nail files and clippers, so it’s essential to use separate clippers and nail files on infected nails.
Individuals who have reduced circulation in the arms and legs – like diabetics and the elderly – are more prone to developing nail fungus.
Also, individuals who suffer from a compromised immune system are more likely to get toenail fungus. In fact, this is one reason why elderly individuals tend to be more prone to developing this condition; senior citizens often have a weaker immune system, which means the nail’s natural defences against fungal infections are decreased.
Individuals who are on immune suppressant medications, such as individuals with cancer, auto-immune disorders and organ transplant patients, are more prone to toenail fungus. It’s also more common in individuals suffering from psoriasis.
In addition, individuals who are on antibiotics – particularly long courses of antibiotics – are more likely to develop fungal infections, as the antibiotics kill off the body’s bacteria, including beneficial bacteria that serves to keep fungus in check.
Well, the good news is that toenail fungus is curable and that too without spending money on medical bills. There are various natural remedies that can cure the infection in a month or two.
Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus
Baking soda is an excellent remedy for treating nail fungus. Take 1 teaspoon baking soda and required amount of warm water to make a thick paste. Wash your infected nail with warm water before apply the paste. Now, cover up the infected nails with the paste for 30 minutes.
White vinegar is one of the best ingredients that can be used in the treatment of toenail fungus. For treating toenail fungus mix one part of white vinegar with two parts of warm water. Now soak the affected toe in this solution for about ten to fifteen minutes daily until the fungus is gone. In case of skin irritation add more water to the solution and repeat the process every alternate day. It is very essential to dry the affected area well after rinsing, otherwise the fungus may spread.
Garlic contains allicin, which has antifungal properties and thus it can be used to deal with toenail fungus. For fast treatment use garlic oil mixed with equal amount of white vinegar. Apply this mixture on and around the infected toenail and cover the treated toe with an elastic bandage. This mixture can slow down the activity of the fungus within a few hours. In case garlic oil is not available, you can make your own by crushing two garlic cloves and adding two tablespoon of olive oil. Leave this mixture to sit for 24 hours. Even eating one clove of garlic daily can help a lot.
Lemon juice has got both antiseptic as well as antifungal properties. The citric acid present in lemon juice will help in stopping the toenail fungus from spreading. Take fresh lemon juice and apply it directly to the infected toenail and leave it for ten minutes before rinsing the area with warm water. This treatment should be repeated daily for one month or more until you notice positive results. Another option is to mix equal amounts of lemon juice and olive oil and use this mixture to massage the infected area. The olive oil will help to soften your skin while the lemon juice will help to control the fungal infection.
Orange peel paste is a weird but effective home remedy for treating toenail fungus. To try this remedy you need some orange peels to be blended to make a thick paste or you can use dried orange peel powder. Apply the paste in the infected nails. Don’t forget to wash the nails with warm water before apply the remedy.
Natural Oregano oil
Natural oregano oil contains many strong natural properties including antifungal, antiseptic, anti-parasitical, antiviral, analgesic and antibacterial properties. All these natural ingredients make it a magical healer of toenail fungus and other bacterial diseases. To prepare this remedy you need to mix up 3 drops of oregano oil with 2 drops of olive oil. Then apply the mixture in the infected nails using cotton ball.
To conclude, the above mentioned traditional remedies used to get rid of toenail infection and their results depend a lot on the proper use and application of natural ingredients. At least these remedies must be tried for at least a month or two to notice positive results.