Toenail fungus: Causes, Symptoms and 9 Best Natural Treatments

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection that affects millions of people globally. It happens when a fungus known as dermatophyte attacks the toenails, resulting in their discoloration, thickening, and brittleness.

toenail fungus

Toenail fungus is a relatively common condition which affects about 12% of the population worldwide. People tends to develop the infection at some point of their lives. Additionally, the infection may spread to the nearby tissue, resulting in irritation and itching.

While there are prescription medications available to cure toenail fungus, some people prefer to look into homemade and natural remedies as an option. In mild cases, home remedies for toenail fungus can be helpful, but it’s essential to remember that more serious infections might need medical attention. We will discuss the various symptoms, causes and some of the best at-home treatments and remedies for toenail fungus in this article, along with how to use them to treat the infection.

Must Read: 3-Minute Shower Hack Flushes Away Fungus In A Day
Importance of treating toenail fungus

While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, it is important to treat toenail fungus as it can lead to more serious complications if left untreated. Here are some reasons why one should look out for:

  1. Pain and discomfort: A toenail fungus infection can result in pain, discomfort, and swelling in surrounding areas of the affected region, making it difficult to walk or put on shoes.
  2. Spread of infection: Fungal infections can spread to other nails or parts of the body, like the skin, making the illness worse.
  3. Permanent nail damage: It can result from toenail fungus, including thickening, discoloration, and deformity, if it is not treated or taken care of.
  4. Risk of bacterial infection: It is increased because toenail fungus can penetrate the nail resulting to a warm, moist environment that is ideal for growth of bacteria. This may result in bacterial infections which requires medical attention.
  5. Immune system weakness: People with immune systems that are weak, such as those who have diabetes, are more likely to experience serious toenail fungus infections. These infections have the potential to spread to other body parts and become complicated if left untreated.
Symptoms of toenail fungus

Treating toenail fungus is very important to prevent pain and discomfort, spreading of the infection, permanent nail damage, increased risk of bacterial infection, and to prevent complications in people with weaken immune systems. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have a serious toenail fungus infection.

Here are some common symptoms of toenail fungus:

  1. Thickened toenails: The affected toenail may become thicker than normal which can lead to difficulty in trimming or cutting.
  2. Discoloration: The nail may become discolored, ranging from white to yellowish-brown. In some other cases, it may even turn black or green.
  3. Brittle or crumbly nails: The affected toenail may become brittle or crumbly, which are prone to break easily.
  4. Distorted nail shape: The nail may become distorted in shape, and may curve or become twisted.
  5. Foul odor or smell: The infected toenail may produce a foul odor.
  6. Itching or burning sensation: In some cases, the affected toenail may cause itching or burning sensation around the areas affected by it.
Causes of toenail fungus

From poor hygiene to environmental factors, there are several factors that can contribute to the development of toenail fungus, which includes the following reasons:

  1. Fungi: Warm and moist environments are the ones fungi thrives well, and toenail fungus is often caused by a fungal infection. The most common type of fungus that causes toenail fungus is called dermatophyte.
  2. Poor hygiene: Poor hygiene practices can lead to the accumulation of dirt and bacteria under or beneath the toenails, which can create an environment suitable for fungal growth and infection.
  3. Injury: Injury and damage to the nail or surrounding parts can create an entry point for fungi to enter and cause an infection.
  4. Poor circulation: As toenails are present in the lowermost part of the body so, there will be less circulation of blood in that particular area. Poor circulation can weaken the immune system, thus making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections, including toenail fungus.
  5. Genetics: Some people may be more vulnerable to toenail fungus due to genetic factors that affect their immune system or the strength of their nails.
  6. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, with weak immunity such as diabetes or psoriasis, can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus.
  7. Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environments, such as public showers or swimming pools, can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus.
Must Read: Rub this spice on your toenails and kill the fungus in 1 week
At Home Natural Remedies for Toenail Fungus

While toenail fungus can be a stubborn and frustrating infection to deal with, there are several home remedies that can be effective in treating the infection. These remedies can be a good first line of defense, especially for mild cases of toenail fungus.

There are various prescription medications available to treat toenail fungus, some people prefer to try home remedies first.

Some of the most popular home remedies for toenail fungus include from using tea tree oil, to use baking soda as these ingredients have natural antifungal properties and can help to kill the fungus causing the infection. Below are some effective home remedies for toenail fungus:

Tea tree oil:
tea tree oil for toenail fungus

Tea tree oil has antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that can help kill the fungus causing toenail infection and very effective in treating such kind of infection.

How to use for treating toenail fungus?
  • All you need to do is to trim and cut the affected nails as much as possible. After that, wash your nails with soap or hand wash properly to remove the debris and let it dry with the help of a towel or cloth.
  • Then dilute the tea tree oil (5-6 drops) with little amount of the carrier oil like coconut oil or sunflower oil and by using a cotton swab, dip it into the mixture and apply to the affected nail and surrounding area.
  • After trimming and drying, you can also soak into the tea tree oil and warm water.
  • You can do this process before the bed time or during the day as well.

Note: If you are allergic, and shows skin redness, irritation and inflammation, you can stop from using it and can consult a health professional.

Click to find out: Doctors Warn Tea Tree Oil Actually Makes Fungus Impossible To Kill
Apple cider vinegar:
acv for toenail fungus

Apple cider vinegar is manufactured by adding yeast to the crushed apples which ferments the sugar and converts into alcohol before adding bacteria to further ferment, giving rise to the acetic acid, which is the main active compound and is responsible for various health benefits such as treating blood pressure, sugar levels, cholesterol and nail fungus to name a few.

Because of its antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-bacterial properties, it is widely used for treating toenail fungal infection which relives pain and irritation caused by the fungus.

How to use for treating toenail fungus?
  • All you need to do is to simply soak your hands or feet in a mixture of equal amount of apple cider vinegar along with water for about 30 minutes daily for 2 weeks.
  • With these tips, you will be relieved from swollen, infected and overworked hands and feet. After that let them dry thoroughly for effective results. You will definitely see a great and amazing result.

Garlic has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that can help treat toenail fungus. Any one who eats a considerable amount of garlic often will be less prone to any kind of fungal disease.

How to use for treating toenail fungus?
  • For this purpose, chop and crush few raw garlic cloves and add little amount of olive oil.
  • Now mix it well to form a paste and apply the paste to the affected nail only for 30 minutes daily until the nail fungus is gone. It may take up to three weeks. You can also use the garlic powder as an alternative and apply to the affected nails.
  • Other options include applying garlic oils to the infected nails daily until you are free from the infection. This will definitely deliver you a great result and will discouraged from re occurring.
Baking soda:

Baking soda can help balance the pH level of the skin and prevent the growth and spreading of fungi.

How to use for treating toenail fungus?
  • For using this home remedy, add a cup of apple cider vinegar with a bowl of water and soak your feet for 15 minutes. Then pat dry with a towel.
  • After drying, take 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda and add enough amount of water to soak your feet again for another 15 minutes. Again pat dry your feet completely.
  • Do this process two times a day for two-three weeks and you will definitely get the results you want. Vinegar will kill off the fungus and baking soda will prevent the growth.
Must Read: Nail polish recipe to kill fingernail fungus in 1 week
Listerine mouthwash:
listerine for toenail fungus

Listerine is an antiseptic mouthwash containing thymol and alcohol which contributes to fight off fungal infection and bacteria. They are also ideal for killing germs and moisturizing dry skin as well. Like essential oils it also have menthol, methyl salicylate and eucalyptol which results in antiseptic and anti inflammatory.

How to use for treating toenail fungus?
  • For this home remedy, use half a cup of Epsom salt to a bowl of warm water and add 5 drops of lemon juice to it.
  • Now add half a cup of listerine to the mixture and soak your feet for 15 minutes. This process will make improve the blood circulation in the feet, it will moisturizes the skin and relief pain, tension and kill the fungus on your toes.
  • Do this process once a day for two to three weeks for a greater result.
Turmeric Powder:

Turmeric as we know has been used for ages not only for its coloring properties or in dishes but also because of its medicinal properties such as skin care, oral health. It has a lot of health benefits because of its antifungal antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.

How to use for treating toenail fungus?
  • For this process, take 2-3 teaspoons of turmeric powder and add some coconut oil to it.
  • Stir and mix it well until it becomes a paste. Apply to the affected nails and keep it for 20-25 minutes once or twice a day until your nail fungus get rid off from your toes. This is one of the easiest and effective way to heal toenail fungus.
Hydrogen Peroxide:
toenail fungus

Because of its anti fungal and antiseptic properties, Hydrogen Peroxide has the ability to fight of germs in case of infection. It is also a household remedy that has a wide variety of usage in cases of minor cuts and scratches as it works as a disinfectant and anti fungal agent.

How to use for treating toenail fungus?
  • Take equal amount of 3% (not more than 3%, as it may damage your skin) hydrogen peroxide solution and distilled water.
  • All you need to do is to just soak your infected toenails into this mixture for 30 minutes a day. Wipe and dry your nails with the help of a tissue paper. Youi can do this process once a day until the problem subsides.
Essential oils:
essential oils for toenail fungus

Essential oils such as keraessentials, thyme, lavender, oregano, manuka and peppermint have antifungal properties that can help treat toenail fungus and are quite effective and preventing from growing back once again.

How to use for treating toenail fungus?
  • Mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil and apply it to the affected nail twice daily.
  • Do this process until your toenail fungus heals or shows recovery.
Other useful tips and care for toenail fungus

Overall, while home remedies for toenail fungus can be effective, it’s important to take steps to prevent future infections, such as keeping the feet clean and dry, wearing breathable socks and shoes, and avoiding sharing nail clippers or other personal items that can spread the infection.

Must Read: Keraessentials – ‘the ultimate toenail fungus killer’

It is important to note that while these home remedies may be effective for mild cases of toenail fungus, more severe cases may require medical treatment. If your toenail fungus does not improve or worsens, consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment. They can prescribe antifungal medications or recommend other treatment options, such as laser therapy or surgical removal of the infected nail.

However, it’s important to note that home remedies may not be effective for everyone, especially in severe cases of toenail fungus. It’s also important to be patient and consistent with treatment, as it can take several months to see results.

Note: This article contains affiliate links and if you buy the products from the links, we will get a commission without affecting your purchasing price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.