Your toenails are the perfect place for fungus to grow. These tiny microscopic organisms thrive on damp dark places where the atmosphere is perfect for breeding. The wearing of shoes and socks most of the day actually helps provide the fungi with the perfect environment to establish itself. In many cases, the presence of toenail fungus first appears as a small white dot at the tip of your toenail that is barely noticeable. As it grows it makes it’s way further and further under the toenail and the symptoms become more noticeable and for some, painful. Using one or more toenail fungus remedies as early as possible can prevent the fungus from growing and spreading to other nails.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus:
- Toenail becomes dull with no luster or shine to it
- The nail may thicken and even crumble around the edges
- The nail may darken
- The nail could become distorted in shape
- The nail may lift from the nail bed
- The toe surrounding the nail may become red and sore
- The toe could become extremely painful
Because the fungus grows under the toenail it is often difficult and time consuming to treat. While there are many nail fungus medications available through your doctor or over the counter, most do not work as well as one would hope for and the fungus often returns. Home remedies for toenail fungus often work better and faster and have none of the side effects that medications do.
There are two types of natural toenail treatments for nail fungus. While soaks and directly applied treatments will both work extremely well, many people use a combination of treatments for quicker relief from their toenail fungus symptoms. Keep in mind that even after the fungus seems to be completely cleared up it is best to continue treatment for a week or two in order to help ensure that the entire fungus is gone.
Toenail Fungus Remedies
The following toenail fungus remedies have been known to relieve the pain in a couple of days and clear up the fungus itself in as little as two or three weeks.
- Warm water and apple cider vinegar soak. Prepare a soak that consists of equal parts of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Soak the affected nail or nails twice a day for 30 minutes a day. This treatment usually works within two weeks, however, keep in mind that while the vinegar will kill the fungus it will not rid your toenail of discoloration. You will have to wait until the nail grows and keep trimming it to restore your nails to their natural color.
- Hydrogen Peroxide soak. Soaking your nail in warm water that contains about 3% hydrogen peroxide has also proven to be effective in clearing up toenail fungus. Some people add hydrogen peroxide to the vinegar and water soak to deliver a double whammy to the fungus all in one shot.
- Listerine Soak. As crazy as it may sound, Listerine, the same product that helps remove unwanted germs in your mouth will also help to kill the fungus under your toenail. Again the recommended treatment is soaking the nail twice a day for 30 minutes.
- Vicks Vapor Rub can be used as a topical treatment and applied to the affected nail. Keep in mind that topical treatments should be applied two or three times a day and left for several minutes to allow them to soak through the nail and into the nail bed where the fungus lives.
- Another really great topical treatment for that stubborn fungus is a mixture of equal parts tea tree oil, olive oil and thyme oil. Once applied, you allow the oils to sit for 15 minutes then lightly scrub the entire nail and surrounding area with a toothbrush reserved just for that use. When done twice a day this treatment has proven to be one of the most effective in treating and curing toenail fungus.
- Oregano oil and olive oil. Another herbal topical treatment that works well is a mixture of oregano oil and olive oil. Again this should be applied twice a day and allowed to sit for several minutes in order to soak into the nail.
Remember that the best toenail fungus remedies are the ones that you use faithfully every day until the fungus is completely gone.