Nail fungus is extremely persistent and difficult to get rid of. The infection usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the nail. As the fungus goes deeper, it may cause your nail to thicken, discolor, and crumble at the edge, turning it into an aesthetically unattractive and potentially painful problem.
Nails become dark, dull and very fragile or discolored, and they can start to crumble and have an unpleasant smell.
If you notice tiny white or yellow spots under the nail, it may be a sign of infection and you should visit your physician immediately.
Home Remedies for Nail Fungus
Home remedies can prove very useful in treatment of nail fungus. The following are often recommended:
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)
Tea tree oil is well known for its antiseptic and fungicidal properties and it is one of the most effective home remedies for nail fungus. This oil is also used for other skin infections.
If you are suffering from nail fungus, rub the tea tree oil directly onto the affected area and leave it there for ten minutes. Afterwaards, use a toothbrush to gently rub the affected nail.
Before applying the oil, you can dilute it with the equivalent amount of olive oil or thyme oil. This home remedy gives excellent results, especially if applied during the first stage of the infection.
Lavender oil has several volatile organic compounds and antiseptic properties that can combat any kind of infection and prevent skin irritation.
Mix equivalent amounts of essential lavender oil and tea tree oil and heat it up a little bit. Apply to the nail and the surrounding area two to three times a day, preferably before bedtime. Put on a pair of thick woolen socks to increase the effectiveness of this mixture.
Wild Oregano Oil
Wild oregano has antiseptic, antibacterial, anaphylactic, antiviral and antifungal properties. This is one of the most effective oils against fungal infections and is applied by mixing two drops of wild oregano oil with one teaspoon of pure olive oil. It should be applied to the nail once a day for three weeks.
Another natural way to get rid of nail fungus is orange oil. All types of this oil have antifungal properties and can therefore be used on infected nails.
Apply the oil with a drip and leave it on at least for an hour. You can dilute the oil with base oil, such as grape seed oil.
Since orange oil can cause an allergic reaction, as well as some side effects, it is desirable to test the diluted oil on a small patch of skin prior to application to the infected area.
Mix half a cup of baking soda, four cups of warm water, a quarter of a cup of peroxide and half a cup of epsomic/bitter salt. Stir thoroughly and add a quarter cup of vinegar.
First soak the nails in the vinegar for several minutes and then apply the mixture. Cover with a bandage and leave the mixture on your nail.
Repeat the procedure every ten hours for four weeks. If the you do it regularly, the nail fungus will soon disappear.
Vinegar is one of the best ingredients to use in the treatment of nail fungus. Mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, dip the affected finger and hold it in the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
In case of skin irritation, add more water to the solution and repeat the procedure every other day.
It is very important that the affected area is dried after washing, as otherwise the fungus can be expanded.
Garlic contains the compound allicin, which has antifungal properties and can help with nail fungus.
Mix garlic oil with the equivalent amount of white vinegar. Apply the mixture to the nail and cover with elastic bandage.
This mixture can slow the fungi activity within a few hours.
If garlic oil is not available, you can make it yourself by grinding two garlic cloves and adding two tablespoons of olive oil. Let the mixture rest for 24 hours before application.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is less sour by than other types of vinegar and it can prevent the advancement of nail fungus. At the same time, apple cider vinegar kills bacteria.
For this remedy, mix equivalent parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Dip your finger in for half an hour, then dry it thoroughly.
If you repeat the procedure regularly over a few weeks, you will notice improvement very quickly.
Another option is antifungal scrub, which you can make by mixing hard ground rice flour with several tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Apply this mixture to the affected nail and gently rub the area.
This scrub will help you remove dead skin cells and keep your skin soft.
Listerine mouthwash is usually used to kill bacteria, but it can also be used for the treatment of nail fungus. This is the case because it contains several compounds and alcohol, which act as a strong antiseptic and keeps harmful bacteria and fungi away.
Just fill a small bowl with the mouthwash, vinegar and undiluted lemon juice. Soak your feet in this mixture ten to fifteen minutes a day, then gently rub the affected area with your toothbrush.
Repeat the procedure every day until a new nail grows in the place of the infected.