What is Toe Nail Fungus?
Toe Nail Fungus is a common and contagious foot ailment occurring in the toe nails. The big toe finger and the little toe finger are the most common sites of this type of fungal infection. Certain individuals are more susceptible to this problem on account of abnormal pH level of the skin. The infection tends to recur even after treatment.
Toenails as well as finger nails are common sites for fungal infections. The skin around and under the nails is characterized by a dark and humid environment which is favorable for fungal outgrowths. It leads to discoloration and deformation of the affected toenails. In medical terms, the condition is also known as Onychomycosis or Tinea of the nails.
Individuals often depend on conventional medicines for the treatment of Toe Nail Fungus. But, they are mostly not aware about the side effects like stomach upset, headache, liver damage etc associated with such medicines. On the other hand, the natural treatment comprising natural home remedies for Toe Nail Fungus serves as a much safer option for the elimination of this in a natural way.
Moreover, prevention of Toe Nail Fungus Infections calls for simple preventive steps like wearing pure wool, silk or cotton socks helps to absorb sweat and moisture from the feet and aid in proper ventilation. Plus, it is often advised to remove nail polish from the nails to avoid worsening of the disease and facilitate the process of healing.
Causes of Toe Nail Fungus
As already mentioned, Toe Nail Fungus is caused by fungal infection. This infection is caused by dermatophytes. A warm and wet place is all that a fungus requires for its growth and it finds such an environment under toenails and fingernails. It destroys keratin (protective layer of protein) which protects the nails against such infections.
Older individuals, especially men are more likely to develop this problem. Being contagious in nature, the disease can also be spread through direct contact with an object bearing these dermatophytes. For instance, the wet floors of locker rooms give ample opportunity to the fungi on the floor to come in contact with an individual walking barefooted on the floor.
These microorganisms are also present in swimming pools, public showers and other such places. Sharing towels, wash cloths, or other personal items of an infected individual increases the risk of developing this infectious disease. Therefore, maintaining proper hygiene and drying the feet thoroughly after washing serves as one of the most valuable home remedies for Toe Nail Fungus prevention and cure. The condition should be treated as soon as possible to avoid further complications that can make the treatment more difficult.
Besides, a sudden trauma, like nail hitting against something hard, might increase the distance between the nail and the nail bed which in turn, paves way for infection causing dematophytes to enter the nail bed. Plus, individuals with weak immune systems are at an increased risk of developing this disease as their immune systems fails to fight and hold back the infection.
Diseases like Diabetes or the ones leading to poor blood circulatory system also contribute in causing this problem. Certain hereditary factors may also result in the same. The healing process could take several weeks or even months to clear the infection completely.
Symptoms of Toe Nail Fungus
The onset of such an infection is usually characterized by tiny white or yellow colored spots occurring on the tips of the nails. A typical Toenail Fungus causes the nail to become brownish or yellowish in color. As the infection increases, it makes the nails thick, flaky and brittle. As a result, the nails become disfigured and start crumbling and jarring around the edges.
The nails with uneven edges become curled up or down resulting in deformation of the nail. As the severity of the disease increases, it causes further symptoms like pain and discomfort in the affected area. Due to all these symptoms, the affected nails lose their shine and luster and hence look ugly. In severe cases, an unpleasant odor might also be present.
Natural Home Remedies for Toe Nail Fungus
• Take a cotton ball and dip it in some tea tree oil. Then, rub it on the affected area to cure the disease. This is one of the most effective natural home remedies for Toe Nail Fungus. Follow this natural remedy at least two times per day (in the morning and night) until the disease gets cured completely. Tea tree oil can also be used in combination with an equal amount of lavender oil.
• Mix some turmeric powder and water to form a paste-like mixture. Apply it on the affected toenails and was it off when it dries. This therapeutic home remedy helps to ease the discomfort and reduces the toenail infection effectively. Lime juice is also beneficial in this regard.
• Rubbing onion slices on the affected toenails helps to control fungal growth on the site of infection.
• Oregano oil and olive oil are excellent natural home remedies for Toe Nail Fungus. Simply apply a mixture of two drops of oregano oil in a teaspoon of olive oil to get rid of this disease in a natural way.
• Soaking the feet in a mixture prepared from equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water for about 20 minutes is one of the most popular home remedies for Toe Nail Fungus. Apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar is useful in relieving itchiness and reducing inflammation caused by this disease.
• Alcohol can also help reduce Toe Nail Fungus to a great extent. Simply rub some alcohol on the affected nails and leave it for about 20 minutes. Follow this home remedy two times in a day to get rid of this infection.
• Soaking the feet in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (3%) and water taken in equal quantities helps to inhibit the fungal growth and provides relief from the symptoms associated with infection.
• Listerine foot baths have also been found beneficial in curing toenail fungal infections.
After applying these natural home remedies, do not forget to wipe the toenails thoroughly with clean towel to remove moisture. Plus, as the disease takes months to get cure, these natural remdies should be continued for longer periods of time until the infection goes away completely.
Diet for Toe Nail Fungus
When dealing with Toenail infections, the diet should definitely include fruits and vegetables with natural antifungal properties. Therefore, the diet should positively include probiotics like yogurt, kefir etc on a regular basis. In addition to this, regular consumption of one or two cloves of garlic is highly beneficial in resisting and eliminating fungal infections.
A healthy diet rich in protein and fiber goes a long way in avoiding Toe Nail Fungal Infections naturally by improving the immune system. Plus, stay away from processed and packaged foods with refined white flour and sugar.