Nail fungus is very unattractive and pretty unpleasant if they happen to develop. Some people are genetically predetermined to be susceptible to nail fungus, and some have their own lifestyle and habits to blame for getting involved in this problem. Worst case scenario would be fungus inhibiting your limbs utilization.
Warm and moist places are perfect environments for a fungus to thrive in. Therefore, people whose feet are often sweaty or take showers in public bathrooms (in gyms for example) have a high possibility of catching fungus on their nails.
The instances of people with nail fungus are pretty high. It starts as a simple white or yellow spot under the tip of your nail, then discolors your nails, thickens them and makes crumbles on their edges. Toenail fungus rate is far higher than finger nail’s one because toenails are usually in dark, warm and damp areas that together are a prerequisite for fungi to be formed.
How to get rid of toenail fungus
Don’t use over-the-counter products
The nonprescription medications you can get in drugstores could solve the problem but it doesn’t last for too long. These products don’t penetrate deep enough in the nail and the fungus will probably repeat itself after some time.
Use oral medications
Oral antifungal medications will solve the problem systematically, from the inside. Their desirable dosage is estimated between 200-250 gr but they usually contain some side–effects which are why you should seek your doctor’s advice before you rush to the drugstore. Precisely speaking, they can cause rashes, nausea or liver toxicity. Therefore, you’ll always be urged to tell your doctor if you suffer from some liver diseases, depression or weak immune system.
Topical antifungal prescription medications
These are usually serums that are most effective if the fungi haven’t spread to the nail matrix yet. They’re usually used on a daily basis for a few months and serve as a supplement if you’re under oral antifungal medication treatment.
Surgical nail removal is advised if the fungus has advanced too far. Doctors usually don’t remove the whole nail. You can have a complete nail removal (avulsion) or you can only get rid of the diseased part (debridement). The podiatrist usually gives you an injection that will nullify the pain and then separate the nail from the base. Post-op treatment includes regular usage of vaseline around the wound and putting a bandage over it. You should also use clean water to treat the area.
Consider non-pharmacological and non-surgical treatments
This is a painless treatment recommended to patients with serious fungus or with an infection that causes nail’s abnormal growth. Doctors would put an urea-based ointment on the nail and a dressing over it. After a week or 10 days, the nail will be soft enough to enable the doctor to remove the diseased tissue.
These treatments are not encouraged by doctors. First of all, they’re ridiculously expensive. What’s more, it takes a few of them for full success which means you’ll end up spending more money.
Alternatives and home remedies
Tea Tree/Orange Oil Rub
This remedy contains disinfectant and antibacterial properties. Mix a tablespoon of tea tree oil, is grave half a teaspoon of orange oil (optional) and half a teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil in a bowl. Press a piece of cotton soaked in the mix on the affected area, firmly and gently at the same time. Alternatively, you can put a few drops of the remedy in water and soak your feet in it. Do this religiously 2 times a day.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Soak
Ingredients include 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda, a cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and water. Put vinegar in water and soak your feet in it for 15 minutes. Then, put baking soda in the water and repeat the 15-minute soaking. The aim of this remedy is to kill off the fungus by vinegar and prevent it from spreading.
This oil is famous for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Put gloves on your hands and apply it on your nails 2-3 times a day. It is important to let it set in and do its job.
This one may sound silly but Listerine Mouthwash consists of very effective elements like salicylate thymol and eucalyptol that are great for fungus. Combine this with undiluted lemon or vinegar and you’ll get a powerful remedy that both kills off the fungi and retards their growth. You can put a combo in water and soak your feet in it and stay like that for 20 minutes or so. If the coins grave, take a wad of cotton and soak it in the mix, put it on the nail and wrap it with small bandage,
Oregano and olive oil
Oregano is a mighty enemy of parasites and fungi and is great for our immune system. Two drops of oregano essential oil and a teaspoon of olive oil is enough to say goodbye to toenail fungi. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use this for more than 3 weeks as it can cause irritation.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid creams should be put during the night which will stop fungi from spreading.
Keeping your feet clean and dry
It can’t be stressed enough how much appropriate hygienic habits and keeping your feet away from moist places help in the prevention of fungi on your toenails. Be careful when you use public bathrooms and swimming pools and make sure you change your socks regularly, especially after you exercise.
What if toenail fungus is left untreated
Leaving toenail fungus untreated means you left an alien organism live in your body. It usually doesn’t spread beyond the foot but there are cases of fungi showing up all the way in fingernails. The worst part, however, is not the fact that the fungi will spread. What they’ll do is pave the way for bacteria to creep into your organism which is especially dangerous for people with diabetes who could develop gangrene and eventually be made to go through amputation.