Top Home Remedies to Treat Toenail Fungus
While fungal toenail infections tend to be fairly common in all ages, older adults are more frequently diagnosed. Toenail fungus occurs when fungi are allowed to enter small cracks in the toenails or the surrounding skin. Walking barefoot in high-risk environments, like gyms, pools, and salons is the most common reason for being diagnosed with a toenail fungus infection.
There are certain situations in which you’re more likely to get toenail fungus, such as when you have a toenail injury, athlete’s foot, diabetes, a weak immune system, and/or blood circulation problems.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Common symptoms include toenail discoloration, an increase in toenail thickness, loose toenails, and a weak toenail that starts to fall apart.
Top Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus
There are many home remedies available nowadays for getting rid of toenail fungus, which means you have many choices. When it comes to which ones you should try, it’s really a matter of experimenting to see which home remedies may or may not work for you.
So what are some top home remedies for toenail fungus people use to address their fungal infection? See below for some of the more popular home remedies for treating toenail fungus.
- Oils. Some oils contain antifungal, anti-bacterial, and/or antiseptic qualities. Tea tree oil, oregano oil, and peppermint oil are popular oils that include one or more of the above qualities. All you have to do is dab some of the oil directly on the toenail 2 or 3 times a day using a clean cotton swab. Note: Some oil combinations can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, making it necessary to check for any potentially bad oil combinations.
- Garlic. Garlic includes strong antifungal properties, making this a top home remedy for treating particular strains of toenail fungus. Chopping up a clove of garlic and applying it directly to the infected nail for 20 to 30 minutes once a day for up to a week can help. Since garlic can create chemical burns on those with sensitive skin, pay close attention when using this home remedy for the first time.
- Snakeroot Extract. Snakeroot is a traditional treatment option commonly known for treating toenail fungus in Mexico. The extract is known for its antifungal properties and is directly applied to the infected area. Applications only need to be performed 2 to 3 times per week in order to experience positive results. Since treatment only works for about 3 months, additional extract treatments are often necessary.
- Baking Soda. Baking soda works by removing excess moisture from your feet, a common cause of toenail fungus. While this home remedy has been shown to reduce fungal growth, it doesn’t completely get rid of the fungus. Simply make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it directly to the infected toenail for about 15 minutes. Rinse and repeat 3 to 4 times a day.
- Mentholated Topical Ointment. The active medications contained in mentholated ointments include properties that have shown to be proactive in toenail fungus treatment, i.e. menthol, camphor. Applying the topical ointment to the toenail and infected area once a day is all that’s needed to experience an improvement, which tends to take several weeks.
Home Treatments for Toenail Fungus Don’t Always Work
How long does it take to know if your home treatment remedy option has worked? It depends on the remedy and the severity of the fungal problem. While it usually takes 2 to 3 months for a toenail fungus infection to go away, it can take up to a year to completely heal. Most people will try at least 1 of the above home antifungal treatments before choosing to seek foot care from a professional.
How a Podiatrist Can Help with Toenail Fungus
How does a podiatrist treat toenail fungus? If you’ve tried one or more of the above home remedies to treat your case of toenail fungus and haven’t experienced any relief, then it’s time to make an appointment with a podiatrist. Professional treatment depends on the type of fungus you have, as well as the severity of the infection.
Top Podiatry Treatment Options for Toenail Fungus:
- Oral antifungal medications
- Topical creams
- Debridement to remove parts of the infected toenail
- Surgical treatment or removal of the toenail
When should you see a podiatrist for toenail fungus? The sooner you seek out professional treatment, the faster your fungus can be treated. Contact Upperline Foot and Ankle today for fast, effective toenail fungus treatment.