The cause toenail fungus, a horrible and persistent curse, is the fungus Onychomycosis. It is very widespread through the world and if your toenails or finger nails get infected, it is extremely hard to get rid of.
The fungus is widespread in the environment occurs near pools, in gyms, in shoes, on clothing and various parts of the house including the kitchen, bathroom and even in carpet.
So it is probably inevitable that about 10 percent of adults get infected with this fungus during their lives.
The fungus causes the nails to become inflamed, brittle and horribly discolored.
Many pharmaceutical treatments exist and are widely promoted, but recent research has identified alarming side effects, compounded by the need for very long treatment periods to kill the fungus and eliminate the symptoms.
Complete eradication of the infection is very difficult, and unfortunately re-infection is common.
The good news is that there are a variety of home remedies that you can try to get rid of this curse.
One of the best chemical treatments is the drug Lamisil, which works for two-thirds of people, is Terbinafine (Lamisil) taken orally for 90 days.
Studies have shown that the drug is rapidly delivered to the nails and can be found as a residue in the nails, sebum and hair for months after ceasing the treatment.
The drug is well tolerated, very effective for most people.
However several side effects have been reported that effect a small proportion of people.
Terbinafine has been associated with rare cases of liver damage and has been reported as causing taste loss in about 3% of those taking the drug.
The other drug option is treating the nail and the area of skin nearby, with an antifungal nail polish.
Various prescription treatments like ciclopirox have been tested and approved for use by Government Drug Administrations.
These nail polish style treatment are not as effective as oral medicines but do work.
They cause rare skin allergies but have less risk of side effects.
The main problem is that they gave to be used daily for an extremely long period of time, up to 12 months or more. Most patients lose enthusiasm after 3-4 months and the fungus returns.
Many people are concerned about using powerful chemical on their nails, with the risk of it getting on their skin for more than a year.
This is why many people have been looking for much safer natural remedies
The Federal Drug Administration has recently approved laser therapy for treating nail fungus.
While this appears to be very effective it is also very expensive. Because there is a high risk of re-infection these costs may multiply.
The home remedies listed below have varying success with various people. Given their low toxicity they are certainly worth a try. The treatments have to be continued for months. If there is any sign if skin inflammation or allergies stop the treatment. It is also worth remembering that the cure involves new nails growing out to replace the infected nail. There is no magic remedy for the old damaged nail, apart from it growing out and being replaced by a new nail.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has renowned anti-fungal and antiseptic properties and is widely used to treat other fungal infections such as tinea. Apply pure tea tree oil to the affected nail using a cotton ball or cotton bud. Gently scrub with and old toothbrush. Leave on the nail for about 10 minutes. Pure tea tree oil is too strong for applying directly to the surrounding skin, that also needs to be treated. Make a 1:1 solution of tea tree oil and Thymol oil, which is an antiseptic derived from the herb thyme. Thymol oil itself has antifungal and antiseptic properties
Orange oil n another natural product with antifungal properties. Use a dropper, apply orange oil to the nail and toe an leave it on for about an hour. Orange oil can cause allergic reactions in some people. and so discontinue if you see any signs.
This simple treatment is easy to apply and has worked for some people.
Mix the above ingredients well and then add 1/4 cup of white vinegar. For the treatment, firstly soak the affected nail in vinegar for several minutes to soften it. Then using a cotton ball dab the prepared mixture on the nail and secure the cotton ball in place over the nail using tape. Repeat the treatment twice a day for about 4 weeks.
For this simple treatment, mix two parts of warm water, to one part of white vinegar. Soak the affected toe and surrounding part of the foot in this mixture for 10-15 minutes. Repeat daily for about 4 weeks. Apple cider vinegar can also be used.
Garlic or Garlic Oil
The humble garlic contains the ingredient allicin, which has renowned antifungal properties. Mix an equal mixture of garlic oil and white vinegar and rub onto the affect area. Cover with tape and leave on for about 30-45 minutes.
Listerine Mouth Wash
This sounds bizarre but many people have claimed that it is effective. It is certainly harmless to use to your hands and feet, if you can gargle with it. Listerine mouth has antiseptic properties and the alcohol it contains also helps. Simply soak the affected foot for 10-15 minutes in Listerine mixed with some vinegar and fresh lemon juice, some vinegar and undiluted lemon juice. Repeat this treatment every day, and watch for signs of a new nail free of infection replacing the old damaged nail.
Lavender oil also has antiseptic properties. It can be used in a pure form or mixed with tea tree oil. Dab on the affected area 2-3 times a day. It can also be left on until the next day.
Oregano Oil is known to have antifungal and antiseptic properties. Mix two drops of Oregano oil with one teaspoon of pure olive oil. Apply to the affected nail one or twice a day using a cotton ball.
Simple lemon juice as both antiseptic and antifungal properties. Apply to the nail and leave or for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water and applying a small amount of olive oil to offset the drying action of the acid lemon juice.
Vicks Vapor Rub
This is another bizarre one. Vicks Vapor Run has worked for some people. However the smell can be a problem. Simply rub Vicks over the infected nail. Cover it with cotton and tape and leave on for 30-45 minutes. Repeat twice daily.
Green Tea Extract
This is another herbal remedy that has proven antifungal properties.