Toenail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis, is nasty: you can expect inflammation, pain, a thickening of the affected toenails, white-yellow discoloration, and even outright crumbling of your nails. It's also, unfortunately, notoriously difficult to get rid of.
One of the first things people who have realized that they were struck by toenail fungus ask about is natural remedies for the ailment. There is certainly no shortage of those.
Natural Remedies For Toenail Fungus
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is touted as a cure for plenty of different things, and toenail fungus is no exception. Proponents recommend mixing one part ACV and one part epsom salts into hot water, then soaking your affected foot for 30 minutes, twice daily. In addition, you can also use ACV orally.
Tea tree oil, known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, is another option. In this case, you clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol, and then mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil, directly applying it to the skin in generous quantities. You are then meant to thoroughly scrub the area with a brush, of the kind meant for cleaning your nails for instance. Repeat the process every day.
You can also make a paste of baking soda and sodium borate, which is meant to "down" the toenail fungus in an alkaline environment as well as adding some nice antifungal properties. Again, this is something you'd need to do every day.
Further suggested natural remedies for toenail fungus include coconut oil, corn meal, orange oil, olive leaf extract, lavender oil, and probiotics.
Do These Natural Remedies Really Work?
Some people report that they successfully treated their toenail fungus infections with all of these natural remedies, so you could certainly try and might well be successful. Studies show, however, that the oral antifungal medications Lamisil and Sporanox are the most effective treatments for toenail fungus. Do keep in mind that they aren't suitable for everyone: if you have liver disease, congestive heart failure, or are taking medications that are not compatible with these two, they aren't an option for you. Further, they're less effective in the over 65 population.
Thankfully, besides these medications, other options, such as medicated nail polishes and creams, are also on the market. In the worst cases, laser therapy and surgical toenail removal are recommended.
In conclusion, if your fungal toenail infection is not very severe and the symptoms are not bothering you that much, you could certainly try natural remedies and see if they work for you. By doing this, you avoid the possible side effects of oral antifungal medications. If your natural remedies are not working out for you, then the next step would be trying over-the-counter allopathic remedies for toenail fungus, and then talking to your doctor if you still don't see an improvement.
Toenail fungus is very unpleasant and can eventually lead to deformed toenails that cause severe pain, as well as wider opportunistic infections. Do take this ailment seriously and take the right steps if natural remedies are not working for you.
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