Treating Fingernail Fungus at Home

Do you want to treat your nail fungus quickly, easily, and from the comfort of your own home? This article will take you through all the steps you need to take to get rid of stubborn fingernail fungus.

Quick facts: Treating Fingernail Fungus At Home

  • ✅ Oregano oil can be used as a natural remedy to treat fingernail fungus – Healthline
  • ✅ Applying tea tree oil can inhibit the growth of fingernail fungus – Healthline
  • ✅ Epsom salt baths are an effective way to treat mild cases of fingernail fungus – WebMD
  • ✅ White vinegar can help to fight against fingernail fungus – Medical News Today
  • ✅ Toenail fungus is more common than fingernail fungus – American Osteopathic College of Dermatology

Overview of Fingernail Fungus

Fingernail fungus is a common condition that can cause your nails to look yellow or discolored, thickened, or brittle. This condition, also known as onychomycosis, can affect both your toenails and fingernails and is primarily caused by dermatophytes, a type of fungus.

It’s important to understand some basics about this condition to properly treat it at home:

Definition of Fingernail Fungus

Fingernail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a fungal infection of the nail bed. It can cause discoloration and thickening of the nails, and in severe cases may even cause the nails to break off.

Fingernail fungus is typically caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes, which are microscopic organisms that thrive in warm and damp environments. Fingernail fungus is spread through contact with an infected person or surface (such as showers or pools). It can also be spread from person to person through shared hygiene items like nail clippers or files. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to developing fingernail fungus than those with healthy immune systems.

Symptoms of Fingernail Fungus

Fingernail fungus is an infection of the fingernails caused by a variety of fungi, bacteria, and yeast. Symptoms of fingernail fungus include discoloration or yellowing of the nail, thickening or crumbling of the nail, ridges in the nail, appearance of white spots on the nail, lifting up from the nail bed, foul odor from under the nail, and pain in and around the nails. In severe cases, nails may be prone to breaking off.

When left untreated, symptoms of fingernail fungus can worsen over time and may spread to other nails or surrounding skin. If you suspect that you have a fungal infection affecting your nails it’s important to seek treatment right away as it can be difficult to cure once it has become more advanced. Treatment options range from:

  • Self-care measures such as keeping your feet clean and dry.
  • More aggressive treatments such as medications or removal of infected nail tissue.

Causes of Fingernail Fungus

Fingernail fungus, or Onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection of the fingernails or toenails. It is caused by a number of different types of fungi, but the cause of this infection is often traced back to warm and damp environments, as well as direct contact with damp and contaminated objects.

Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of Fingernail Fungus:

Poor Hygiene

Poor hygiene is one of the most common causes of fingernail fungus. When you don’t wash your hands regularly or clean under your nails, the germs and bacteria that are already living on your hands get trapped underneath them. This can lead to the development of an infection in those areas. Poor hygiene isn’t limited to just the hands either; it can also be a problem for feet and other body parts where fungus can easily develop.

To prevent fingernail fungus from developing, make sure you practice good hygiene habits like washing your hands and feet regularly, and cleaning underneath your nails with a nail brush or soft cloth. Additionally, wearing open-toed shoes as opposed to closed-toe shoes will help keep air circulating around your toes and fingers, which helps prevent fungal growth.

Trauma to the Nail

Trauma to the fingernail can be a cause of nail fungus, as the physical damage can create an opportunity for fungus and bacteria to enter the nail bed. This trauma can come from activities like manicures, pedicures, biting nails, picking nails, or simply engaging in rigorous daily activities such as sports or house chores.

If you engage with objects that harbor fungus and bacteria- such as wet towels– and do not take the proper precautions of washing your hands frequently and wearing gloves, then you can increase your risk of developing fingernail fungus.

Taking necessary precautions such as wearing protective gloves when doing household chores or participating in rigorous physical activities will help reduce the risk of this type of trauma leading to a fungal infection. In addition, avoiding biting or picking at nails is an important step in preventing nail fungus caused by trauma to the nail.


Moisture is one of the major causes of fingernail fungus. Fungus thrives in moist, warm and dark environments and our fingernails provide that in abundance. When hands are frequently exposed to water and sweat, this increases the chances of a fungal infection occurring.

It is important to keep the nail beds dry and clean at all times, particularly after bathing or swimming in public pools. Keeping nails short also helps to prevent fungus from settling in underneath them. If you experience any redness or itching around the nails, see your doctor for treatment options such as antifungal medications or topical creams.

Treatment Options

Fingernail fungus is something that can be treated at home with a variety of different products. Some of the most popular treatments include over the counter antifungal creams, ointments, and even natural home remedies. Each of these treatments come with pros and cons that we will discuss in this section:

  • Over the counter antifungal creams
  • Ointments
  • Natural home remedies

Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications are available for treating fingernail fungus at home. These medications may include antifungal creams, tablets, or solutions. Most of these over-the-counter products contain active ingredients, such as miconazole and terbinafine.

In addition to OTC therapies, there are also a variety of home remedies that might help treat the symptoms associated with fungal nail infections. This can include:

  • Soaking the affected area in bleach or vinegar solution for about 20 minutes at least twice a day.
  • Applying Vicks VaporRub onto the infected nail bed and surrounding skin several times a day.

It is important to speak to your doctor before trying any type of treatment for a fungal nail infection in order to ensure that it is safe and effective for you.

Home Remedies

Home Remedies are a good treatment option for fingernail fungus, as they can be implemented without a visit to a doctor or the purchase of any expensive treatments. Home Remedies involve simple items that are likely already in your home, such as vinegar, tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide. These solutions should be applied directly to the nails or as a soak for several minutes at least once daily for best results. Additionally, applying listerine to the infected nails can reduce fungal growth.

Other home remedies include coconut oil, mouthwash and Vicks vapour rub which are all known to have antifungal properties that may help fight off the infection with repeated use over time. It is important to note that due to slow acting results from these home remedies it may take up to six months of dedicated treatment before any effect is seen.

Prescription Medications

Prescription Medications for treating fingernail fungus can come in the form of topical solutions or oral medications. Topical solutions are available over the counter or with a prescription and come as medicated nail polish, cream, or foam. These treatments apply the medication directly to the infected area where it can be absorbed by the nail, allowing it to reach the source of infection.

Oral medications must be prescribed by a doctor and are typically taken for several weeks or months while also continuing topical treatments. Commonly prescribed oral medications include terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole. Prescription medications must be taken as directed in order to be effective and can cause serious side effects if not used properly so these should only be used under medical supervision.

Prevention Tips

Fingernail fungus can be an unsightly and uncomfortable condition, and it’s important to prevent it from occurring. With regular care and hygiene, you can lower your risk of developing this condition.

Here are some prevention tips to help you keep your nails healthy and fungus-free:

  1. Keep your nails dry and clean.
  2. Avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes.
  3. Avoid walking barefoot in public places.
  4. Wear socks and shoes made of breathable materials.
  5. Change your socks and shoes regularly.
  6. Wash your hands and feet regularly.
  7. Keep your nails trimmed and filed.

Keep Nails Dry

Keeping your nails dry is a key step to preventing and treating nail fungus. Fungal infections thrive when nails are damp, so drying your hands and feet thoroughly after bathing and walking is important. Make sure that your fingernails are completely dry before you put on socks, gloves or shoes.

Additionally, if you work with wet items, such as paint or washing dishes, it is recommended that you wear one-use protective gloves to prevent fungal infections from developing. If you have active nail fungus, changing socks and gloves often will help prevent the infection from spreading to other toes or fingers.

Wear Protective Gloves

Wearing protective gloves is one of the most important steps to preventing nail fungus. Most nail fungi are contracted by coming in contact with contaminated surfaces or materials. By wearing gloves, you protect your hands and nails by creating a physical barrier between them and the surfaces you touch.

Protective gloves are especially important if you work in wet environments, as these are particularly susceptible to fungal growth. They should be made of materials such as vinyl and latex, which will form an effective barrier against the spores of fungi. Additionally, make sure that your gloves are clean and dry before each use to ensure maximum protection against any external agents that may carry fungus.

Avoid Sharing Personal Items

Fungal infections of the nails are contagious and can be spread from person to person. To avoid getting a fungal infection, you should never share personal items such as nail clippers, towels, or other grooming tools. If you already have an infection, it’s important to thoroughly clean and disinfect any nail care items that you use before and after each use.

You should also immediately discard any item that has been used by someone else with a fungal infection. Also try to keep your feet and hands clean using soap and water on a regular basis, which can help prevent the spread of fungal infections.

When to Seek Professional Help

Fingernail fungus is a common problem that is usually treatable with home remedies. However, if you have tried at-home treatments and they don’t seem to be working, it might be time to seek professional help.

In this article, we will discuss the signs that indicate it’s time to visit a doctor:

Signs of Serious Infection

Signs of a serious infection can indicate that professional help is needed. If the fungus has spread beyond the nail bed or is causing pain, swelling, or redness in and around the nail, it could be a sign that you need to see your doctor for treatment.

Additionally, if the infection does not respond to over-the-counter remedies after two weeks of consistent use, you may need to seek out a doctor for prescription strength antifungal cream or other medication.

Fingernail fungus can often be difficult to treat with at-home methods, so when your untreated infection begins to spread it’s best to consult with a professional. A medical professional will be able to identify the exact type of fungus and give the necessary treatment before it spreads further or further damages your nails.

Inability to Treat at Home

If you have tried to treat your fingernail fungus at home and have been unsuccessful, it may be time to seek professional help. Professional treatment is typically recommended if the infection has persisted for several months and has not responded to over-the-counter antifungal medications or home remedies. Additionally, if there are any signs of redness or swelling in the surrounding skin, this can be an indication that you should get it checked out by a medical professional.

Your dermatologist or primary care provider can diagnose the type of fungal infection that you have and recommend a course of treatment depending on its severity. Treatment often involves:

  • An oral antifungal medication such as terbinafine or Itraconazole which can help to kill the fungus and restore your nail to its healthy state.
  • Topical treatments such as creams or gels which can be applied directly to the infected area.

FAQs about: Treating Fingernail Fungus At Home

Q1: What are the most effective treatments for fingernail fungus?

A1: Some of the most effective treatments for fingernail fungus include applying an antifungal nail lacquer, taking an oral antifungal medication, and using certain home remedies.

Q2: Is it necessary to see a doctor for fingernail fungus?

A2: Depending on the severity of the infection, it may be beneficial to see a doctor. A doctor may prescribe a stronger medication or suggest other treatments.

Q3: Are there any home remedies to treat fingernail fungus?

A3: There are several home remedies that may help treat fingernail fungus, including soaking the affected area in apple cider vinegar, applying tea tree oil, and using garlic oil.

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