How to Treat Nail Fungus at Home

Are you suffering from unsightly nail fungus? Don’t worry, you can treat it easily and conveniently at home. In this article, you will learn the basics of treating nail fungus safely and effectively.

Quick facts: Treating Nail Fungus At Home

  • ✅ Approximately two out of every three people on the planet suffer from nail fungus at least once in their lifetime. (Healthline)
  • ✅ Tea tree oil is one of the most popular home remedies for nail fungus, as research indicates it has antifungal properties. (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Apple cider vinegar is another effective option for treating nail fungus as it contains acetic acid, which has been found to be effective against fungus. (Healthline)
  • ✅ Over-the-counter topical treatments such as creams and sprays are available for treating nail fungus. (WebMD)
  • ✅ Keeping the feet dry and wearing breathable shoes can help prevent the recurrence of nail fungus. (Mayo Clinic)

Diagnosis

Diagnosing nail fungus can be difficult as it can resemble other conditions such as psoriasis. However, it is important to get a correct diagnosis as the treatment can be different.

Symptoms to look for include discoloration, thickening, and crumbling of the nail. In more severe cases, nails may even become detached from the nail bed.

A doctor should be consulted to determine the underlying condition and the most appropriate treatment plan.

Identify the symptoms

Identifying the symptoms of nail fungus is the first step in determining how to treat the condition at home. Common signs and symptoms of a nail fungal infection include:

  • Discoloration
  • Brittleness
  • Cracked or split nails
  • Thickening or crumbling of the edges

Some people may also experience pain and itching around their affected toenails. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.

Your doctor may use a physical exam, specialized tests such as KOH microscopy or fungal culture, or imaging tests such as X-rays to diagnose a nail fungus infection. Once diagnosed, your doctor can recommend the best course of treatment for you.

Consult a doctor

If you have been unable to treat Nail Fungus at home or think you may have a more serious infection, it is important that you consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

A doctor will take a sample of the infected nail and send it to the laboratory for testing. Based on the test results, your doctor can prescribe medications to treat the fungal infection. In cases of severe infections, surgery may be required.

Consulting with your doctor is very important in order to ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Your doctor can also give you advice on how to prevent recurrence of the infection by maintaining healthy nails and proper hygiene practices.

Prevention

Prevention is key when it comes to tackling nail fungus. There are several things that you can do to reduce your chances of getting nail fungus. Some of these things include:

  • wearing protective shoes in public places
  • drying your feet after showering
  • avoiding direct contact with infected individuals

Let’s take a look at some of these preventive methods in more detail.

Keep your feet clean and dry

Maintaining good foot care is an important part of preventing nail fungus. Keeping your feet clean and dry is essential in preventing the growth of fungus.

  • Always wear clean socks, and change them after you have been exercising or sweating.
  • Avoid walking barefoot, especially in public places such as pools and locker rooms.
  • When showering or bathing, use soap to thoroughly clean your feet and then ensure that they are completely dry afterwards.
  • You may want to use an antiperspirant on your feet to reduce moisture and prevent fungal growth.

If you notice any signs of nail fungus during self-examination, contact a doctor for further advice.

Wear breathable shoes and socks

Wearing breathable shoes and socks can be a big help in reducing your chances of developing nail fungus. Shoes and socks that aren’t made with breathable materials can allow moisture to build up around your toes, which is the perfect environment for fungus to thrive. It’s best to look for shoes and socks made with natural fabrics like cotton so that air can circulate better.

Additionally, make sure you change your shoes regularly in order to allow them time to dry out between wear sessions. If you live in a hot climate, it might also be wise to wear sandals whenever possible so that your feet can get enough air circulation. Finally, always keep your feet as dry as possible by drying them thoroughly after taking a shower or swim.

Avoid sharing nail clippers

Nail fungus is an infection that can cause discoloration, splitting, or cracking of the nail. It can be difficult to get rid of, and many people rely on specialist treatments which may not always be available. However, there are some preventative measures you can take which will help to stop the spread of nail fungus.

One important preventative measure is to avoid sharing your nail clippers with other people. This includes using someone else’s clippers and offering yours to others. Sharing clippers can increase the likelihood of a fungal infection such as onychomycosis spreading between individuals, as any lingering particles from another person’s nail could transfer during use. It is best practice to use your own personal set of clippers and keep them clean and sanitized after each use.

Home Remedies

Fungal nail infections can be treated at home with natural remedies. A wide range of natural, effective treatments are available, some of which are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. We’ll explore some of these home remedies and discuss how they can help you treat your fungal nail infections.

Use tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is known for its anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it one of the best home remedies to treat nail fungus.

You can combine tea tree oil with either olive or coconut oil and apply the mixture directly to the affected area. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil in warm water and soak your feet in the solution for 30 minutes. Repeat this process twice a day until you see results.

Additionally, you can also soak a cotton piece in tea tree oil and then place it over your nail before wearing socks or gloves. This remedy is most effective when done every night before bedtime as this allows the oils to penetrate and act on deeper layers of your skin.

Apply apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy for treating nail fungus. To use, pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the affected area several times a day. Alternatively, you can dilute the apple cider vinegar with equal parts water and dip your toes into the solution for 20 minutes, twice a day. You may also want to add two to three drops of tea tree oil, an antifungal agent that may be beneficial in helping to treat nail fungus.

However, keep in mind that this remedy may cause skin irritation and discoloration of your nails. If any redness or pain persists when using apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil, discontinue use immediately.

Soak feet in Listerine

Soaking your feet in Listerine is a popular home remedy for nail fungus. This involves mixing one part of Listerine to two parts of warm water and soaking your feet in the mixture twice a day. The antiseptic and antifungal properties of Listerine can help to reduce the growth of fungus on your nails and prevent it from spreading. If you are treating children, be sure to dilute the solution even further, as the strong scent and taste of Listerine may be too much for them.

Soaking your feet in Listerine can help to reduce fungus on your nails but it is not necessarily a cure for it. You may need to combine this remedy with other treatments such as

  • topical creams
  • oral medications prescribed by a doctor.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Treatment for nail fungus typically involves the use of over-the-counter medications. These medications are usually topical antifungal creams, ointments, or polishes. They can be applied directly to the affected nail, cuticle, and skin surrounding the nail.

Let’s take a look at some of the available over-the-counter treatments for nail fungus:

Use antifungal creams

Antifungal creams are an over-the-counter treatment for nail fungus that can be used at home. These creams contain antifungal medications that are either topical or systemic, depending on the cream.

  • Topical antifungal creams can be applied directly to the affected area and work by killing the fungus as it grows.
  • Systemic antifungal creams, on the other hand, must be taken orally and work by attacking fungal organisms throughout the body.

Either type of antifungal cream may need to be used for several weeks before results become evident. However, it is important to note that some of these medications may cause side effects such as skin irritation, a decrease in appetite, nausea and headaches. As such, it is best to consult with a doctor before using any type of antifungal cream to make sure that it is safe for you to use.

Take oral antifungal medications

Oral antifungal medications, such as terbinafine (Lamisil®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), or fluconazole (Diflucan®) are commonly used to treat nail fungus. All of these medications must be taken daily while they can take up to 12 weeks to completely rid the nail of infection. These medications are not without risks and can cause side effects including nausea, abdominal pain and headache.

People with liver disease should use oral antifungals with caution, as they may cause liver damage, especially when used in high doses for long periods of time. Some people may be allergic to these medications; signs of an allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, lips or tongue.

Professional Treatment

If you are diagnosed with nail fungus, professional treatment by a dermatologist or podiatrist may be necessary. This type of treatment is usually recommended for severe cases and can include the use of antifungal medications, laser therapy, or surgery.

Let’s discuss the professional treatment options available for nail fungus:

Seek medical help

If you are experiencing symptoms of nail fungus, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible. While there are many treatments that you can do at home, it is important to first get the advice of a healthcare professional. They will be able to diagnose the type of infection and determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

Once your condition has been diagnosed, your doctor may recommend a combination of at-home treatments and professional services such as laser therapy or antifungal medications. Additionally, different health care professionals such as podiatrists or dermatologists may specialize in treating this kind of condition and thus have more experience than a general practitioner. Therefore, seeking out medical help should always be the first step in treating nail fungus.

Get laser treatments

Laser treatment is one of the most effective and safe treatments for nail fungus, as it’s a non-invasive procedure. Nail fungus lasers target the infected area without damaging the healthy tissue.

For the laser treatment, you must go to a physician’s office for multiple laser sessions, usually three to four times over several weeks. After each session, your nail may turn brown or white and will gradually soften before your new nail grows out in its place.

Because this type of treatment achieves very high temperatures, it helps kill the bacteria and fungi that cause nail fungus completely. It also helps speed up the recovery time while minimizing pain and discomfort during the procedure.

Consider surgery

If home remedies for nail fungus fail, or if the infection is severe, a doctor may recommend surgery to treat the condition. Surgery involves removing all of the infected nails, then using a laser to destroy any remaining fungus. In some cases, the doctor may inject an antifungal medication into the skin around and beneath the nail to stop it from recurring.

After surgery, it is essential to practice good hygiene habits, such as regularly cleaning and drying both your feet and toes thoroughly. Additionally, wearing synthetic socks that wick moisture away from your feet can help reduce the chance of developing fungal infections in the future.

FAQs about: Treating Nail Fungus At Home

Q: Is it possible to treat nail fungus at home?

A: Yes, it is possible to treat nail fungus at home. However, depending on the severity of the nail fungus, it may take longer and require more diligence when treating it at home.

Q: What are the most effective home treatments for nail fungus?

A: Some of the most effective home treatments for nail fungus include: tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, oregano oil, coconut oil, and distilled white vinegar.

Q: How long does it take to treat nail fungus at home?

A: The length of time it takes to treat nail fungus at home depends on the severity of the infection. Some cases of nail fungus can take several months to treat. It is important to practice patience and diligence when treating nail fungus at home.

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