Nail Fungus: What It Is & How To Treat It

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Old 21-Jun-2012
Nail Fungus: What It Is & How To Treat It

ounds awful doesnít it: nail fungus. Yuck! This is a fungal infection along the lines of Register in that it can happen to anyone, no matter how particular they are about personal cleanliness and grooming.
Itís caused by organisms that find their way underneath a nail (both on fingers and toes). You can pick it up at a beauty salon (if they arenít cleaning tools properly), at the gym, public showers, etc.
People who are more susceptible to it are those whose feet sweat regularly, have diabetes, poor circulation or are elderly but itís not uncommon to pick it up after a nail has been chipped or damaged.
Is it contagious? Yes, it can travel from one finger or toe to the next and from person to person. If you have an infection, wear shoes when using public showers and locker rooms and donít share clippers or other grooming tools.
How to tell if you have it:
  • Nail color will likely change to yellow, brown or even black, may have white streaks or patches.
  • Nail can become brittle, ragged and flaky or become quite thick.
  • Can smell funky or is painful.
How infection is confirmed: Your doctor will do a scraping underneath the nail for testing.
Home Remedies To Try

Because the fungus lives and thrives underneath the nail, itís difficult to treat topically. Your doctor will likely prescribe medicine to help your body fight off the infection. If that doesnít work for you or isnít an option, you can try the treatment items listed below. Keep in mind that these wonít cure it but they can help contain the fungi so that new nail growth wonít be affected. Regular treatment can take months before you are free of it (as the old infected part grows out).
  • Vinegar & water: Soak toes 15 minutes each day in a 1:2 vinegar and water solution.
  • Tea tree oil: Apply a few drops to affected area at least twice a day, rub into surrounding area then cover with a bandage.
  • Eucalyptus oil: same as above.
  • Grapefruit seed extract: Apply twice daily to affected area.
  • Vicks VapoRub: Rub this into the entire nail each morning and night.
  • Listerine Mouthwash: Soak twice a day in full strength Listerine mouthwash for at least 10 minutes a sitting.
  • Coconut oil: Apply each morning and night (before bedtime).
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Saturate the area with a drop or two each day.
  • Tea tree oil & lavender oil: Twice a day apply a 50/50 mix to the whole area.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Saturate area with ACV twice a day.
Prevention Tips

  • Keep bare toes exposed to air as much as possible, try wearing flip flops or sandals around the home instead of bundling your feet up in slippers, shoes and socks.
  • Eat two cloves of garlic a day to boost your immunity system.
  • Keep nails short and trimmed so thereís less room for the fungi to thrive.
  • Dry feet well after showering, paying close attention in between toes.
  • If you are susceptible to infections, try spraying your feet regularly with an antifungal spray and dusting shoes with an antifungal powder.

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