Have you ever had nail fungus before? Nail fungus is a common medical condition that affects thousands of people each year. Nail fungus can cause a lot of discomforts and many people become embarrassed because of the way their nails appear to others.
I have suffered from nail fungus several different times during the course of my life and I can tell you it is not fun! Unfortunately, I have had a couple of cases of nail fungus and in some instances, one of my nails lifted permanently from the bed of the nail. I even had one case where two of my nails fell out because the fungus infection grew so intense that my hand detached itself from the nails. Doctors were unsure if my nails were even going to grow back. Luckily, they did grow back. (1)
As an advocator and as someone who enjoys helping others I am going to teach you how you can figure out if you have nail fungus, get rid of your nail fungus and transform your nails so they look the best they ever had before. Do not wait as long as I did… tackle the problem before it worsens.
Not everyone knows what a fungus infection is…
Do you know what a fungus infection is?
A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail, called the nail bed. Fungi can attack your nails through small cuts in the skin around your nail or through the opening between your nail and nail bed. If you are healthy, a fungal nail infection probably will not cause serious problems. However, it may look bad, hurt, or damage your nail or nail bed.
Many things could cause nail fungus.
The same type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot causes most nail fungus. These are all common causes for nail fungus, but there is hope for individuals who have the condition or suffer from it often. Nail fungus grows in warm, moist places, and they can spread from person to person. You can get a nail fungus infection for many reasons. Some people have contracted it from, walking barefoot in public places, from public showers, public pools, sharing personal items such as towels and nail clippers. I got it from four different times from two different nail salons and twice from water seeping between my nails and nail bed. (2)
If you are suffering from nail fungus, you are going to notice one or more of the symptoms I listed below…
- Nail turns yellow or white
- Becomes thicker
- Crumbles and split
- Separates from the skin
- Becomes uncomfortable or painful to wear shoes
- Uncomfortable or painful to walk
- Uncomfortable or painful to stand for a long period of time
What is the conventional treatment?
There are antifungal creams available over the counter, but their efficacy is questionable. The oral anti-fungal medications are much more effective, but not without bothersome side effects ranging from skin rashes to liver damage. These medications must be used with caution, especially since treatment is usually long-term. Fluconazole (Diflucan), Itraconazole (Sporanox) and Terbinafine (Lamisil) are a few commonly prescribed oral antifungal medications. They must be taken anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks as these infections are not quick to clear up.
There is a “nail lacquer” called ciclopirox that can be painted on the nail, applying it daily for a week, wiping the layers off with alcohol, then beginning again. This tedious process is done for up to a year and only has a 10% efficacy rate. Any topical application tends to work better when used in conjunction with oral medications. Serious infections may warrant removal of the nail.
Doctors also advise keeping nails trimmed short and allowing time for the feet to dry after showers, baths or swimming, using absorbent socks, and discarding old shoes that may contain fungal spores.
Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant, possessing fungicidal and antibacterial properties that make it popular in treating toenail fungus. Orange oil has also shown promising results when it comes to getting rid of fungus and can be added to the mixture as well. Always remember to dilute the essential oil before applying to the nail.
- 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of orange oil (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil
- Cotton balls
As soon as you notice the tell-tale signs of nail fungus, mix together 1 of tea tree oil, ½ teaspoon of orange oil, and ½ teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and apply to affected nail pressing it on gently but firmly so the liquid comes out. Let this dry naturally. Alternatively, you can place 4-5 drops of tea tree oil in enough water to soak your feet in, and do that for 15-20 minutes. Both treatments should be done faithfully morning and evening.
Spice that Kills Toenail Fungus: Oregano Oil
According to Dr. Axe. oregano oil benefits are superior to prescription antibiotics, as it has powerful antifungal properties. Not only can oil of oregano kill fungus, but it can also kill mold and other causes of candida within your system too.
Herbal Nail Fungus Soak Recipe: Baking Soda and Vinegar Soak
Baking soda is not fungicidal-that is, it does not kill the fungus. It is, however, fungistatic, which means it can prevent fungus from growing and spreading. The reason it acts like this is that it is alkaline the opposite of acidic and fungus is able to flourish when its environment is more acidic. It seems counter-intuitive then, that using vinegar to kill nail fungus would be a good idea, but vinegar is a fairly weak acid and will help kill off the fungus without altering the Ph. of the environment in a harmful way.
- 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Something to soak your feet in
- Paper towels
First, mix 1 cup of your chosen vinegar with enough water to soak your feet in. Soak for 15 minutes, and then pat dry with paper towels. Follow this by adding several tablespoons of baking soda to enough water to soak your feet in, and soak for 15 minutes. Pat feet completely dry with paper towels. Do this twice a day. The idea is that the vinegar will kill off the fungus, while the baking soda will then inhibit the growth of more.
Bear with me-I am about to get a little bit scientific here, but I find this to be an exciting way to combat fungus without using harsh chemicals. Medium chain fatty acids are almost miracles in how they work as natural fungicides. The fungal membrane is crucial to maintaining the “life” of the fungus, which is why many antifungal treatments target the fungal membrane. Fatty acids, such as the ones found abundantly in coconut oil, naturally, insert themselves in the lipid (fat) layer of the fungal membrane and disturb it, leading eventually to cell disintegration and the ultimate destruction of the fungus (to put it in a nutshell.)
- A bit of coconut oil
- Gloves or a sink and soap to wash hands between applications
Wearing gloves or washing your hands between applications (if you have more than one affected nail) rub coconut oil onto the area and let it absorb and dry naturally. There is no need to glob a whole bunch on a thin layer will do. Repeat 2-3 times daily.
Coconut oil fungus remedy
Like athletes foot, you can work towards preventing nail fungus by keeping feet clean and, most importantly, dry. Don’t re-wear socks, and stick to open-toed shoes if possible. It takes time and patience to get rid of toenail fungus, and for the nail to grow back healthy and normal again. Be diligent about applying your treatments and don’t overlook preventative methods to keep the fungus from coming back.
Tip for best results: Before using these treatments, trim back as much of the affected nail as you can with clean nail clippers (don’t peel with your fingers!)
Make sure to disinfect the clippers after using them to prevent the fungus from spreading. Rinse feet in warm water, and pat dry.
Remember, the fungus could also spread to other nails or your skin. The fungus could also spread to other nails or even to your skin. Nail fungus can also cause permanent damage to your nail or nail bed. If you have nail fungus then there is no time to waste you need to use the right treatment before the nail fungus causes permanent damage or spreads to other parts of your body.
Tip: If you do not treat this condition then, it will not go away.