Toenail Fungus Home Remedies -- Natural Prevention And Treatment
Toenail fungus is difficult to cure and affects almost half the population by the age of 70. Two factors are behind these statistics; toes spend a lot of time enclosed in shoes, and older people develop poor blood circulation in their feet making them prone to infection, especially when they have diabetes. Many people prefer to use toenail fungus home remedies rather than medical treatment because it can take six months to complete. The major risk in this is that people might stop the treatment too early on, when the infection appears to improve but is still present. This results in its re-occurrence.
The fungi feed on the keratin that forms the nail. Because the condition is not initially painful, an infected person might not notice until the toenails become unsightly; discolored, thick and crumbly. Toenail fungus can be painful, cause permanent nail damage and lead to other infections that can spread in cases of weak immune systems. The fungi also produce foul smelling waste under affected nails.
Fungal organisms prefer warmth and moisture. They commonly thrive around public places where people go barefoot; swimming pools and showers. Highly contagious, fungi can penetrate microscopic cuts and nestle between the nail and nail-bed. Fungal infections develop only in ideal conditions; warmth and moisture on an ongoing basis. Once someone is infected the rest of their family will probably also catch it.
Prevention is easier than treatment so here are some tips. Dry your feet thoroughly and use an anti-fungal foot powder. Shoes and socks create warm, moist and dark conditions that are ideal for fungal growth. Don't wear the same shoes every day; it allows them to dry out. Let your feel spend time in the open air and try to wear sandals instead of closed shoes whenever possible. Change your socks regularly and only wear natural fibre or cotton socks. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching an infected nail to prevent contagion. Never pick at your nails or the skin around them, this could provide access for germs. Don't go barefoot in public places such as public pools and showers. Avoid nail polish and synthetic nails to hide a nail infection, because these can trap moisture in the nails.
The two top natural remedies are tea-tree oil and apple-cider vinegar. As bleach is dangerous we don't recommend it; it can cause chemical burns. Even if it appears that the fungus has gone, it might be there so keep using the home remedy regularly and over several months; Clip your toenails regularly and carefully or the remedies may not be successful. Remember: this is not a professional opinion. See your doctor if you think you might have an infection.
Vinegar -- Use one part apple-cider vinegar to two parts warm water and soak the feet for 20 minutes twice per day. Be sure to rinse properly and dry them thoroughly. If this causes irritation, dilute the vinegar more and reduce the frequency of the foot-bath.
Apply tea-tree oil twice daily to the nails and surrounding area. Do this after bathing and drying the feet carefully. Use only 100% tea-tree oil -- it is a natural anti-fungal.
A popular approach is alternating between these natural remedies between one day and the next.