Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a fungal illness that develops when dermatophytes begin to grow beneath the nail. It starts as a white or yellow spot on the nails that can swiftly grow to the depths, resulting in discolouration and cracking. This is a common long-term issue that can readily spread to other nails via the flesh between the toes.
Lack of personal cleanliness, long-term use of socks and shoes, sharing shoes with an infected person, going barefoot in public swimming pools or showers, not properly drying your feet after a bath, or weakened immune systems are all factors that might lead to nail fungus.
Nail fungus is a condition that may be treated quickly and effectively with simple home treatments that can control the infection and prevent additional harm. Because it’s so unattractive, it’s essential to cure it as soon as you notice it. There’s no need to run to the doctor right immediately; there are natural ways to get rid of a yeast infection.
What Exactly Is Toenail Fungus?
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis (from the Greek word onycho, which means “toenail”), is an infection caused by a tiny fungus (dermatophyte), a yeast (Candida albicans, which affects the hands), or a mold. Onychomycosis (Greek for “nail fungus”) is an infection caused by a fungus (dermatophyte), yeast (Candida albicans, hand), or mold. They are more common in adulthood and affect the toenails of the feet rather than the hands. Onychomycosis is responsible for more than half of all nail problems.
A yeast infection can manifest itself in a variety of ways:
- A partial or complete change in the colour of the nail, making it opaque, white, yellowish, or greenish.
- A thickening or textural alteration (the nail becomes brittle)
- The nail plate has come loose.
What Causes Toenail Fungus, Anyway?
Dermatophyte fungi, rather than yeasts or moulds, are the most common cause of onychomycosis. Germs all seem to enjoy hot, humid environments.
- A dermatophyte-caused fungal nail infection frequently accompanies a fungus foot (also known as athlete’s foot) acquired on public ground and infected by pieces of skin filed by patients. Swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, sports locker rooms, medical offices, dancing halls… are all examples of this. Untreated athlete’s foot spreads to the skin, nail, and forms onychomycosis within a few months.
- Onychomycosis in the fingernails can also be caused by yeasts. These fungus thrive beneath the fingernails of persons who come into touch with water too frequently.
- Contact with polluted soil can lead to mold contamination.
Nail Fungus Risk Factors:
Onychomycosis is uncommon in children, but it is highly prevalent in adults, affecting one out of every ten people. Its frequency rises with age, peaking at 30% in those over the age of 70. Men are three times as likely than women to get onychomycosis. Different circumstances might encourage this infection if it is caused by contamination by particular germs:
- Certain illnesses (diabetes, HIV infection, AIDS, circulatory problems, skin diseases, and so on) and therapies (immunosuppressive drugs, chemotherapy, cortisone, and so on);
- Toes that overlap or stand up, sports-related knocks or injuries, or ill-fitting shoes;
- Wearing shoes that aren’t well ventilated, as well as vocations and/or hobbies that need regular contact with water
- Getting older
Symptoms of Onychomycosis:
Fungus-caused onychomycosis manifests mostly on the foot, particularly in the corner of the large toenail.
The Following are the Signs and Symptoms:
- Thickened, projecting, yellowish nails;
- When scraping under the nail, a white and infectious powder develops;
- The presence of white dots on the nail’s surface;
- The appearance of black dots is far more uncommon (which require the advice of a specialist).
Onychomycosis is a yeast infection that usually affects fingernails. The symptoms are then nearly same, namely:
- A yellowish-white coating occurs on the separation of the nail.
- Skin around the nail is swollen, red, and painful;
- Superinfection with bacteria can cause a green tint to form on the nail, giving it a musty look.
- Onychomycosis caused by mould has the same symptoms.
Nail Fungus Diagnosis:
Onychomycosis is diagnosed with a mycological investigation, which is required to rule out other nail illnesses. The mycological sample needs cutting the severed nail as far as possible and removing the powdery debris, which is unpleasant but not painful. The doctor will scrape the nail off for study if the white patches on the surface of the nail are signs of onychomycosis. Because there are few facilities that specialise in the collecting and examination of nails, the findings are sluggish to come through (around 1 month).
Therapy for Nail Fungus:
- Depending on the severity and scope of the infection, onychomycosis can be treated with a combination of local and general treatments.
- For the early stages of onychomycosis, a two- to six-month administration of an antifungal cream or a treatment varnish is sufficient to cure the infection.
- The unhealthy nail may need to be removed with the use of a paste that is applied daily and covered with a bandage in some cases. The treated nail disintegrates between two and four weeks after treatment; if it is not totally destroyed, the doctor will have to clip it out with special pliers. This treatment is finished with an antifungal cream or a treatment varnish.
- Surgical excision of the nail is required in the event of failure or moldy onychomycosis.
- Advanced forms, on the other hand, need to be treated as a whole. It is taken orally and can produce moderate (digestive issues, redness) but sometimes more significant side effects. It lasts two to six months and is administered orally (hypersensitivity, skin rash, blood abnormalities, etc.).
The Top 10 Most Effective and Best Natural Home Remedies for Nail Fungus are as follows:
1.Essential Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree essential oil is used to clean up skin tissue and treat nail fungus due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is safe to use on the skin because it is non-toxic. Pour a tablespoon of cider vinegar, sea salt, and three drops of tea tree oil into a basin of hot water and soak your hands or feet in it to reap the benefits. days.
2.Essential Oil of Lavender:
Because of its antibacterial characteristics, lavender essential oil may effectively treat and prevent all skin irritations, including nail fungus. To make the cure, combine equal parts tea tree and lavender essential oils, blend well, and reheat. 2 to 3 times a day, apply the solution to the nail and the afflicted region using a cotton ball. To make it more effective, do this before going to bed and cover the areas to be treated with a thick towel.
Oregano oil, obtained by the extraction and steam distillation of oregano, has been shown to be effective in the treatment of nail fungus. Apply 2 drops of this oil on the damaged nail three times a day for two to three months. If you can stick to this procedure, your nails will be normal and healthy. It isn’t instantaneous, but it is quite effective.
Olive leaves are natural antibiotics and are effective in treating nail fungus, since the olive tree is known to treat fungal infections. It has a dual function in that it kills germs and parasites in the body as well as the fungus.
5.Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has a strong antifungal impact due to its acidity, but it may also be used to exfoliate dead skin. Pour a glass of apple cider vinegar into a container filled with water and soak your hands or feet in it for 20 minutes. It’s important to dry thoroughly, even if it means using a hairdryer to eliminate all of the moisture. This therapy must be carried out on a daily basis.
Lemon is antibacterial and antifungal, making it ideal for treating yeast infections. Lemon’s citric acid aids in the prevention of infection. To do so, simply apply lemon juice straight to the afflicted area. Allow ten minutes to pass before washing with hot water. To get positive benefits, the therapy should be done every day for a month. Alternatively, you can massage the diseased region with a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. Lemon will reduce the fungal problem while olive oil softens the skin.
Baking soda has a long list of advantages, including the ability to naturally cure nail fungus. To address the problem, apply a baking soda paste to the problematic nail and let it on for a few minutes before washing and drying it. If you want to see results quickly, repeat the procedure twice a day.
Garlic is well-known for its antibacterial and antibiotic properties. It aids in the prevention of infections by assisting in the removal of bacteria and fungal diseases. To use, smash 10 garlic cloves into a paste, then pour it into a bowl of boiling water and leave it to sit for a few minutes. After that, soak your hands or feet for 15 minutes in it. Alternatively, you may combine the garlic paste with olive oil and apply it to the fungus-affected nail right away, letting it to work for 30 minutes.
The cultivation of active bacteria known as probiotics aids in the rapid treatment of yeast infections. Take plain yoghurt and apply it on the infected nail as a treatment. Allow it to dry completely before washing it with lukewarm water. Yogurt must also be consumed every day, either in the morning or in the evening, as part of the treatment.
Coconut oil includes medium-chain fatty acids that act as natural fungicides, killing the fungus that causes nail infections.
- Apply a little amount of extra virgin coconut oil on the problematic nail and gently massage it in.
- Allow for natural absorption and drying.
- Repeat this process two or three times each day until the infection is gone.
- Combine five parts coconut oil and one part oregano oil in a mixing bowl.
- Apply a small amount of the solution to the affected nail.
- Set the timer for 10 minutes. After that, rinse with lukewarm water and thoroughly dry.
- Do this for at least four weeks, twice a day.