A nail fungal infection is one of the most common diseases of the nails. This is also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium.
Did you know that fungus is actually present on the body? Which may overgrow and cause problems.
Both your fingernails and toenails are susceptible to infection which usually appears as a discoloration of the nail with crumbling edges.
This is most common in toenails. This condition causes fungus to appear as a white or yellow discoloration under the tip of your toenail.
As the fungal infection deepens underneath your toenails, it may cause a darker discoloration with the crumbled edges.
There are times where having toenail fungus can be irritating and annoying due to the thickening of the toenails.
A fungal infection usually occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in the nail.
Fungi thrives in moist and warm environments, which are the type of environments that causes them to spread easily.
This same fungi that causes athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm can cause toenail infections.
Fungal infections like toenail fungus can be contagious especially when you come in contact or borrow socks or shoes from a person with a fungal infection.
As previously mentioned, fungal infections commonly affect the toenails rather than the fingernails because your toes are frequently confined in closed spaces like shoes, where it is warm and moist.
There several causes for toenail fungus, yet there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one.
You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you are over the age of 60, have diabetes, nail injury, skin damage around the nail, prolonged moist fingers or toes, weakened immune system, frequently wear closed shoes, or artificial nails.
Believe it or not, fungal nail infections usually occur more in men than in women. Older adults have a high chance of getting fungal nail infections because of poorer circulation and the thickening of nails due to aging.
The types of fungal nail infections that can cause toenail fungus include:
Distal Subungual Infection
This is the most common type of fungal nail infection which can develop in both toenails and fingernails.
When you have this type of infection, the outer edge of the nail appears to be jagged with white or yellow streaks across the nail. This spreads the nail bed and under the nail.
White Superficial Infection
This usually affects the toenails. This type of fungal nail infection attacks the top layers of the nail, creating white spots on the nail.
Unfortunately, this can also spread and cover the entire nail, which can become rough, soft, and crumbly.
Proximal Subungual Infection
This type is a rare occurrence but both can both affect the fingernails and toenails. This on the other hand produces yellow spots at the base of the nail.
This is a common occurrence for people with compromised immune systems or from a minor injury of the nail.
Toenail fungus or fungal nail infections are treatable at home through using natural remedies. These natural remedies for toenail fungus include:
Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salts have been traditionally used for treating certain conditions such as toenail fungus.
Using an Epsom salt bath for your feet includes benefits such as: exfoliation, pain relief, and most especially treating fungal infections.
This has been used to treat wounds and infections. Do this by soaking your feet in an epsom salt bath twice a day for about 20 minutes.
Baking soda works to soak up moisture that causes toenail fungus. Based on research, baking soda was found to prevent fungal growth in 75 percent of the specimens tested.
You can use baking soda as a paste or powder. If you want to make a paste out of it, just simply mix an okay amount of baking soda with minimal water, then directly apply it on the foot.
Allow the paste to stay on the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse and dry. You can also use it as a powder just by sprinkling some onto the foot or inside your shoes or socks. This will work by soaking up or absorbing moisture from the foot.
This popular kitchen ingredient may help treat toenail fungus. A study found that garlic extract contains strong antifungal properties against fungi which causes fungal nail infections.
You can use garlic as a topical treatment by chopping cloves of garlic then just leave it on the affected nail for half an hour.
Only use raw garlic treatment as rarely as possible because it can cause chemical burns.
This was found to contain antifungal properties. This can be used as a paste or a bath soak.
If you want to use it as a paste, start by dissolving cornmeal in warm water to create a paste.
Apply the paste directly on the affected toenail and let it sit for an hour. As a soak, just add more warm water with cornmeal and let it soak for an hour.
You may repeat these remedies every week for better results.
Black tea contains tannic acid which helps dry out the feet or absorb moisture and kill bacteria.
Simply boil two quarts of water with 5 to 6 tea bags. Allow the tea to cool down, then soak your feet for half an hour.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known to contain several properties beneficial for treating a variety of conditions, one of them is, fungal infections.
Try mixing two parts apple cider vinegar with one part warm water, then soak the feet for 20 minutes daily.
Frequent Changing Of Socks And Shoes
Repeating or not washing your shoes and socks are both the number one causes for fungus to thrive.
Both socks and shoes shall be cleaned with hot water to eliminate the growth of fungi and yeast.
In addition to that, it is important to remember that wearing shoes or socks create moisture, that’s why you should still allow your feet to breathe by taking your shoes and socks off.
Thus, it is best to wear breathable footwear and antimicrobial socks to prevent fungal growth.