13 Ways to Treat Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is a condition where fungus gets under your nail bed and causes your nails to grow in yellow and thick. Nail fungus is more common than you think, particularly toenail fungus which millions of Americans have. There are a variety of methods to treat nail fungus. Home remedies tend to be the safer route, but they may not be as effective as some of the more aggressive treatments.
Still, before resorting to some of the more aggressive treatments you may want to give some of these natural home remedies a try. If you nail fungus is severe, these home remedies may not work for you and you may need to seek a more aggressive treatment.
Treating nail fungus is a two part process. You need to treat the infection and you also need to do what you can to prevent the infection from spreading. Wear shoes that allow your feet to breath. When possible wear scandals, socks or go barefoot. Moisture is your enemy.
Some people are more prone to nail infections that others. People with poor circulation, diabetes or people with immune dysfunctions tend to fall victim to nail fungus.
Here are all the current known remedies to treat nail fungus. If you know someone who can benefit from this article, please share.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural anti-fungal compound. It is one of the strongest and most effective natural remedies to treat nail fungus. You will need to apply tea tree oil to the affected area 2-3 times a day for 12 months. Be patient and be persistent, do not miss a single treatment.
Vicks Vapor Rub
Not only does Vick's Vapor Rub work great as a decongestant, but it's also a powerful fungal killer. You can apply it to your nails twice daily. This method seems to work better for the toes and may leave your feet with a tingling sensation for an hour or so after applying. Don't worry, this is normal.
Apple Cider Vinegar Bath
Apple cider is cheap and very effective at killing fungus. Add 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and soak your feet for 30 -60 minutes a day. The vinegar will alter the PH balance under you nail bed which will help kill the fungus.
Oil treatments work great because they can penetrate the nail bed, unlike any water based topological treatments. Lavender oil is effective and smells great which is a big advantage over some of the other natural treatments on this list.
Much like vinegar, lemon juice will change the PH under your nail bed, upsetting the fungus. Lemon juice is also a treatment that smells great. To increase the effectiveness of lemon juice treatment, try adding some tea tree or lavender oil to the mixture.
Garlic is great bacteria and fungal treatment. The garlic however needs a vessel to enter your nail bed. Olive oil is a great vessel for the garlic, just smash some garlic into some olive oil and apply twice daily to your nails.
Garlic is effective, but it's usually not used as much as some other treatments on this list because of the strong garlic smell. However, if you've tried other treatments on this list with poor results, give garlic a try.
Listerine works great for killing bacteria and fungus. It can be more expensive that some of the other treatment baths, but people have reported great success using Listerine baths.
Soak your feet in a mixture of Listerine and epsom salt for 30-60 minutes daily.
Oil of Oregano
Oregano oil is another natural substance that acts as an anti-fungal treatment. Apply the oil twice daily to your nails.
Baking Soda with Peroxide Bath
Baking soda and peroxide baths are another soaking treatment option. Peroxide is a powerful agent that kills fungus. When using a soaking treatment, you should also add an oil treatment.
Much like tea tree oil, orange oil is very effective in eliminating fungal infections. Because it is oil based, it is able to penetrate the nail bed to get to the root of the problem. Orange oil is a very strong compound that may cause some irritation, but if you can put up with the slight discomfort, this is a great home remedy for nail fungus.
Laser treatment is a relatively new nail fungus treatment that is showing lots of promise. Laser nail treatment works by heating up the nail bed which instantly kills the fungal colonies.
Although laser treatment is showing great promise, it is still pretty expensive and is generally not covered by insurance. What makes laser treatment so appealing is it only needs to be done once or twice, after that you're done.
Hopefully in time, there will be a home laser treatment unit available at an affordable price.
Jublia is a new drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat nail fungus. This is a big deal and a potential game changer since it is the only topological treatment that has received approval. Jublia should be covered under most insurance plans and is worth talking to your doctor about.
Lamisil is an oral treatment that is very effective in treating severe nail fungus. When taking Lamisil, you will need to have your blood checked regularly to make sure it is not damaging your liver.
Lamisil should be used if home remedies fail and it is something you will want to talk to your doctor about as it does come with a small chance of health risks.
When using home remedies, combining treatments can be even more effective. Using a type of soaking bath and also an oil compound is a one-two punch to the nail fungus. Remember, your nails take a long time to grow out. Fingernails need at least six months and toenails require a twelve month treatment.
Because the home treatments are so long, and require a daily routine, some people prefer to go with lasers or prescription based treatments. If you know of any other natural treatments for nail fungus, please post them in our comments below.