Try apple cider vinegar and baking soda for toenail fungus treatment by reading this in-depth article. Keep reading to know more remedies.
Toenail fungus or Onychomycosis is a common affliction that causes thickened, brittle, crumbly, or ragged nails. The infection can enter through cracks in your nails or cuts in your skin. The fungus grows when the toes are moist and damp and causes a white, brown, or yellow discoloration of the nails. It makes the nail thicker, warped, and painful. Sometimes, it can become a chronic problem, and a foul odor may accompany the condition
It appears first as a white dot under the nail, then spreads and may even cause the nail to get detached from the nail bed. A contagious infection, if left untreated, can spread to other toenails, skin, or fingernails. If you have diabetes, the condition may eventually lead to foot ulcers. Hence, you must treat it early.
Causes and Risk Factors
Older people, especially men, are more susceptible to this condition. It also affects smokers, those with diabetes, those with a weak immune system, and those with a family history of the condition.
People on immunosuppressant drugs and people who are battling cancer or AIDS are also at risk. It can also affect people who spend a lot of time in water and someone with a toenail injury. Athletes whose feet are encased in close-fitting, sweaty shoes for long hours are more prone to developing this condition. If you already suffer from an athlete’s foot, then it is possible that you may develop toenail fungus.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking soda for Toenail Fungus
Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal properties and contains acetic acid, which helps treat the discoloration of toenails afflicted by the fungus. Mix vinegar and warm water in a basin in a 2:1 ratio and let your feet soak in it for 20 minutes daily. This helps kill the fungus, and you can follow it with a baking soda soak.
Baking soda stops the growth of fungus because of its alkaline nature. Add a tablespoon of banking soda in water and use it as a foot soak. Otherwise, make a thick paste of 1 part water and 2 parts baking soda and apply it on the afflicted nail. Baking soda also helps remove the bad odor of the affected nail. Leave it on for 20 minutes, and then wash off with water. Pat your foot dry after washing it. Repeat it 2 or 3 times a day till it shows results.
Medical Treatment and Preventive Measures
Medical treatment consists of the topical application of anti-fungal creams, medicated nail polish, oral anti-fungal medicines, and surgical nail removal. The oral medication can sometimes cause stomach aches, dizziness, and skin problems. There is a strong chance for the infection to keep recurring. Hence, prevention is better than cure.
Preventive measures include:
- Keeping toenails dry, clean, and clipped short.
- While trimming nails, avoid cutting the corners of the nails too deeply.
- Avoid wearing tight shoes and wear shoes made of breathable material.
- Putting baking soda inside socks to absorb excess moisture caused by sweating helps to prevent fungal growth.
- Avoid walking barefoot in communal areas like locker rooms and swimming pool shower rooms, and get your nails manicured at certified clean salons.
Other Home Remedies
1. Tea tree oil
Mix the oil with a carrier oil and apply it directly on the nail using a cotton swab twice a day. The oil has anti-fungal properties which help treat the condition.
2. Vicks Vapor Rub
The ingredients camphor and eucalyptus oil in Vicks may help treat the condition effectively, as shown in some clinical studies. Apply the ointment twice a day on the affected toenail.
Garlic has anti-fungal properties, which make it effective in treating this condition. Apply crushed garlic on the affected nail for 30 minutes daily or supplement with garlic capsules taken internally in the prescribed dosage.
4. Listerine Mouth Wash
Pour the mouthwash into a wide bowl and soak your toenails in it for a few minutes. Mouthwash has anti-fungal properties that help treat toenail fungus.
5. Ozonized Oils
Apply ozonized oils like sunflower or olive oil on the affected nail twice a day for a few months till you find improvement.
6. Eating a Healthy Diet
Consuming foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, oily fish, yogurt, iron, and protein helps keep your nails healthy.
Apple cider vinegar and baking soda for toenail fungus along with the other remedies given in this article. If the condition is severe and if it pains, consult your doctor.