Can Nail Fungi Cause Pain? Find Out How You Can Fight It

16 November, 2018

Nail fungi is not usually painful unless the infection has advanced to a serious degree, in such cases you must seek medical attention.

Fungus on the nails is a problem of great concern. Although it is not always serious or noticeable, because the symptoms gradually appear, many people prefer to treat it as soon as possible. At the beginning, the nail will go through a change in color and texture. Afterwards, when the infection advances, the nail becomes weaker, which in turn has the nail fall off.

Can nail fungus cause pain? Patients with this condition usually ask themselves this question because normally at the beginning there is no pain. However, when you don’t treat it and it gets worse. It is very likely that you experience an increase in sensitivity around the affected area, which causes pain and other symptoms.

In this article, you can take a look at the main causes of nail fungi and several natural remedies to help fight it effectively.

Why do you get fungi on your nails?

In medical terms, nail fungi are known as onychomycosis. It is an infection that is caused when dermatophytes and yeasts multiply excessively, either on the nails of the hands or feet.

These microorganisms can grow more easily in humid and warm environments.  Just like those that are on some shoes. In addition, fungi may indicate a weakening of the immune system, since there are not enough defenses to stop them.

Risk factors

  • Contact with humid and warm environments in public spaces such as swimming pools, gyms or showers.
  • Not drying your feet carefully after showering.
  • Using shoes or socks whose manufacturing material does not allow proper foot perspiration.
  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Nail deformities.

Do nail fungi cause pain?

Nail fungi

Many people have doubts regarding the symptoms of onychomycosis. Although changes in the nails are obvious symptoms, many people still doubt there’s an infection due to the absence of pain.

In order to clarify this doubt, it should be noted that fungi do not always cause pain in the affected area. The problem advances progressively and causes pain when the infection becomes severe.

Fungal symptoms may include:

  • Changes in nail color
  • Nails that swell or deform
  • Nail breakage or total loss of a nail
  • Pain and itching on the skin surrounding the nail

Home remedies to fight against nail fungi

If the fungal infection is severe, it is best to seek medical attention from a doctor. If it is in its initial stages, applying some homemade remedies may be enough to fight against it.

Tea tree essential oil

Tea tree essential oil

This powerful antimicrobial and antifungal oil is one of the best solutions to stop the growth of fungi that affects nails.

How do you use it?

  • Put some oil onto a cotton pad and rub it over the affected nail.
  • Use it twice a day, until your nail is completely cured.

Lemon juice

Due to containing organic acids and essential oils, lemon juice has the ability to change the environment that microorganisms need in order to multiply.

How do you use it?

  • Rub half a lemon on the affected nail and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Rinse and repeat the application up to 3 times a day.


The sulfurous compounds of onion have an anti-fungal action that can control the multiplication of fungi in order to improve the appearance of the affected nail.

How do you use it?

  • Cut a piece of onion and place it on your nail by using a bandage.
  • Leave it overnight.
  • Repeat the treatment for at least 2 weeks.

Oregano essential oil

Oregano essential oil is known for its ability to improve respiratory health, and it’s another useful ingredient to fight against this type of infection.

How do you use it?

  • Apply a little oregano essential oil on the affected nails and let it work without rinsing.
  • Use it twice a day to get the best results.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

This ingredient contains organic acids that eliminate fungi. Applying it directly to the affected area alters the conditions that the fungi need to grow, facilitating the control of the infection.

How do you use it?

  • Pour some apple cider vinegar on the affected nails.
  • Another option is to add the vinegar in a bowl with warm water and submerge the feet or hands for 20 minutes.
  • Continues applying until your nail is healed.

Are you worried about having nail fungus? Identify the symptoms and try to treat your nails before they get any worse.

  • Sulaiman, E., Purwanto, B., Lasminingrum, L., Dewi, Y. A., & Mahdiani, S. (2015). Potency of Vinegar Therapy in Otomycosis Patients. Journal of Medicine and Health Potency of Vinegar Therapy.
  • Chao, S. C., Young, D. G., & Oberg, C. J. (2000). Screening for inhibitory activity of essential oils on selected bacteria, fungi and viruses. Journal of Essential Oil Research.
  • Larson, D., & Jacob, S. E. (2012). Tea tree oil. Dermatitis.