Fungus is more commonly found on your toenails but it can also be on your hands. Besides being unsightly, it is necessary to treat it to be in good health. If you have yellowish, green, or brown nails, don’t hesitate to take a look at these home remedies for fungus.
Characteristics of Nail Fungus
In medical terms it is called Onychomycosis, but the common name is “nail fungus”. It is very frequent for men especially and on the big toes. It can also appear on your hands. In this case, it affects women more.
As soon as one nail gets infected with fungus, it can spread to the other ones easily but always on the same type of limb. This means that it can be between the toes of the same foot or hand or even spread from one foot to the other or one hand to the other. It is very rare to have toenail fungus spread to your hands.
Generally, fungus is caused by agents related to the environment, like dampness and high temperatures, by wearing closed shoes for many hours a day, for example, or spending a lot of time in pools, etc. It can also affect people who are constantly in contact with water, washing dishes, cleaning houses, and adults over 60 who suffer from diabetes or circulation problems or have a week immune system.
When the fungus affects the nail, it starts to become thicker and look yellow. Sometimes they take on gray, green, brown, or black tones. According to how the infection progresses, it will invade more areas of the nail, which will peal and may even fall off. The skin underneath will be red, swollen, and itchy.
In the unusual case of fingernail fungus, these become yellow or brown, cracked, brittle, and weak. They aren’t strong enough to grow and they may even fall off, with the same thing happening to the skin that happens with toenail fungus.
Recommendations for Avoiding the Spread of Nail Fungus
These are tips for toenail fungus:
- Don’t wear shoes that are too tight or made of synthetic materials. Fungus loves moist, dark, and poorly ventilated environments because that is where it can multiply. During the winter, be careful not to spend too much time with wet or damp socks on. Prohibited material is any kind that doesn’t let your skin “breath”, like plastic for example. We suggest leather shoes and if possible ones that have areas (especially in the toes) that let your foot breath.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas like gym bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and pools. After you do this, wash and dry your feet very well before putting on your shoes.
- Don’t use other people’s nail clippers in a beauty salon or among your family, for example. Always bring your own and don’t share it with anyone else. If you have fungus on one of your toenails, don’t use the same tool to cut the rest of your toenails. You won’t transfer it by doing this. Cut your nails in a straight line on a regular basis.
- Wear 100% cotton socks that absorb sweat in your feet. If they get wet from rain for example, change them as soon as possible and put foot powder on them.
If you have fingernail fungus:
- Use waterproof gloves to wash dishes, clothing, or floors. Basically, wear them with anything that requires contact with water.
- Don’t use other people’s nail file or clippers. Always bring your own and avoid using the one for the infected nail with the other healthy ones.
- Don’t share towels or washcloths with other people to avoid passing it on. Also, don’t bite your fingernails.
Home Remedies for Fingernail Fungus
- Mix a teaspoon of olive oil with tea tree oil and apply it directly to the nail every other day for 20 days.
- Put your nail in lemon juice or even put the lemon directly on the nail.
- Pour a cup of apple cider vinegar in a bowl with water. Soak your feet for 20 minutes and then dry them well. You can use a hair dryer at medium heat so that it absorbs all the moisture that may remain underneath your nails.
- Mix a teaspoon of olive oil with three drops of essential oregano oil and apply it everyday on the affected nail for three weeks straight.
- Put a finely minced clove of garlic in transparent nail polish, 3 drops of white iodine, and 7 lemon drops. Let sit for a week and then apply a layer of it to the nail that has the fungus for two weeks. Remove it with nail polish remover and a cotton ball.
- Mix half a glass of castor oil with seven drops of lemon juice and put your feet in the bowl. Apply it for six weeks straight. Wash and dry your feet well.
- Boil five garlic cloves in a cup of water. Pour the mixture in a bowl and when it is warm, put your feet in it with your toenails underwater. Leave them in for at least 15 minutes and then dry them well. Repeat this procedure for four weeks.
- Mix baking soda with water until it forms a paste. With a cotton ball, put it on the nail and inside of it if you can (so that it is in contact with your skin). Let sit for a few minutes and then rinse it off and dry it well.
- Boil two cups of water with 3 tablespoons of thyme for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let it chill. Put the mixture on your nails that have fungus by soaking a cotton ball in it.
Images courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski, Randen Peterson, Rhonda, adiran 8_8, Toshiyuki IMAI