Is it Possible to Eliminate Nail Fungus with Natural Remedies?
Is it possible to eliminate nail fungus naturally?
Nail fungus is unsightly and very annoying. Therefore, it’s necessary to prevent this type of fungus by practicing good lifestyle habits, among which hygiene measures and personal care play a key role. For example, drying your feet very well after bathing is a simple habit that contributes greatly to the prevention of foot infections.
The appearance of nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a contagious infection of the nail surface. It usually doesn’t cause any pain, but the nails may have an abnormal texture, thickness, and color. Thus, the nails take on a yellowish or whitish color. They also become thicker and more brittle than normal. This condition can occur in both the toenails and fingernails.
Although nail fungus isn’t dangerous, fungi do cause a lot of discomfort and can even affect the self-esteem of the person, for aesthetic reasons. While it’s true that the best remedy is always prevention, once the infection occurs, it’s a good idea to know what can be done and at what point it’s advisable to consult a doctor.
Natural remedies to eliminate nail fungus
Nail fungus is a problem that should not be treated with natural remedies in the first instance, as this can be counterproductive. This is especially the case when it causes pain, thickening, and deformity of the nails.
When the infection is mild and does not cause discomfort, medical treatment is usually not necessary. However, when it’s painful and causes other symptoms, it’s necessary to go to the doctor for a checkup, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment.
In addition to prescribing a specific treatment, it’s possible that the professional may authorize the use of some natural remedy as a compliment. However, we would like to emphasize the importance of maintaining good hygiene even above the application of the remedy.
The following natural remedies are some of the most well-known options. However, this does not mean that they are 100% effective or infallible.
Important note: If you have a skin disorder, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist before applying any new remedy to eliminate nail fungus. This is especially true if they include mixtures with very abrasive substances.
1. Tea tree oil for nail fungus
Despite the current lack of scientific evidence of good results on the infected nail, this remedy isn’t dangerous to try. As long as you don’t ingest it and it doesn’t get into any open wounds, its antibacterial use seems to be good for alleviating problems such as acne or excess dandruff, as pointed out by Mayo Clinic experts.
- To apply it, you must first wash your feet before applying the oil. To do this, keep them in warm water for 20 minutes. Dry them well, then cut and file the nail to remove the damaged part.
- Next, soak a sterile cotton ball soaked in tea tree oil and apply it to the nail bed and around the edges of the nail.
- Then, place a clean gauze pad over the soaked cotton ball. This keeps the oil in contact with the affected nail. You should apply this treatment for at least one hour and repeat the process twice a day.
- Continue this treatment until the fungus has disappeared.
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2. Oregano oil to eliminate nail fungus
Because of its thymol content, oregano oil is said to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. For this reason, it has often been considered to be a good option for treating foot fungus.
To use it, you should simply rub a few drops of oregano oil on the affected nail two or three times a day. This is a strong product, which is why it’s advisable to consult a doctor before applying it, especially if you suffer from a skin disorder (dermatitis, psoriasis, etc.).
Many people believe that soaking their feet in vinegar can help eliminate nail fungus. However, a study published in 2015 indicates that the use of vinegar has not been shown to have any effect in cases of onychomycosis. Therefore, it does not endorse the antibacterial ability of vinegar.
Nevertheless, if you’re still interested in preparing this remedy, here’s how to do it:
- To prepare it, one part vinegar and two parts water would be mixed.
- Your feet should be immersed in the mixture for a few minutes a day.
In case of irritation, you should consult a specialist, as it could be due to an allergic reaction.
4. Pau d’Arco infusion to eliminate nail fungus
This is a remedy that many have been exploring and discovering. To use it, prepare an infusion with a Pau d’Arco tea bag and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Then, apply the wet tea bag directly to the affected nail. Leave to act for a few minutes and then dry your feet well with a towel.
We think you may be interested in reading this, too: Toenail Fungus Infection: 7 Facts You Should Know
What to keep in mind to eliminate nail fungus
If your doctor authorizes it, it’s possible to resort to the above-mentioned remedies as part of your care routine to eliminate nail fungus. However, you should remember that in some cases, medical treatment may be necessary, but in others, medical treatment and additional remedies may not. Everything will depend on the cause and severity of the problem.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Acevedo, Diofanor, Navarro, Mario, & Monroy, Luis. (2013). Composición Química del Aceite Escencial de Hojas de Orégano (Origanum vulgare). Información tecnológica, 24(4), 43-48. https://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-07642013000400005
- Fungal nail infections. (2014, September 30)
- Marchese, A., Orhan, I. E., Daglia, M., Barbieri, R., Di Lorenzo, A., Nabavi, S. F., … Nabavi, S. M. (2016, November 1). Antibacterial and antifungal activities of thymol: A brief review of the literature [Abstract]. Food Chemistry, 210: 402-414
- Woods-Panzaru, S., Nelson, D., McCollum, G., Ballard, L. M., Millar, B. C., Maeda, Y., … Moore, J. E. (2009, January). An examination of antibacterial and antifungal properties of constituents described in traditional Ulster cures and remedies. Ulster Medical Journal, 78(1), 13-15