How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus

Fungal infection of the toenail is also known as Onychomycosis.

Between 5 and 10% of adults will experience toenail fungus at some point in their lives.

Fortunately, it's very easy to treat using simple home remedies and everyday products from your kitchen or bathroom.

Toenail fungus should not be confused with ingrown toenails, which occur when the nail grows painfully into the skin.

What are the signs of toenail fungus?

A toenail with fungus is much thicker and often yellowish in colour, though it can also be brown, black, or green. As the infection weakens the nail, it will typically crack or begin to chip off in large pieces.

The skin around the toenail is not always infected, but the entire toe can become swollen or inflamed in extreme cases of fungus.

Men are more susceptible to toenail fungus than women, and doctors suspect that nail weakness may be partially hereditary. To positively diagnose toenail fungus, doctors will microscopically examine a sample of nail clippings to determine whether an infection is present.

Natural treatments for toenail fungus

For decades, doctors have prescribed conventional medications for toenail fungus. Some of these, such as nail paint with ciclopirox, contain synthetic anti-fungal agents.

But what you may not know is there are plenty of remedies, many of them natural, which also contain anti-fungal, antiseptic, or antibacterial properties.

Like conventional medications, these natural treatments can cure toenail fungus quickly and easily at home.

Before you begin

Before applying a toenail fungus remedy to your feet, it's best to push back the skin from around the infected toenail so that the product can be fully absorbed. Use a nail file or a small pair of scissors to gently scrape away any dead skin and push the cuticles back.

Next, cut back any excess nail so that the infected nail bed is as exposed as possible. Use a foot bath to clean the toe, then dry your foot well. This will help keep the infection from spreading.

While your toe is healing, you should avoid wearing tight socks or shoes and walk around barefoot whenever possible. This will ensure the infected toe is getting enough air, which will speed the healing process.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented organic apples and has a variety of medicinal applications.

Traditionally, apple cider vinegar has been used to treat inflammation, menstrual problems, stomach ailments, and joint stiffness. It's also popular as a weight loss supplement.

Apple cider vinegar can help clear up toenail fungus if it's applied directly to the affected area three times daily. To speed up the healing process, you can also try ingesting a teaspoon of the vinegar each morning so that it's fully absorbed into the bloodstream.

When choosing a vinegar, look for a product that contains "the mother," a murky brown substance that sits at the bottom of the vinegar bottle. The mother is the most nutrient-rich part of the vinegar and contains living enzymes with many powerful health benefits.


For centuries, salt and salt water have been used as natural antibiotics.

Gargling with salt water is a common way to help alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat. When applied topically, salt can also help treat bacterial infections, although it typically stings when applied to a cut or burn.

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is a particularly effective remedy for toenail fungus since it naturally removes toxins from your body. This product is available at most grocery stores (usually in a white jug or carton) and is also sold in bulk form at many dry goods stores.

To treat toenail fungus with Epsom salt, add two handfuls to a foot bath and soak your feet for 20-30 minutes each evening.





Cleveland Researchers Lead National Heart Disease Prevention Trial.

NIH awards $13 million to study diabetes drugs

CLEVELAND, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Physicians at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have been awarded $13.2 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health to help design and perform an historic nationwide study that will define the best treatment for the prevention of heart disease among patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes (PCDD) trial will study the benefits of intensified-versus-conventional control of high blood sugar and two different drug strategies to achieve control. Researchers also will test for treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol in these diabetic patients, and assess the effectiveness of several new medications to reduce the complications of diabetes. The principal investigators for the PCDD trial are Marc Thibonnier, M.D., and Saul Genuth, M.D., of the Department of Medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland and CWRU School of Medicine.

Drs. Thibonnier and Genuth will lead one of seven networks of hospitals and physicians to recruit 10,000 patients. Those patients will be treated for at least five years with free medications during the course of the trial. Adults ages 50 to 75 with Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, will be eligible for the study, provided they have not already developed cardiac disease or had a heart attack.

Diabetics are at especially high risk for developing cardiovascular complications, including heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure and poor circulation in the legs. Cardiovascular complications are now the leading causes of illness and death among the nation's 16 million diabetics.

"The current standard of care simply isn't good enough, while the incidence of Type 2 diabetes keeps rising in all age groups, including children," says Dr. Thibonnier, a professor of medicine and pharmacology and international expert in hypertension. "It's not good enough to control blood sugar alone, once high blood pressure and high cholesterol have appeared. Research shows that there also must be stricter control of blood pressure and cholesterol in diabetic patients to prevent deadly cardiovascular complications. But we don't know how strict is strict enough, or which medications offer the best control and prevention."

This landmark study aims to answer these questions and will define new strategies for preventing cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients, Dr. Thibonnier added.

Dr. Saul Genuth is nationally renowned for decades of research proving that tighter control of blood sugar in Type 1 diabetes (the disease that strikes children) could delay and prevent serious and deadly complications. The PCDD study will focus on a much wider range of cardiovascular risk factors, including obesity, smoking and physical inactivity as well as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

"There are many new medications to treat the complications of diabetes, but they are very expensive, costing the average patient upwards of $200 a month," says Dr. Genuth. "As part of this new study, patients will receive their medicines free and will be closely monitored to see if these drugs are working and to determine the most effective dosages of drugs."

Drs. Thibonnier and Genuth assembled a network of clinical sites in Ohio and Michigan that will recruit 1500 patients for the PCDD trial. The Ohio/Michigan Clinical Center Network includes University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center, Ohio State University, University Suburban Health Center, North Coast Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology, University of Cincinnati Hospitals, Cincinnati VA Medical Center, Medical College of Ohio at Toledo, and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Mich.

Recruitment for the study will begin next spring. People interested in participating in the study may contact the researchers by phone at 216-368-6129, Fax 216-368-5824, or e-mail or

COPYRIGHT 1999 PR Newswire Association LLC

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.





How aromatherapy works. - Free Online Library


Aromas hit the nose and go directly to the most primitive parts of the brain, affecting our emotions and nervous system before our higher cortex is even aware of them. Familiar smells such as morning coffee, pumpkin pie baking, grandmother's lavender-scented pillowcases--these are all comforting and reassuring. Retail stores use aroma to entice shoppers to feel comfortable and shop longer. Harsh smells of hospital disinfectants can conjure up fear. The perfume industry invests millions of dollars designing new combinations of alluring fragrances.

Many massage therapists include essential oils in their massage lotions to combine the benefits of aromatherapy and massage. Hospitals, hospices, and clinics around the world are starting to use aromas to help patients feel more relaxed, cheerful, and at ease. The essential oils of lavender, clary sage, neroli, and chamomile are relaxing, reducing agitation and stress and promoting calm. The plant oils from citrus, pine, eucalyptus, cedar, and mint promote alertness, focus, and a feeling of being refreshed.

Be aware as you shop for home cleaning products, laundry cleaning products, soaps, personal hygiene products, and air fresheners that some of these products contain natural fragrances from the essential oils of plants, while others are based on new-to-nature chemical impostors that can trigger nasty reactions.

For people who are extremely sensitive to chemical odors, chemical smells trigger headaches, depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. The medical name for this is multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). People with MCS can experience full-blown panic attacks, confusion, or deep depression when confronted with chemicals to which they are sensitive.

Whenever possible, use natural cleaners such as vinegar and baking soda, citrus oils, geranium, rose, or lavender. Be careful with essential oils of plants; even though they are natural, they are strong, and some people develop skin irritation if the pure undiluted oils are applied directly to the skin.

By Kathi J. Kemper, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P.

(Excerpted with permission from Mental Health, Naturally by Kathi J. Kemper, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P.. Copyright American Academy of Pediatrics, 2010.)

COPYRIGHT 2010 Vegetus Publications

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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