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
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
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
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.