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Toe Fungus Cure | Toenail & Fingernail Fungi Growth Remedies & Prevention

Author C. Sanders. Published on June 4, 2011 - 1:34 am (5676 views — 2005 words)

What exactly is a toe fungus?
The types of fungus that affect both toenails and fingernails are known as Paranoychia and Onychomycosis. In the early stages, the fungus may cause little or no discomfort, however it is very important to seek medical treatment immediately before this problem persists. Earlier on symptoms include the nail turning black or greatly discolored, nails thickening, and may even begin to crumble. There are many at-home remedies for this fungus, but it is reccommended to seek professional medical advice before this minor issue becomes a serious problem. It is advised to use a combination of both medical treatment and at-home treatment such as applying tea tree oil to the affected areas.

What causes nail fungus?
Toenail fungus is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. These dermatophytes are harmful because as they continue to grow in size and numbers, they feast on the keratin that makes up the surface of the nail. The most common affected toes and fingers for the infection are the "big toe/finger" and the "little toe/finger".

The big toe and little toe are definitely the most susceptible to paronychia, which is an infection of the soft areas around the nail, or lunula (cuticle).

The lack of personal hygiene is another contributing factor to the growth of fungus, such as wearing shoes or socks for extended periods of time. This creates the perfect breeding ground for fungal growth (a moist and warm habitat).

Other factors include walking barefoot in public pools, baths, gyms, etc. Always dry your feet thoroughly after bathing, swimming, showering, etc.

The most popular home remedies for this condition involve the use of bleach and hydrogen peroxide. The use of bleach for toenail fungus is also very popular as an overall foot fungus remedy. The use of baking soda for toenail fungus, fingernail fungus, and skin fungus is also very popular and there are plenty of nail fungus baking soda remedies available. Even the best home remedies for toenail fungus treatment are not a guarentee. If you cannot seek medical attention then it would be best to try nail fungus treatment with over the counter nail fungus medications and applications.

Home Nail Fungus Treatments

Toe Nail Fungus Remedy using Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a potent natural antiseptic and fungicide that will help fight your fungus. Apply undiluted tea tree oil with olive oil to the affected toe nail. Alternatively you can put few drops of tea tree oil on toenails and rub it thoroughly every day. Onychomycosis treatment with tea tree oil is often recommended for mild to moderate cases of Onychomycosis. It is recommended that you mix equal quantities of olive oil, thyme oil, and tea tree oil and apply this blend of oil to the affected nail. Allow it to remain on for 10 -15 minutes and then use a toothbrush to gently scrub the affected nail. This ensures that the oil covers the nail completely and also gets under the nails. Scrubbing the affected nail gently also helps to slough off the uppermost layer of the nail which generally contains most of the fungus. In order to get rid of toenail fungus completely, you will need to continue using tea tree oil for a few weeks after the infection has cleared. This is because there may still be remnants of the fungus which may be embedded deep within the nail or the nail bed. In order to make a definite diagnosis of Onychomycosis, the doctor or podiatrist may recommend a potassium hydroxide smear test. The doctor may also suggest creams containing terbinafine if the infection is severe.

Using Listerine Mouthwash

Soak your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toe nails looking healthy. Mouthwash contains several compounds and alcohols like salicylate thymol and euchalyptol which combine to form a strong toenail fungus treatment. Toenail fungus home remedies generally require a mixture of mouthwash and a strong natural acid like apple cider vinegar or undiluted lemon juice. This is done to increase the effectiveness of the treatment as acid retards the growth of fungus and prevents it from spreading. You can pour a sufficient amount of this mouthwash and an equal amount of vinegar into a tub and soak your feet in it for 20 minutes or so. This needs to be done at least once a day and is an effective home remedy for toenail fungus. However, large amounts of vinegar and mouthwash are necessary and so you can just mix small amounts of the liquid and paint your nails with it. If the infection has already spread, you can soak a thick wad of cotton in this liquid and place it over the affected toe. You should then wrap it up with a small bandage to keep the cotton wad in place. Allow this to remain on for about 45 minutes and then scrub your toe gently with a small amount of the solution. You would need to do this on a daily basis to see long lasting results. In most cases, it takes about a week to experience a noticeable improvement and with continued usage, your nails will soon be healthy and free of infection. When you treat toenail fungus, it is important to keep in mind that after any and all toenail fungus treatments, it is essential that the affected toe is dried thoroughly as excessive moisture would cause the infection to spread. This is a very effective paronychia treatment as it helps to prevent the formation of pus which is very common with this type of nail infection.

Curing Toe Nail Fungus using Warm Water and Natural Apple Cider Vinegar
Soak your toenails for 15 - 20 minutes in basin full of warm water and natural apple cider vinegar mixed in equal proportion. When done, dry your toenails thoroughly. Use a hair dryer on warm setting to absorb all the moisture in and around the toes. Apple cider vinegar is a mild acid and prevents toenail fungus from spreading. It is very effective as a complementary treatment but it may not be as effective as the main method of treatment. Paronychia often causes scaling and the fungus then thrives under the layers of dead skin. Exfoliation is therefore an extremely important aspect of Paronychia treatment. When exfoliating the affected area, make sure that you do not apply excessive pressure as this would result in abrasions and pain. You can make your own anti-fungal exfoliating scrub by mixing coarsely ground rice flour with a few spoons of apple cider vinegar. Apply this paste over the affected nail and the surrounding area and then gently rub it into the nail and skin. You can use a cotton swab to ensure that your entire nail is well scrubbed. If your skin is cut or sore, avoid massaging your skin and instead concentrate only on your toenail. This exfoliating scrub will help to get rid of dead skin and nail cells and will also help to keep your skin soft and prevent cracking. You can rinse your feet well and then dry them with a soft towel. Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and olive oil and massage this into your feet. The olive oil will help to soften your skin while the lemon juice will help to control the fungal infection.

Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil
Put equal amount of tea tree oil and lavender oil on a cotton ball or swab. Dab it under the top edge of the toe nail and surrounding area 2 or 3 times a day. Tea tree oil is natural antibiotic and lavender will help fight the infection and prevent skin irritation, as it has antiseptic properties. This combination of oils is often used to treat paronychia and onychomycosis as they are both very potent and can help to treat even severe cases. It is best to warm these oils before using them as this increases the amount of oil that is absorbed by the skin. Tea tree oil and lavender oil are essential oils and contain several volatile compounds. It is therefore, important to dilute them in a carrier oil such as olive oil before you apply them to your skin. You can make your own anti fungal oil by mixing equal amounts of tea tree oil, lavender oil, and a carrier oil. Before you go to sleep, make sure that you apply this oil to your affected toenails. You can also put on a pair of thick woolen socks as this will help to trap your body heat and this in turn will increase the effectiveness of this remedy. It is important to use this treatment on a daily basis, particularly if you have neglected this problem for a while and allowed it to worsen.

Using Oregano and Olive Oil
Blend 2 drops of Oregano essential oil with a tsp of olive oil. Apply this mixture on the affected area daily for NOT more than three weeks. Oregano essential oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, antiparasitical, antiviral, analgesic and antifungal properties

AHA Creams
Lather AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) creams on to your feet before going to bed. This will flush the rough scaly skin from your feet that is more prone to growing fungus.

Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus
If you've tried most conventional or traditional methods of treatment and found them to be ineffective, you would then still be seeking methods on how to get rid of toenail fungus. Of all the so called "toenail fungus cures", laser treatment is what seems to be the most promising. Toenail fungus laser treatment is the latest development in the realm of toenail fungus removal and most studies indicate that this is a viable option for those wishing to get rid of toenail fungus infections. Laser treatment for toenail fungus involves the use of a laser light to destroy the fungus in the nail bed itself. One of the types of laser treatment that is being used is the Noveon-type laser, which has been found to be quite effective as a cure for toenail fungus. This kind of laser treatment has already been used in the past as treatment for some types of cataract surgery and has been found to be very effective and painless. The PinPointe FootLaser system is another method of laser treatment for toenail fungus, but there is still inadequate info about these forms of treatment. The Pinpointe laser treatment method does have certain drawbacks that stem from its method of removal itself, as is uses high UV radiation to destroy the toenail fungus. The implications from this treatment are that despite a potentially effective cure for toenail fungus the Pinpointe toenail fungus laser treatment could also cause burns to surrounding tissue. The advantages of laser toenail fungus removal treatments in general are that they are swift and effective, with each treatment session just taking around 20 minutes, with around 3 sessions in all.

Remedies for Toe Nail Fungus
Home remedies for nail fungus may not offer any sure cures for toenail fungus, but they do remain popular because of the convenience they offer and mainly because of the high costs of health care. While you may find plenty of toenail fungus home remedies blogs that promise quick solutions and effective cures most of them are not very honest. Home remedies for discolored toenails and fungal infections can have varied effects among different individuals and in most cases are ineffective. Even the best treatments would not work instantly and so there would be no way of knowing the effectiveness of the treatment for a while. If the remedies you use do prove to be ineffective which they generally do, you would have wasted a great deal of time, enabling the infection to grow even stronger. Even plausible home remedies for toenail fungus like bleach or vinegar for toenail fungus and toenail fungus vicks remedies are ineffective in most cases however because it's impossible for most of these solutions to get to the fungus under toenails.