When you lead a transient lifestyle, it can be easier for you to catch illnesses and develop infections that are easily curable for others. Among the infections that you will probably deal with in your lifetime is toenail fungus. Toenail fungus can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful. If you are suffering from a fungal infection in your toes, learn more about toenail fungus and how you can deal with it below.
How Does One Get Toenail Fungus?
The type of fungus that affects your nails and other parts of your body thrives in dark, warm, and moist environments. Fungi that have been left by others in places such as locker rooms, swimming pools, and public showers can easily be transferred to you when you walk barefoot across these surfaces. You can also get toenail fungus by wearing tight shoes that trap moisture in or by sharing nail care products with someone who has a fungal infection and who hasn’t sterilized their tools.
What Can I Do About My Toenail Fungus?
You can either purchase a toenail fungus medication from the drugstore (which is mainly preventative and has a tendency not to work once the infection has reached its later stages) or you could try using natural remedies to deal with the fungus.
Here are some natural remedies that you can try out on your toes:
- Tea tree oil is a powerful oil known for its ability to kill fungus and other bacteria. You can apply a little bit of it to the infected nail daily until the infection goes away. Be careful, however, tea tree oil is strong and shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin. If you’re worried that you may accidentally get some of it on your skin while you are applying it to your nails, mix it with some olive oil beforehand to dilute it.
- Coconut oil works to get rid of the fungus by destroying the wall that protects the fungus from harm. Unlike the oil mentioned above, coconut oil is not harmful if applied to the skin and it is actually used by some as a moisturizer. Use the oil daily on your infected toenail and wash off at least 15-minutes after you apply it.
- Mix mouthwash and vinegar. It may seem unusual but both of the liquids contain chemicals that have antifungal properties. Make a mix that is half mouthwash and half vinegar and place your toes in the mix for about an hour to reap the benefits.
- Urea paste helps dissolve the part of the nail that is infected. However, this will only work if the nail is lifted or is separate from the healthy part of the nail. Also, you will have to use antifungal medication after you have dissolved the nail to prevent it from getting infected again.
- Borax and baking soda work hand in hand to get rid of the fungus and to prevent it from growing back. If you choose to use these two powders, mix them and then add water to create a paste for your toenails. Use the paste at least twice a day until the fungus has disappeared and then keep using it for a couple of weeks afterward to keep the fungal infection from returning.
There will be some fungal infections that will not be curable by medications or natural methods if it has gone too far. If your nail is completely infected or if you are having severe pain because of the fungal infection, you need to visit a doctor to get the medication for the toenail or to have it removed.