People who don’t take care of the minor aspects of their body may end up getting different types of problems such as nail fungus, a condition which badly impacts your nails. Although nail fungus can turn out to be really bad, it is treatable and one can effectively remove it from various home treatments. In case home treatments don’t work well, there are medical procedures that can help remove it.
What is Nail Fungus?
Nail fungus is a condition where part of the nail gets infected due to the growth of fungus on this spot. At the initial stages, it may only discolor the nail. However, if you don’t act on time, nail fungus may cause the nail to thicken and crumble. This condition is extremely painful and may also lead to bleeding of the nail. The condition may affect several nails at once or stick around one nail only. In terms of medicine, it is known as Onychomycosis.
Causes of Nail Fungus
Before moving on to cure, it is important to evaluate the following reasons for the growth of nail fungus.
Overgrowth of Fungus
Although the fungus is present on the human body at all times, its overgrowth is what becomes a serious problem. This could happen when your nails have been in warm and moist environments. If your hands or feet have been dirty for long, it may also become a reason why the fungus is growing. Since shoes provide a high moist and warm environment, the chances of nail fungus impacting your body are more related to the toenails rather than fingernails.
Transmit from Person to Person
Studies have shown that fungus that is present inside our bodies may also result in the creation of excessive nail fungus. These studies also conclude that nail fungus is transmittable from one person to another. Therefore, if a person is having any kind of fungal infection, you may contract it from him. To avoid this from happening, we recommend washing your hands and feet thoroughly after meeting people, particularly those that have different types of fungal infections.
One of the main reasons why nail fungus is quite common in women is because they get their manicures done. Although manicures are a safe procedure, many salons do not have professional and up-to-mark standards for clean-up of the equipment. Emery boards and other tools may become a source of transmission of fungus if they have not been sanitized and cleaned properly.
Nail fungus particularly attacks those that are older. This is mainly because as a person grows, the nails have a weakened structure and become brittle too. Being dry, there can be different types of cracks in the nails. This becomes the way for fungus to enter the nail system and grow over there. Those that have a weakened immune system may also suffer from different kinds of nail fungal infections.
Treatment of Nail Fungus at Home
If nail fungus is not painful, you can try to treat it at home because this indicates that the fungus has not spread much. There are various home remedies for nail fungus.
Use Vicks VapoRub
Many of you may have heard about this over-the-counter ointment which is used for chest congestion and treatment of excessive coughing along with other nasal issues as well. However, clinical studies have shown positive results of using Vicks VapoRub to treat nail fungus. Simply apply a little bit of it to the infected area.
Apply Tea Tree Oil and Oregano Oil
One of the most beneficial essential oils for the human body is Tea Tree Oil carrying several health benefits. With antifungal abilities, this could be used to treat the nail fungus at the initial stages. Similarly, Oregano Oil has thymol which has antibacterial and antifungal elements. Apply the solution of tea tree oil and Oregano Oil on the infected area with the help of a cotton swab at least once a day.
Use Snakeroot Extract
The use of Snakeroot Extract has also been studied as a treatment for nail fungus. The results have been astonishing as the studies show that this can be as effective as ciclopirox which is one of the most used medicines for the treatment of nail fungus. To begin with this treatment, you need to apply the Snakeroot Extract every third day for the first 60 days and then proceed once a week for the following 30 days.
Apply Ozonized Oils
Ozonized Oils are specific oils that have been injected with Ozone gas. During a 2011 study, the benefits of Ozonized Oils have been seen for different types of organisms such as fungi and bacteria. Therefore, you can use Ozonized Oils for the treatment of nail fungus. Studies also show that this is way better than the prescribed medicine named Ketoconazole. All you need to do is apply it with the help of Cotton Swabs twice a day.
Intake of Olive Leaf Extract
Nail fungus could be painful but if you use Olive Leaf Extract in your diet, you would benefit from the antifungal properties and antimicrobial properties. Olive Leaf Extract is a natural way to boost your immune system as well. There are different ways to Consume Olive Leaf Extract. Firstly, the capsules can be purchased from any pharmacy and have to be consumed twice a day along with meals. Secondly, the application of olive lead salve on the infected area is also related to the treatment of Nail Fungus. Make sure that your water intake during this treatment is sufficient.
Vinegar and Mouthwash Treatment
Everybody has both of these items at their home and they can be used to effectively remove nail fungus. Limited evidence shows that the strong chemical properties of Vinegar are helpful in eliminating all the fungus. Being a safe home remedy, you can try it out but stop the usage if it feels overly painful. To perform the Vinegar treatment, add water and vinegar in a bucket with a ratio of 2 to 1 respectively. Soak your feet in this mixture for 20 minutes and then rinse away.
Suggested Reading – Is White Vinegar Antifungal?
Similarly, the Listerine Treatment is considered useful because of menthol and thymol which are two of the major ingredients in it containing antibacterial elements. Simply, soak the affected foot or hand in the basin of Listerine for about 30 minutes a day. You can add some water and make it a solution but don’t go for less than 1 to 1 ratio. This treatment may be helpful but don’t mix it up with Vinegar.
Treatment of Nail Fungus at a Doctor
The home treatments for Nail Fungus are quite slow and it may take up to several weeks to overcome the problem. Therefore, the doctors may prescribe you certain medicines based on your health condition. There are different types of oral antifungal medication that the doctors may prescribe. This includes Lamisil, Diflucan, Gris-PEG, and Sporanox as well. Keep in mind that topical medicines may not be able to bring impact right away in certain cases.
Doctors may also prescribe you antifungal liquids which can be applied to the nails. These liquids have a quite strong chemical composition in the form of antifungal nail lacquer. As a result, you will be able to see visible differences in only a few days only.
In the worst possible case when nails are becoming painful, brittle, and bleeding, surgical treatments are considered for nail fungus. In this case, the infected nail is removed. Sometimes, the full nail is removed while in other cases, only a part of the nail can be removed. Ultimately, the fungus can be removed with the help of ointments, and different types of medicines or surgical removal. The doctors usually give an injection to the infected finger or nail so that there is no pain. However, this is definitely the last stage of removing nail fungus and the home remedies, as well as basic medication, is considered ideal for nail fungus removal.
Read more about other treatments of Fungal Infections – Fungal Infection Treatments
One of the most important things to consider in the treatment and effective removal of nail fungus is that it will not be removed right away. It may take days, weeks, or even months while in the worst-case scenarios, the treatment isn’t guaranteed and nothing may seem to work for treating nail fungus.