Toenail fungus is quite a common problem and can result in discoloration of the toenail or completely disfigure or remove toenails all together leaving your feet gross looking and unattractive if left untreated, which can be embarrassing for anyone. Other than discoloration to the toenails (yellow nail syndrome), toenail fungus can also crack, crumble and deteriorate toenails while giving off a foul odor and make your feet smell pretty bad.
To get rid of toenail fungus, you have a few different options and not all of them may work for you. In fact, severe toenail fungus cases can be difficult to deal with, either way it’s best to get toenail fungus treatment sooner than later.
How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus
The first symptom of toenail fungus is a spot, that maybe either white or yellow, which appears at the tip of the nail. If not treated immediately, it will begin to spread and your toenail will get discolored, start to thicken, the nail edge will get ragged, and it will begin to emanate a foul odor. As the fungal infection gets worse, the toenail gets even thicker and smellier, and the breaking of the nail progresses and it may fall off. Toenail fungus most commonly appears at the big toe but may also infect the smallest toe first, and can infect all the toenails of the foot.
This kind of fungal infection is one of the most difficult to get rid of and affects over 30 million Americans. It is more prevalent in adults due to the fact that the feet have been exposed to the fungi for a longer period of time and aging causes blood circulation to get diminished. Men are more prone than women to getting this infection. It is possible that the person’s family has a history of such fungal infections, and the person does not have the genetic resistance to toenail fungus. Oftentimes, a person may have a toenail injury or damaged nail, and there risk of getting toenail infection increases, especially if the person is a diabetic.
Causes of Toenail Fungus
The specific group of fungi that directly causes toenail fungus is known as dermatophytes, which thrive in dark and damp areas. Yeast and mold can also bring about toenail fungus. These things enter your skin, through the slight separation between the nail and the nail bed or via any damaged skin tissue. It is also possible that the skin of your feet has an abnormal pH level. If you have poor hygiene, have feet that get damp because of perspiration, wear closed shoes for an extended period of time, borrow other people’s socks or footwear, or walk around a public pool and shower, or even the gym barefooted, you are increasing the risks of getting toenail fungus. Many women are not aware that placing on nail polish can make matters worse, as it will create the ideal environment for the fungi.
Natural Treatments for Toenail Fungus
Application of certain herbal oils like tea tree, lavender, oregano, thyme, or olive oil by placing a few drops into the infected nail and rubbing it in at least twice a day may cure mild cases of toenail fungus. It is possible to buy a topical solution that blend natural fungus-fighting oils will kill the fungi by making the toenail environment a place that would make it difficult for them to continue with their life cycle. A 15 minute foot soak made from apple cider vinegar or Listerine mouthwash diluted in warm can also work, just make sure to dry the feet thoroughly after the treatment. A daily foot treatment with AHA creams or snakeroot leaf extract can also inhibit fungal activity.
Clinical Cures for Toenail Fungus
If the person with the fungal infection has diabetes or is having difficulty walking and experiences discomfort while wearing footwear, they should go see a doctor. The initial treatment for a mild case of this is for the nail to be trimmed and filed, and then a topical treatment, which is a nail lacquer that contains either amorolfine or ciclopirox, will be prescribed. If the case is extreme, the infected toenail might be surgically removed.
Other Toenail Fungus Treatments and Remedies
Another anti-fungal treatment that a doctor may prescribe is to take oral medication for up to a period of 6 months. There are a number of synthetic and natural antifungal pills that can be taken. The meds will be prescribed according to the individual’s present state of health, medical history, and how bad the infection is. The latest innovation in toenail fungus cures is to subject the infected toenail to a gentle laser beam light. This clinical procedure is quick and does not require any anesthesia as it is nearly painless. It has no side effects and can kill the fungi in one treatment session. There are also other natural remedies to cure toenail fungus including oils and other antifungal treatments.